Tuesday, March 28, 2017
My heart is bursting with this one...where do I begin?

Our precious Emmy Eve is here and, just as it was with the births of her older sisters, our family feels whole.

Her arrival was one of the more sacred, special, and tender experiences of my life. Her reunion with her sisters was as close to perfect as anything could be. She came with all the strength and peace that she carried with her during her pregnancy. She has brought heaven into our home. Emmy is our angel!

The video below of our little family's heavenly reunion - edited by my sweet sister, Kimberlee. ๐Ÿ’› Thank you again and again, Kimbee!
And now a little birth story. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’›

"Emmy" is a French name and it means "hardworking." Ryan knew it was her name the day we found out that our third little baby was a girl; it didn't take long for me to agree. I had to dig deep and work during Emmy's pregnancy - to be healthy, to feel strong, to be grateful and positive about the sacrificial changes I was going through for my baby's sake. There was a moment last fall when Emmy herself had to hang on and be strong and grow. She and I worked to get her here. We were a team.

Her labor and delivery was no different. Every day during the last 1.5 months of Emmy's pregnancy found me literally working every day to, first, go inward and connect with her. I set aside time daily to be still and to think about her as my little daughter. Then I visualized every step of Emmy's birth - what time of day my labor would start, how I would work through the contractions, what those final pushes would be like before she took her first, full, deep breath.  I gave birth to Emmy naturally, just like Olivia and Claire, and going through that process of connecting with my babies and visualizing their arrival is vital for me to see the labor and delivery through. It's not easy to give up the time it takes to prepare in that way, but just like my sweet little girl embodies, the requisite hard work is good. Preparing to give birth changes me as a woman and mother every time.

On Tuesday, March 14 - 11 days before Emmy was due - my water unexpectedly broke as Claire Bear and I were reading books before bed. During Olivia's birth, my water didn't break until I was hours in, and it didn't break at all with Claire, so this was a big, happy surprise for Ryan and me. How sweet it was to know that this was it! There was no turning back. Emmy was on her way!

I worked through contractions with Ryan till midnight; we tidied up the house together and just kept talking and walking and talking. We then slept, actually, for an hour until 1:00 AM. Strong contractions woke me up, and by 1:30 AM we were out the door for the hospital. I was dilated to a 5 when we arrived, which made me so sad - I had already been working so hard for so long and wanted to be further along! - but I was not going to let that hiccup slow me down. We had to keep progressing, we had to keep going. And thanks to my Ryan - my hero in so many ways! - we did keep going. During the next hour, the contractions became incredible in the worst kind of way. Which made sense: by 3:00 AM I was dilated to an 8.

And by then I was spent. If not for my Ryan, again, and his awesome vision of my strength, along with the sweet confidence of my doctor and nurse, I would've felt totally incapable of continuing. But they all believed in me. Ryan (literally) lifted me as my tired body caved between contractions. I prayed (and prayed and prayed and prayed)! By 4:00 AM, I was dilated to a 10.

On March 15, at 4:14 AM, in the shadows of the Shenandoah Valley, Emmy Eve Awerkamp entered the world. She hardly cried. Rather, wide-eyed and as vibrant as a baby could be, she laid on my chest and looked up at her dad, then me, and we three celebrated through the happiest tears that we were finally, finally together again. One of the most phenomenal feelings in the world is knowing that you know your baby. Your life together isn't starting here - you were each other's once before. How I believe that! Family life is eternal: it once was ours in heaven, it is ours on earth now, and it can be ours in heaven again. And for forever.

We relished time with our third, perfect little girl for a few hours, sleeping and nursing and loving on her. Then her sisters came and if heaven wasn't near before, it was there then. I'll never forget those three sisters seeing each other for the first time again! It was priceless in every sense of the word.

I'm grateful for my precious little family. I'm grateful and so proud to be a woman. I'm grateful for Heavenly Father for seeing us through in this adventure. I'm grateful for a Savior who understands what it's like to give up your life for another -- His empathy absolutely strengthened me. I'm grateful for my Ryan. Words cannot express how so. I'm grateful for my Emmy - hard working and heavenly. She has made us happier than ever before.

Reunited and it feels so good. Sooo so good. All is well! ๐Ÿ’›


  1. this video was THE SWEETEST thing i've ever seen! what a reunion!! congratulations jen!!

    1. Thank you so much, sweet Lex. You're neeeext (eeeek!!!) XOXO

  2. i LOVE birth stories and this one is so beautiful. i adore how you've worded everything as "again," the experience as a reunion, for so it is. great work mama, listening to your body, tuning into the incredible spirituality of birth, and bringing another soul into mortality.

    1. Yours and Moses' was a powerful, beautiful birth story, too, Char. I'll never forget it! Thank you for your sweet comment. Love you!!

  3. How sweet are those little girlies of yours?? Oh my goodness I loved the way they snuggled their new sis. Nothing like working through a birth with your husband to bring the love to a family. Birth is amazing! You go mama.

    1. Seriously the SNUGGLING. It killed me, too. I love that the whole birth experience is so fresh for you, too. We're in this one together! :) XOXO


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