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Quinn Lincoln Shingleur {A Birth Story}

Time stopped for a split second when we heard him cry. We made eye contact with him as the doctor held him above and we totally fell in love. Love at first sight is real. Undeniably real.

I wouldn't say Kathryn had a smooth pregnancy. Not horrible. Not wonderful. Here's the story.

Let's rewind to the very beginning. It was a Wednesday night. We had decided to get off of birth control several weeks before this Wednesday night. We went to a fertility specialist and she set us up on a plan and it actually worked. We were about the walk out the door to go to choir practice, on said Wednesday, when Kathryn needed to run the the restroom real quick before we left. Just for the 'heck' of it, I threw a pregnancy test at her and said, "Hey, use this while your in there!" So, she used it, slid it under the door back to me and I stood and watched for it's reading. Within seconds it said "PREGNANT". Kathryn was still in the bathroom and she she came out she knew something was 'different'. My bulging eyes may have given it away. I could feel my heart beating in my throat. I didn't say a word, I just slid the stick across the vanity toward her. She saw it and we immediately looked at each other and busted into the most hysterical laughter you've ever heard. It was so loud. It was so obnoxious. It was the most joyful thing you've ever heard. (You will see that this whole "laughing" thing plays a huge role in this birth story). So. She's pregnant. Great. What now? Now, we have to go to choir practice and pretend like nothing is 'different'. All practice long = I kept looking up at Kathryn in the Alto Section and my mouth would still be dropped in unbelief. Her's the same. It was killing us to keep it a secret. I'm the WORST with secrets.

Fast forward. It's week 8-9 and we have told all the family and have probably announced it to the world by this point... I honestly can't remember. It is really such a blur and I'm really bad with dates. Kathryn should be the one writing this bog, honestly. So, it's week 8-9ish and Kathryn hasn't been sick a single morning which is a miracle in itself and would take a whole 'nother blog post to talk about that miracle. We have heard baby's heartbeat but this time and and, of course, bawled like babies upon hearing it.

Fast forward. We are about mid-pregnancy now. They are saying our baby is huge. Like really huge... Huge as in we already started discussing mentally preparing for delivery via c-section because of his size. Other complications arose during this time that really had Kathryn and I, more or less, worried that we did not share with anyone. We did ask for prayer from specific groups of people. I'll not go into details , but these complications could have had impacted Quinn's heath in a difficult way. Needless to say, it had this praying momma and daddy wearing holes in the knees of our jeans. We were really looking for a miracle and were believing that one would happen. Our doctor made us an appointment with the specialist ultrasonographers at UAMS to get a second opinion. The day came for the appointment. We were as nervous as junebug in a henhouse to go in for the ultrasound. We didn't know what to expect, but that's the perfect set up for God to work the miraculous! We always believe that the impossible is God's chance to work a miracle. The ultrasound technician was administering the ultrasound as the team of doctors watched and discussed in another room. After a few minutes, the doctor came in to say that there is NOTHING wrong. NOTHING. That, folks, is how prayer works. As we were walking down the hallway to leave UAMS, Kathryn and I were hit with a flood of emotional joy that our baby was okay. By the time we reached the inside of the elevator, Kathryn was wiping tears and just whispering "Thank you, Jesus." I reminded Kathryn of a dream I had where Jesus was walking with Quinn though every stage of his life - baby, toddler, preteen, teen, young adult, husband, father, etc. I remember the dream specifically showing Jesus being faithful to Quinn time after time. The specific prayer I prayed before this appointment at UAMS was telling God that this was His very first time to show Himself faithful to Quinn - even if still in the womb - just as He had showed me He would be, and He totally proved Himself to be faithful and we didn't doubt that he wouldn't.

From this point on, all the details and complications aren't worth reading. They're not worth my time and I don't care to think about them. The fatigue, the restlessness and everything that's 'normal' with a the end of pregnancy was hitting Kathryn full force and it was all she could do even get out of bed. "Miserable" isn't even the word.

Fast forward. We are anxious and so ready to meet our Quinn. We officially decided for him to be delivered via c-section at much research and several opinions from the doctors whom we grew to trust very much. After spending a week at UAMS at 33 weeks pregnant due to pre-term labor, we were sent home to anxiously wait this out. Kathryn was put on 'house arrest', as she called it, and we were as patient as we could be. His nursery was completely ready and we had everything we needed - except the baby! Fast forward. Again. We were laying in bed one night watching one of our favorite shows that records everyday at 4:00. We always wait to watch it until we are in bed for the night. The show always begins with a monologue and this particular episode was hysterical. There was a one-liner in this monologue that made Kathryn laugh SO hard. I haven't heard a laugh like that in a long time. Believe it or not, Kathryn laughed so hard, HER WATER BROKE. She jolted up, waddled to the bathroom and called the hospital. It wasn't a "gush of water" like they tell you to watch for. The nurse at the nurses station told Kat to walk around the house to see if it continues and before Kathryn reached the doorway of our bedroom, her water BROKE and I mean IT. BROKE. Literally, everywhere. And guess who got to clean it up? Me. Yay me.

**Insert gagging.** We shuffled around to get everything together as quickly as possible. It honestly didn't seem real. I remember thinking, "Okay is this really happening...Don't freak out. Keep it together." We arrived to the hospital, wheeled Kathryn up to Labor and Delivery and the waiting began. Yes, she was scheduled for a c-section BUT, there were 5 other moms that were fully dilated and ready to push. Obviously, we let them go first! After about 8 hours of waiting for our turn, labor pains started really coming in strong and adrenaline was at it's peak. FINALLY, the doctor came in and wheeled her back to the O.R. while I stood outside the door nervous for Kathryn. They let me in and that's when it happened...

It happened within seconds. We finally heard it. That cry was so loud, so strong and the most beautiful noise we had ever heard.

I was laughing hysterically, Kathryn was weeping uncontrollably, and Quinn was screaming at the top of his lungs. It was perfect. Just how I thought it would be. I handed my camera off to a nurse, bless her heart. She thought I was handing her a robot from year 2072. I said, "Just look through the little hole and press the button!!!" and boy did she ever. (Literally, like 400 pictures later...) She didn't take the most amazing pictures, but, for this instance, it's not the quality that concerns me. It's really not about the composition that concerns me either. Okay, nothing technical about what this Nurse took pictures of concerns me. It's the memory. I wouldn't trade these blurry, fuzzy, pixel-y underexposed images for the world. Some of the pictures that nurse took are so blurry I don't even know what the picture is of, but for some reason even those pictures are perfect too.

The next few days let us fall in love, head over heels, with our Quinn Lincoln. He was perfect in every way and most of the world didn't even know we had had a baby yet. We told family and only the friends we care most about. We decided to keep it low-key so we could spend some alone time with him... just the three of us. That was the best decision ever. As a few days passed, Quinn dropped too much of his birth weight and we stayed in the hospital for one weeks time gaining back his weight and learning how to be parents to a precious baby boy. He is now almost 3 months old and we cannot believe how fast time has passed. People always told us to cherish every moment because time flies - and they are so right. To Our Quinn: You, my son, have changed our lives. It's better now that it ever has been. Time stopped and life was at full speed ahead when you entered this world and your mom and I are so incredibly changed by you. You make us brave. You make us better. Your mom and Your heavenly father have been faithful to build you as a strong and reliable - like a ship. A ship that's ready to venture out into uncharted waters. We are watching and seeing how trusty this ship really is and to witness what was really built in you, Quinn. You will explore and, on the way, the sick will be healed and restless hearts will meet Peace, Himself. Minds tormented and cluttered will think clear, single thoughts. Lost ones will become found ones. Run-aways will run Home. The hopeless will see Hope and begin to dream again. All because you're you. All because you will take a chance and decide to try. You're brave enough and your mommy and daddy believe that this ship will sail and never sink. The whole world will benefit. Everywhere you go, the Kingdom comes. Your heavenly Father is ready to breathe into your sails and adventure with you. We pray you let Him. We believe you will. You are going to single handedly change the world just by being present. Just be you and let the anointing and power of God seep from your heart. I pray you're a lover. I pray you're after God's own heart. I pray you can be you - nothing more and nothing less. I pray that the strength of His love for you would become a truer reality than anything else you've ever found to be true. Your mommy and daddy love you. We will always be here of you and we will always be fighting of you and in your corner. We are always on the same team. We are forever praying over you and pushing you to be your best. You, my son, have changed our lives. It's better now that it ever has been.

Quinn Lincoln Shingleur Born on May 19, 2016 at 6:09AM 9lbs 11oz and 21 3/4 inches in length Son of the most proud parents on the face of the earth.

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