Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Abraham Craig Marshall!

Abe's first moment in life.

DISCLAIMER: It may be a little late to be writing this, but after re-reading the post that follows, I thought it would be appropriate to say that while it was the right thing for us with this baby, we do not necessarily advocate natural birthing for all. Different things are right for different people at different times. That said, we do recommend that people study their options to make a decision.

Mosiah 24:14-15
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

These two verses describe very well Ariel's experience delivering Abraham Craig Marshall into the world this morning, our 8 lb. 15 oz. (one ounce from 9 lbs), 19 inch baby. She did so without medical intervention, and never once did she complain, or say she could not do it. Through fasting, prayers, and blessings, His grace was sufficient to "make her burdens light." My love grew deeper than it knew how for dear Ariel as she gave of herself for the life of our little firstborn. Words simply cannot describe how I feel for her and how I feel for him. It is so deep.
Sunday we started counting contractions around 11:00 a.m. They were about 10 minutes apart. She went about the day as usual, and realized that she was not feeling pain, despite the other symptons of contractions. On Monday I took work off and we prepared for labor and delivery. We made Abraham a birthday cake (a Portuguese Bolo de Bolachas), went on three walks, talked a lot, went to Jamba Juice, and watched parts of "Fantasia." By then her contractions were two to three minutes a part and we figured it was time to go in.
We went in and found she was six cenimeters dilated. We were let into a birthing room designated for natural birthing and the battle began.
Ariel became her best self. I fell in love with her 100 times over again. She could joke around (telling me to not "run a muck" or saying that a contration was "a howdy-doo"), she was brave as could be throughout the increasingly difficult contractions, and she knew in whom she trusted and that He would deliver her and the baby safely.
She was in the thick of contractions from 10:00 p.m. to 5:20 a.m., and she didn't dilate any more. But she never said she couldn't do it, she never asked for petocin to speed up the process, she simply pressed on.
Eventually they broke her water in order to get the baby on his way out, and soon thereafter, he came out. I was in awe of my sweet wife as she passed through the transition stage and into the pushing stage. That pushing is hard! I cried for joy, love, and sorrow for my beautiful wife and new baby as she pushed. As she was pushing the midwife told her that the baby's hearbeat was going down and that she needed to have the baby now. That's all Ariel needed to hear. She started pushing and didn't stop until his wet, beautiful body was slipping on top of her. It was amazing.

It was a sacred moment to witness. I believe it connected her to her ancestors who all labored without medication. It also connected her to the Savior. He suffered physical trials and internal anguish in order to save those who could not save themselves. Labor is a very similar experience, and I witnessed that this morning.
It was an empowering experience for all of us, including Abraham. He looks wonderful. Perhaps a reddish tint in his hair. Ariel is recovering beautifully and gracefully.
We thank all of those who prayed for us and thought of us during this time. We especially thank Mom Galli. She was Ariel's Doula. Without her help taking pictures, taking notes, encouraging Ariel, calling people, and getting us fed throughout the long night, it would have been an entirely different experience. It's no wonder where her daughter gets that selfless nature.
Many more pictures to come.


Liz said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad Ariel had a successful and peaceful labor. I wish all labors could be like that :) Good job, you two, and enjoy your sweet little guy!

Jeff and Whitney said...

What good news! We're glad everything turned out well and that all are healthy. Looks like Abraham's already got broader shoulders than his dad does. I say by the time he's 15 he'll be able to take Andrew on. Let us know if you guys need anything. Congrats!

Colliers said...

Welcome, Little Big Man Abraham! Well done, Ariel and Andrew! We look forward to meeting our new cousin and friend. Craig finally gets his Craig (we owed him one, so thank you for covering that base for us!) We love every Marshall and every Galli, and now we have two for one!

Love the Colliers

Keenanonie said...

I am so proud of the two of you! We are looking forward to following in your footsteps (even if they lead us in an unforeseen route...). Thank you for letting us hold your little one this morning. That was a very special experience for us. We love you, AAa team! See you soon again.

Nonie (& Keenan)

DeGroote said...

For all old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new, even the heaven and the earth, and all the fulness thereof, both men and beasts, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea
--D&C 29:24

Congratulations and welcome to a new world!

-Michael De Groote

Abbracadabra said...

I'm so happy! I can't wait to see him!

Candace said...

Fantastic!! I have been checking your blog religiously! I am so proud of you. You have a beautiful baby! Ariel, you are an inspiration. Well done, friends. Well done.

canyouhearme? said...

what a cute lil guy! congrats! way to go ariel!

Spencer & Sierra said...


Brit said...

congrats! Abe is lucky to have you two as parents!

John Nikki Marshall said...

Hurray! Welcome Abraham and way to go Ariel!!! I am sooooo beyond impressed-Marshall was 8 lbs 9 oz and I can't imagine doing that un-medicated. You rock! Good luck in the days ahead, rest up and take it easy. Enjoy every moment-they grow so fast. Can't wait for more pictures. Congrats you guys!

(Cousin) Kristy said...

My mother mentioned how funny this news was because she woke up this morning wondering who's birthday it was and thinking she'd forgotten. =)
We're so happy for you guys! Congrats!!!

Spencer Staples said...

Congratulations to the both of you two. I really enjoyed Andrew's entry and his spiritual comments. I expected nothing less of Ariel and no less of a commentary from wise Andrew. Congratulations.

Mandy said...

Congrats, you two!! What a beautiful baby!

Blair said...

Wait a second...wait a second... You guys had a baby? He's adorable. By the looks of him, he's already pronto to do some push-ups out of the womb. Look at those guns! Captions at the bottom of the pictures should go something like this: "Someone put the womb back over my eyes. Man, it's bright out here!", "Feast your eyes on these" and such. He's awesome! Can't wait to see him. You guys rock! We'll always be drawing on your example. Let us know how we can help!
Blair and Ashley

Eliza said...


And this post was beautifully written too.


Bobby said...

Andrew and Ariel,

Congratulations! Abraham Craig is a handsome boy. You've gotta bring him over sometime so I can hold him and watch Last of the Mohicans with him. Or just hold him, either way...

Lara and Jayson said...

Hooray! Congratulations to all of you, he is beautiful!

Scott and Natalie said...

nine pounds... wow! You are so brave! I have to admit I don't think I could do it without the meds! He is beautiful! I am so so happy for you both and am so happy that he is here safe and sound! The 24th is my husbands birthday too!!! What a great day! I can't wait to meet little abraham in person! Abraham and Lincoln should most definitely be friends!

The Staples Fam said...

Beautiful! Wow that pregnancy went by fast! :) Congrats you two! We can't wait to meet him

Devin Felix said...

Congratulations guys.

Andrew, you're great. It's been almost a year since I've seen you, but I still think of you as a friend. And Ariel, though I don't think I've met you, I think you're cool too.

I really do want to come see the new kid sometime when I'm down in SLC.He was born on a good day. My mom and brother were both born June 24.

I know it's the last thing on your mind right now, but check out my blog if you get the chance: www.goombville.blogspot.com.

Much love,

Devin Felix

Ali Flegal said...

Congratulations! I loved reading this entry from a new Father's perspective; beautifully written Andrew.

He's beautiful. I look forward to seeing more photos. Best of luck with your recovery Ariel! You're amazing.

Megan & Elijah said...

So proud of you! Way to go! He looks adorable, and we can't wait to meet him!