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We want to share the story of our little Ollie-man with all of you our family, friends, and followers. While this is a very real-life post that has little to do with the music domain of our lives, it has everything to do with us and will forever affect every part of our music endeavors.

This is Part 1 of 2 of his story. 


I’ve got to be honest: ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a wife and a mom. That’s not to say I haven’t had other goals and dreams along the way, but at the core, I knew this is what I was made for. There is no passion in my life I have invested in or prayed over as much as this role I knew God would have for me somewhere along the way. And for 20 years, it was a lot of faith and not much sight. Shoot, there wasn’t even a boyfriend before Will.

When we found out six weeks after our wedding that we were expecting, we were pretty stinkin’ excited. Sure, that’s pretty quick to be making our duo a trio, but we were ready for the adventure. You know, as ready as one ever is to be responsible for small human…

Flash forward eight months to June 2017.

We did not plan to deliver at the hospital. But, well, here we were. Being a week and change overdue on Wednesday, June 21st, I had gone to our back-up doctor for a routine ultrasound to make sure Oliver was still happy and maybe even showing signs of wanting to meet us. Little did I know what that day would hold.

The ultrasound showed that the amniotic fluid was low, and a reading on Ollie’s heartbeat and movement suggested that he was a little too content where he was. With no real dilation so to speak of, and babe that needed to emerge, everything we had been planning and hoping for in a home-birth went out the window as induction became our only good option.

We checked in at the hospital Wednesday night to begin the process of inducing. It was a sleepless night as contractions slowly began and picked up as the hours progressed. Early that morning, they started the pitocin, which promptly took the contractions up a notch. We brought a bunch of movies with us because, being the first-time parents we were, we decided that that was a great way to pass the indefinite amount of time I would be in labor. Reality struck at some point mid-morning when we had to pause Mall Cop because the contractions were coming so strongly and so close together that I could no longer split my attention well enough to follow a plot. I remember looking up at the paused scene and thinking to myself that, surely, this labor could not keep happening for too much longer before my body would know I’d need a break. I’m sorry to say that we never did resume the movie that day. Priorities, I guess.

Contractions happened all day. However, nothing exciting happened as far as dilation was concerned. (As some of you know and some of you will find out, when you go to birthing classes, they make dilation sound a lot simpler than it actually is. Don’t get your hopes up.) Labor plus the lack of sleep was really taking its toll on both of us and by midnight it was decided that my water needed to be broken if labor was to progress before the exhaustion took me out.

Water breaking brought on a whole new stage of labor. I went from being all there, but in a lot of pain and yelling louder than I have ever heard myself yell, to being delusional and feeling near death during every contraction. And yes, still yelling. This was the 10 on the proverbial pain scale they kept asking me about. After nearly an hour of trying to endure that, but no true progress of labor, someone said epidural. We were both pretty set on this kid making it into the world by sheer willpower and endurance, but alas, I had met my match. Will had to step out of the room for a break, prayed about moving forward with an epidural, and came back in to give the nurses the ok on it. We probably saved everyone’s hearing and sanity and maybe even a few lives that day.

An hour after the epidural started, they had had no luck in positioning me in a way where Ollie’s heartbeat stayed up at a good rate. The contractions had gotten stronger and were sending him into fetal distress. So, getting him out ASAP was the new name of the game and a c-section was the only way to make that happen. To be honest, that was the easiest part of the whole labor and delivery adventure. Although this was far from my wishes, labor had taken its toll on me and Ollie and it was good to be done. Within 10 minutes of them starting surgery, I was holding my little man.

4:27 am – June 23rd, 2017 – 8 lbs, 13 oz

There are no words to properly describe what it is like to hold your child for the first time. It was the biggest sigh of relief, the happiest tears I’ve cried, and the most breath-taking sense of wonder. Pregnancy had already awakened in me a deep sense of awe for the miracle that life is, but holding our mini for the first time was a whole new level.

Shortly before finishing the surgery, they went ahead and took Ollie out to where Will was. I heard that their first encounter was also amazing, but since I wasn’t there, I’ll let Will tell you about it himself…

“Ya know that scene in The Grinch where his heart goes from this teeny, shriveled thing to be like ten times the size it was? That’s exactly what it was like meeting Oliver for the first time (outside the womb)… My heart was changed immediately, like it was automatically ripped from the protection of my chest…and was laying and crying in the middle of a warmer, as nurses checked him, poked him and so on. Like any baby, he didn’t know this was for his own good–he squealed. As soon as I could, I put my hand on him and talked to him. He calmed down instantly, cooing and looking alert. We knew each other. The nurse gave me permission to pick him up, hold him, and wait for Joy to return from surgery. Oliver and I sat for half an hour, ten minutes of which we held some serious eye contact, and just enjoyed getting to see the other for the first time.”

I was wheeled out to them, and within minutes, our little guy was happily eating. He was very hungry right from the start and fed like a champ. The next several hours beyond this point were very foggy for me as I faded in and out of being awake due to being so sleep and energy deprived. Oliver was here, so healthy and beautiful.

The two days we had with our little man were amazing. It was like heaven had been placed in our room. The joy we felt was intense. Our hearts grew more than we even knew possible. We loved deeply. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a continuous sense of worship. God has always been good, but this gift was such a tangible expression of his goodness that it constantly sent me back to Him with gratitude.

We incorporated Ollie into our lives on this side of the womb just as we had when he was inside–he was our buddy. (Will even called him “bro” until Saturday when I pointed out he was our son.) We took turns holding him and having conversations via his dark and alert little eyes. We changed his diapers, helped his gassy little tummy, swaddled him, talked to him, watched movies with him. There was a learning curve for being responsible for a small person, but we learned as a team. There was no time for social media or even many pictures–he had all our attention.

I was amazed by how quickly and well Will stepped into his role as a daddy. He’s not a baby person and I was afraid this would be true even with his own kid. But there was no hesitation on his part; Will was so ready to scoop his son up and console when he cried, to interact with him to see his tiny expressions, and to help in every way he could. As a mom who had been developing this relationship for nine months, it was a blessing to see Oliver win his daddy’s heart so instantly. In those moments of getting to step back and watch their budding friendship, my understanding of who God is grew. This father-son relationship was love unlike any other.

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Saturday was a long, full day. We ended it with an awesome movie night as a family–all three of us snuggled into the one hospital bed. It was perfect. Little did we know what the next morning would hold.

{Stay tuned for Part 2 of Ollie’s story}

~Joylily, for Team Young

3 comments on “OUR BUNDLE OF JOY

  1. Tashena says:

    Your words are beautiful. Raw, honest beauty. A mother’s heart. A mother’s love.
    Thank you for sharing with us. I look forward to reading Part 2 of your 2nd Love Story. 😉


  2. Salabu Lasa says:

    I smiled, laughed, groaned and even felt proud (for no reason) as I read through Ollie’s story. Beautifully narrated. As I wait for the part-2 of the story, I’m not sure if I wanted to read it. You and Will are in our prayers. GB


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