It had been nearly five hours by now. After the epidural, our time was filled with naps, laughter and facebook, but now contractions were coming increasing closer together. The time to push had finally come. I've always heard women complain about long and hard labor, and so far, Alison's labor had seemed pretty manageable. But I wondered if this part of labor would also be uncharacteristically "easy". As Alison started pushing, with the nurse and Ryan both supporting and giving her encouragement, she remained calm throughout the whole process. (Ryan even took breaks in between pushing to eat some of his big mac. None of us had eaten since the night before, and by then it was already 2pm in the afternoon.) It was nothing like I had seen on television with the mother screaming or sweating. I snapped some pictures capturing the moments during, right after and in between pushes.... In between you could see the peace in her eyes and the excitement to come.
In less than a half hour of pushing, it was time for the baby to come out. In fact, the nurse made Alison stop pushing to wait for the doctor. I was on Alison's left side when the doctor came, and it seemed by the time I went around everyone to Alison's right side, it was time for the baby to come out. When my little niece came out, tears started to flow from my eyes. It was by far the most amazing thing I've ever seen... Miraculous is the only word I can assign to birth and even then it doesn't seem to accurately describe just how amazing it is.
I really loved seeing my my brother hold his daughter. And being able to capture these first moments of my sister-in-law and brother with their first baby....
There's still more pictures to come!
(p.s. I thought I'd spare you with all the pictures of the actual birth part. And, after everything was said and done... Ryan emailed everyone and updated his facebook status. :) )