Oliver Diego | A Surprise Gender Birth Story | Atlantic Beach Birth Photographer


Dear Oliver,

It was 7:30 am on the morning of November 15th, 2016 when your parents walked through the doors of the maternity ward at Baptist Beaches Hospital. It was a Tuesday and they were scheduled to be induced so that they could finally meet you! Technically, you were only due to arrive the day before, though this date was later changed to the 11th because of how well you were growing and therefore how your mama was measuring at her appointments. Two days earlier, on the 13th, your mama started experiencing some contractions and pressure so her body was definitely prepping for you to come.


The anticipation was so amazing! Your mom and dad had been waiting 9 whole months to find out if you were a boy or a girl, never mind the excitement about who you might look like or what type of little personality you might have. That is my favorite kind of surprise! Boy or girl, they knew they loved you and that you would make them a family and add the roll of “Parent” to their resumes.


Throughout the day I would get little updates about how things were (or weren’t) moving. At one point, your mom sent your dad out to buy her a book to read because things were pretty calm and slow going. We joked that it would likely be the last time she had some down time to read for a while because very soon you would be there to keep her entertained and a bit busy too. It was 5:50 pm when I got a text from your Daddy that the doctor had broken your mama’s water and that things were officially getting started.  Just a little while later, at around 6:30 the nurse started the IV fluids so that your mama could get her epidural. About an hour later they began the Pitocin to really get things going. I had already hopped in my car and started to head to the hospital because I was excited too and also a little worried that I would miss all the fun. I was totally content to just sit and wait in my car in the parking lot until I got invited in because being close was a comfort for me.


It was at 8:23 pm when I got the text from your dad that your mom was measuring 7 cm! That is an exciting number! I rushed in and found your parents surrounded by so much love. Your Mita and Aunties were there so full of hope and excitement that they would get to meet you soon. They helped pass the time and keep the calm by sharing stories and laughter. It really was a pre-birth day party, only there was no cake or food to be had for your mama at all.


At 9:10 pm the nurses checked your mama again and she had progressed to 9 cm with just a bit of cervix left. YIPPEE! Things were definitely working. You were handling it all beautifully and seemed to be very content and happy no matter how strong the contractions. It was looking like you would be making your debut soon, but in the meantime conversations of Thanksgiving recipes would pass the time as well as occasional realizations that you would be a new part of all the family traditions.


For the most part the epidural was doing it’s job and keeping your mama fairly comfortable, but everyone pitched in with some TLC to help with numb feet; falling hair that was hard to fix for all the tubes, wires, and BP cuff; breakthrough contraction pains; and chilly hands.


These melt my heart. In the midst of it all, your parents were so sweetly connected and enjoying each other as perfect teammates. One of my favorite things was learning more about their love story- how they met, how they *secretly* started to date, how your dad proposed (that story had me cracking up), and how some of their love story played into your name. You’ll have to get them to tell you all about that some day. It is a great story.


Around 10 pm your Auntie Cristina and Auntie Zammy hesitantly said their goodbyes. They gave sweet words of encouragement (a.k.a a pep talk) and strict instructions to text or call with the exciting news of your arrival accompanied with pictures. In their absence, your dad continued with the role of entertainer, supporter, and encourager while your Mita used some of the quiet time to focus her support in prayer and later in the most beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace.


Another sweetly sentimental passage of time came with the reading of all the well wishes and blessings that were shared with you and your parents at the baby shower that was held in celebration of you. They read these out loud to each other and you and the love in the room grew even more with the outpouring of love from all of your extended family who were just as excited about you. Then at 11 pm a sweet delivery of food arrived from Uncle Todd. Being a now seasoned parent, he wanted be sure that your mama and daddy had something to eat after a long day of waiting and working hard for you to be born. It would still be a little bit before your mama would get to eat, but thankfully there would be something yummy waiting for her. All the love!

The last of the casual conversation to happen before things really started to kick in was a review of the gender guesses- Your Mita felt certain you were a boy and shared a sweet message about a word she received about you just a week before. Your dad felt fairly certain that you were a girl, but your mom wavered back and forth not really able to settle on either with certainty. Your Auntie Cristina had earlier proclaimed that she thought you were a girl too. It was almost time to put all the guessing to rest.


Around 11:15 pm the contraction pain and pressure was growing much more intensely. The check at 11:32 showed that your mom was completely dilated but that you still needed to come down the canal just a little bit more.


Just before midnight, your mom began to feel urges to push with all of the pressure she was having, yet she was also apologetic that she was “complaining so much”- which she definitely wasn’t, she was just communicating what was happening with her body. At 11:57 the practice pushes began which rolled right into full blown pushing as the clock rolled over to a new day – Wednesday, November 16th. At 12:22 the doctor added a tiny bit of help with the Kiwi vacuum during pushing, and at 12:24 am you popped into the world and were immediately placed on your mama’s chest. It was only a few seconds before the room erupted with excitement that you were indeed a BOY!!


As the nurses were rubbing you the conversations began about who you looked like and it was pretty unanimous that you resembled your daddy complete with blonde lashes and hair under all that birth love. Your mom got to enjoy a few minutes of the most precious snuggle time ever and then the nurse took you to give you a detailed once over.


You weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs. 1 oz. and were 19 1/2 inches long.


Your daddy got to enjoy the next snuggles and he just soaked you in. You were so alert and starred straight back into his eyes. It was clear you already knew him well and felt totally at peace in his strong arms. I’m guessing there were already some visions of teaching you how to throw a baseball running through his mind. Oh the fun you two will have!


Your Mita got some sweet snuggle time in too.


Your daddy was so proud to introduce you to your Grammy via FaceTime. Thanks to the iPhone you got to meet each other face to face even though she was all the way in San Antonio.

Around 1:50 am you got to nurse for the first time and did such a great job. Your dad was such a great support to your mom as the two of you figured out this whole new world together. There were so many other firsts too –  your first toot and your first sneeze were just some of the exciting things that your mom and dad got to marvel over.


Oliver, Isabel, & Jeff- Thank you so much for inviting me into such a special time in your lives. I pray that I captured the beginning of Oliver’s life story in a way that you will be able to treasure forever. I encourage you all to relive it often. Remember how great you are as teammates- that together you can make it though the greatest challenges with the greatest rewards. Remember that miracles can be born out of the love that you share and keep that strong always. It has been such a joy and honor to witness. Congratulations to you all!

xo – Auntie Ing



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