I love the story of how Joshua Cecil Isaacson entered the world, because it will always remind me of one thing: God answers prayers. Joshua himself is an answer to prayer, after Lara and Ari had hoped and prayed for another child. But in a personal way for me and for Lara, God answered some very specific prayers the week he was born.
Before I continue, you should read his full story from his Mama’s perspective here. It was so sweet to read this day from her perspective! Lara, you were amazing.
Joshua was due July 31st. Lara is a dear friend of mine, and I was thankful to be there when her daughter Grace was born as well! I was so excited to be there to capture Joshua’s birth too. I, too, had to pack a “hospital bag” ready to go at any minute, full of camera gear and snacks and water. I was constantly arranging childcare “just in case today was the day.” I had been doing this since 1 week before Joshua came… all in all, for 3 weeks straight.
I was convinced Joshua would come early! I don’t know why we talk ourselves into things like this, but we do. I remember how quickly Lara progressed with Grace, so I knew Joshua would come early and he would come fast.
5 days past his due date, I started feeling sick. I was congested and coughing quite a bit. I didn’t want to tell Lara because I didn’t want to discourage her, but things just kept getting worse. It turned into a terrible cough, a headache, the stomach bug, and a fever. I knew I physically wouldn’t be able to get there, and I knew I didn’t want to expose them to the sickness I was fighting.
I began to pray a prayer that was simple, but felt impossible at the time. “Lord, please heal me so I can be there for Lara’s birth. It feels impossible, but please heal me in time so I can capture it and be there for Lara.” Meanwhile, I texted Lara and told her I wouldn’t be able to be there, but that Elizabeth would be going in my place. Lara was totally fine with it, and she said she’d be praying for me. She was also asking me to pray what felt impossible to her. “Nancy, please pray I won’t be induced. I really want to go into labor naturally.”
So we began to pray for one another – that I would be healed so I would be able to be there, and that Lara would not be induced. Simple prayers, but let me just say – at the time they both felt impossible. I was taking baths and drinking tea and felt terrible. The days kept passing, and I didn’t feel any better. Lara’s doctors kept scheduling appointments to induce her, but they never went through with it. At one point Elizabeth texted me and said “It looks like I’m going to the hospital today! Lara’s heading in to be induced!” But later that day she went home.
Lara and her entire family were waiting and praying. Elizabeth and I were both on standby, waiting and praying. Days 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 passed, and my fever broke. I was sleeping better, and my cough was just starting to subside.
We knew day 13 was the last day, as the doctors had scheduled her induction. I woke up that morning and texted Elizabeth. “You’re off the hook. I feel just well enough to go in, and I know I’m not contagious anymore!” I was texting with Ari all morning, and he let me know they were going to wait to induce her. They had instead decided to break her water to see if things would progress naturally, since she was at 5cm having mild contractions. I couldn’t believe it! I left for the hospital at Noon. I was praying the whole way to the hospital, thanking the Lord for his simple, powerful, answered prayers!
Lara was incredible. For both of her births, once she hits active labor, it’s only a matter of a few hours until her babies enter the world. The day started out calm and peaceful! We walked the halls, listened to music, caught up on life. Ari and I got Starbucks and food, we chatted about church and work. We prayed together and prepared for the next few hours ahead.
Once her water was broken, things began to change quickly. Her contractions were incredibly strong and intense. They had some problems getting her epidural to work 100% (it only worked on one side of her body for a while), but thankfully it kicked in just before she pushed. Ari was her rock – constantly encouraging her, holding her hand, reading Scripture to her. It came time to push, and it was the most peaceful, joyful environment. Between pushes, I’ll never forget how quiet and calm everyone was. We were just waiting, full of anticipation!
Joshua entered the world at 7:17pm on August 13th! He was calm and peaceful, just relaxing on his Mama. He had a few grunts and a small cry, but that boy is one relaxed little fella. Just like he was cozy in his Mama’s belly for 42 weeks, he was instantly relaxed and cozy in his Mama’s arms. It’s like he arrived and casually said, “Yep, I’m here now.” Everyone was crying, so in awe that he was finally here, that he was a red head (!), that he was over 9 lbs! It was so surreal.
Watching Gracie meet him was the most fun! She kept saying in a super high little baby voice, “Hiiii Joshua!! Hi baby brother!!!” as she stroked his head or touched his hand. Sweetest thing. I’ll never forget those moments, and how Lara’s face lit up with joy as she watched the two of them meet for the first time.
Lara and Ari, I’m so happy for you both. Joshua is the perfect little man for your family, the perfect combination of you both! And Gracie is already such a sweet, loving big sister. I’m so excited to see how all of you grow and learn from this new little life. Congratulations!
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