When my sister asked me to join her for the birth of my nephew, her fourth child, I was ecstatic! Her family had recently moved from WI so Colorado and now lived only two hours away from me in the highest elevation town in the US - Leadville. She was planning to give birth in Frisco, which is about 45 minutes down the mountain from their home and happens to be the hospital with the highest elevation labor and delivery unit in the US. My mom (who lives in Africa) had flown in for the birth and was staying with me when we received a message from my sister that she thought labor was starting. Of course, fate would have it that labor started during a giant blizzard. Along with many other mountain towns, Leadville was experiencing some widespread power and cell phone tower outages. My sister didn't have cell service, but let us know through WhatsApp that she and her hubby were going to drop the kids off at the sitter and head to the local OB's office to get checked out. Contractions were still mild at that point.
Time dragged on, and my mom and I anxiously waited for an update since we knew it would be at least a 1 1/2 hour drive from Denver to Frisco. My intuition was telling me we shouldn't wait much longer and my mom agreed, so we decided to go ahead and start heading up the mountain. The higher we went, the worse the roads became and we made our way very cautiously through the almost blinding snowstorm. About halfway there, we received a text from my sister saying that her water had broken while they were in the OB's office and they were on their way to Frisco. Knowing how fast multips can deliver once their water has broken, I began to reconcile myself to the fact that we just might not make it in time for the birth.
With a sigh of relief, we finally pulled into the hospital parking lot and raced up to the labor and delivery unit. Bethany and her husband Andrew had just made it there minutes before us, and when we arrived she was already beginning to show signs that her body was ready to push soon. Her desire for this birth had been to have an unmedicated birth, and she powered through the last few intense contractions with incredible grace and strength. After only a few mighty pushes, my sweet nephew made his way into the world. As his lungs filled up with air, my eyes filled up with tears! In between snapping photos, I glanced over at my mom to see she was just as emotional as I was! In fact, there weren't many dry eyes in the room. I was so proud of my sister, and so honored to be part of my nephew's incredible birthday!
Stay tuned for Part 2 with photos of the next morning when Justus met his three big siblings!!!