Jenna gave birth to a beautiful 9 lb. 10 oz. man child on Sunday at 12:52 p.m.
Meet Jayson Chance Whiting.
But let me back up a bit first.
I have long known that when Jenna and Tyler finally brought children into the world they would be some of the luckiest children ever. Period. Tyler is a giant of a human with an enormous and gentle heart. Jenna is loving & purposeful. She knows what she wants by studying things out with all her energy & passion, then works her tail off to bring her visions to fruition. There will be no accidental parenting in her home because she will make conscious decisions of how each situation will be handled. I admire that enormously.
So I guess I wasn't surprised that Jenna had firm ideas on how she wanted to bring this babe into the world. It would be in the comfort of her own home, with Tyler and both of their moms to assist. I was surprised, however, and completely honored when she called to ask if I would come, too. To take pictures.
It was maybe my favorite job ever. Here he is...no more than a full minute out of the womb.
The birth story is one of power & beauty, but it's really Jenna's story to tell. So I'll just share some of the side stories - moments that were sacred from my point of view.
To me the birth was a love story. Many of the pictures I took were of Tyler. He stood right by and held on to Jenna through it all. Their eyes would lock during the heavy contracting, and it was obvious she needed him...gained strength through the power of his presence.
It was also a story of a mother's love. I'm not sure if I felt more pain watching Jenna or Kay. As hard as Jenna worked, Kay stood right beside her the entire time clearly wishing she could jump in to take over for her beloved little girl. Jenna was unbelievable, but at the times it became most difficult, her eyes would find Kay's, searching for affirmation. Which Kay gave with raw sincerity. It was obvious that she had faith in her Jenna.
It was also a story of a father's love, though I didn't take a picture of this part. After a while of hard labor in the birthing pool, Jenna called for Mike to give her a blessing. He placed his hands on her head and called on the powers of Heaven through the Priesthood on her behalf. As he closed the blessing, my mind jumped back to the blessing I was also honored to witness on the eve of her wedding. There is a special bond between Mike and his Jenna.
Perhaps my favorite moment of all came when Jayson was safely placed in Jenna's arms. She laid down to cradle him, completely radiant with joy, then turned up to Tyler with a simple, "Can I have a kiss?". Of course his response was instant. And then she immediately said, "I love you. We're a family now."
This picture captures that for me...and, of course, my eyes are wet even remembering that moment. It was sacred & beautiful, something I felt honored to witness.
They are indeed a family. And a good one.
Jayson holding hands with his dad for the first of countless times to come
One last sweet moment at the birth was when the midwife (who was amazing!) gave Jayson the little hat she had knit for him as Jenna labored. She placed it on his head, brought him over to Jenna's side and sang a sweet "happy birthday" to the boy. No eyes were dry in the room.
When I left to return to my own family, I called my Jim and though I couldn't ask for a kiss at that moment, I gave a hearty "I love you." And I thanked him. Because he was always my rock through my labors. And through every other living moment, really. And then I called my mom, and thanked her. Because she was definitely the one I looked to for affirmation as I became a mother.
me, kissing on Jayson
The next day we brought our family to meet him.
They were, of course, enchanted.
Congrats to Jenna & Tyler
for bringing this beautiful little human into our world!