Maximilian Francis – Birth Story

July 2, 2013

anniversary date

Maximilian Francis
This little boy has surprised us in more ways than one in his first few days of life. Its a crazy thing to finally have in your hands the little person you were growing for nine months – to finally see who this little being is.

As you may remember, I had a non-birth plan to try a water birth, but kept an open mind that things could change easily when the time came. Its a good thing, because Max decided to come in his own way…much faster than I bargained for.

Baby Maximilian-Day3

Before the birth:
Gabriel and Veronica were both born on their due date so I had a gut feeling this little one would carry on the family tradition. His due date was on our 5th anniversary, June 28th. Gabe and I went out to dinner and one of our favorite spots in Atlanta where we went the night we got engaged. It was so cool for us to be able to have some time together before our family grew again. I was having strong braxton hicks throughout dinner but had been having those off and on for a few weeks so I didn’t give too much importance to them. After we got back late and went to bed I couldn’t sleep. I was in and out with that instinct that the baby was coming. I finally dozed off and woke up with a very strong contraction around 1:30 AM. I knew right away this was it. I timed the first few and they were only 4 minutes apart. I thought it was really strange, but I knew if it went anything like Veronica’s birth, that I had better respond quick.

There was no laboring at home or waiting it out. I did the rounds…

I woke up Gabe, he jumped out of bed, and quickly got into game mode. I went into the guest room where my sister Jana was staying to tell her it was time. (She has been our lifesaver these past few days taking care of Gabriel and Veronica for us. ) Having a sister to share all of this with is pretty awesome. And she told me she had never gotten to witness someone going into labor before…check that off your bucket list sista! And lastly, went in to kiss my sweet little ones one last time with tears in my eyes. I knew when I got back everything would be different. Good, but different. Its a last goodbye to a cherished phase of life with just those two.

The labor:
The contactions were intense to begin with so I told Gabe red lights were fully permissable considering we had a twenty minute drive to the hospital. He had no problem getting into speedy race car driver mode as we flew down the highway. I called the midwife almost immediately after contractions had started and was told she was already at the hospital with another birth (thank the Lord). I was trying my best to focus through the crazy pain, and had a growing sense that the baby wanted to waste no time in making his or her debut. Half way there between sharp turns and attempts at deep breathing, my water broke. I knew the water birth was not happening at that point and I started to simply pray for strength to get me through whatever was about to come. Gabe zoomed into handicapped parking right smack in front of the ER entrance. As I stepped out of the car the door seemed miles away. I wanted to just crawl at that point and from my experience with Veronica, the baby was pretty close to arriving. Don’t worry, I made it through those doors and Gabe pushed me in the wheelchair back to labor and delivery. I was so thankful for my calm and patient midwife who greeted us as we flew through those doors. I barely had time to get a gown on before I felt the baby transition. For those of you who have been through natural labor, you know this is one of the peaks of pain. Tears were flowing down my face and I wanted to hold up the white flag of surrender. What kept me going? I knew I was minutes away from meeting the little one I had been waiting so long for…

Gabe and Max

The Delivery:
They barely got the IV in and I knew it was time to push. All I will say is that what followed was the most difficult and painful experience of my life. I felt the rush of prayers of all  of my family and friends, I heard my husband’s steady words of support as he cheered me on through the last stretch, and I gave everything I had to give because I knew it was all that remained between me and my baby. Four pushes later at 3:05 am, I heard that sound you ache for as a mother to know they are alive and well….the sweet newborn cry. Gabe turned to tell me it was a boy and I almost passed out from the overwhelming mix of pain, relief, emotion, joy, and triumph. I barely had the energy to wrap my arms around my baby and I couldn’t get any words to form. I just knew that this was it….this was all worth it. I loved him so deeply already….that strange beautiful mystery of love at first sight. The phenomenon of willingly giving up your body to be broken for another being so that they can have life. Sound familiar? I certainly have a whole new level of gratitude to God for his own sacrifice for me…

post birth - max

The extras:
I knew from the moment I saw this baby boy’s black head of hair and big frame that Maximilian was going to suit him well. My last appointment, the midwife told me not to expect more than an 8 lb. baby. I had my doubts from the way I felt those last few days, and sure enough ….a whopping 9 lbs. 9 oz. 21 inches long chunker. Gabe is very proud, and I am hoping this means my dream of a chubby baby may come true. And this might very well be the first child that resembles my spanish roots! We will see. Its a Catholic tradition to name your children after role models or saints that they can look up to as they grow. The story of St. Maximilian and St. Francis of Assisi have always been a favorite of Gabe and I’s and we know they will be great guardians of little Max:)

Veronica and Max

gabriel and max

Who will you be Maximilian? Your dad and I talk about how we can’t wait to see who you become. You have a really selfless dad who will show you how to be a man of truth and fight for all that is good in this world. You have a brother and sister who think you are the bees knees and can’t stop squealing over you. I have a feeling you will get plenty of love around here. And me, well, lets just say I am a puddle of sap for you and I can’t put you down. You are snuggled up next to my leg as I write your story. We are ready to begin life with you!


P.S. Stay tuned as I share with you some of my very favorite mothers and their stories this week on IHOD as I take some time to rest and soak up time with my little ones. Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers these past months. I am so grateful for each of you!


Leave a Comment

  • Bianca Wohleking

    This was the best timing that you posted this. I had just finished up prayer for the night and saw this. Anna, reading this was a prayer as well. I have tears forming in my eyes from the beauty of your little Max’s birth story. I’m so grateful that I get to look up to you. God bless you!

  • heather j

    Wow, all three of mine have been inductions so I can only imagine what you went through to get him here! I am so happy for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your sweet birth story.

  • In tears. So excited for you. And proud of you. Thanking out savior.

  • Julie G

    Beautiful story Anna! Thank you for sharing it.

  • Theresa

    Oh Anna. I am so happy for you guys. What a beautiful birth story and your sentiments about labor/delivery/parenthood are so beautiful. And SO TRUE. Broken out of love.

    Best of wishes and loads of prayers as you recover and find your new “normal” as a family of 5.

  • Wow, what a story! Congrats, Anna! What an adorable little guy.

  • He is just beautiful! Hugs and congrats to you and your family! xoxo

  • filled with tears… of happiness and joy for you and your family of 5!!! enjoy sweet newbornness!!!!!!!!!!! this was such a beautiful story, anna!!!!

  • Jen @ Cuddles and Chaos

    As a momma who has also had fast and furious births, I can totally empathize. Thanks so much for sharing your story. You look absolutely stunning with your new little man. Congrats!!!

  • congratulations, mama! i totally cried reading this (but i’m at the very emotional state of my pregnancy and just finished breastfeeding my son today so phew!). he’s beautiful! congrats!

  • Oh, he is just precious! Blessings to your new addition!

  • So so sweet. All of the things you discribed reminded me of my two sweet experiences with my little ones. There is no other place that the spirit has touched my family more than in those delivery rooms. Congratulations on your sweet baby. You are amazing. I cannot imagine enduring so much pain, you are a real trooper and what a wonderful sacrifice you made. I loved your analogy-I too always think of Christ when I am laboring, that small moment we endure so much for one tiny person. I cannot imagine whats been endured for us. So touching and sweet. Smell that sweet baby for me please!

    • Isn’t it such a cool thing? I still am in awe and get chills whenever I think of any of my childrens birth. Thank you for reading and sharing! x

  • Congratulations! What a beautiful story! The last photo with the thumbs up made me laugh out loud – so so so cute!

  • Congratulations! He is beautiful!

  • Kristen

    What a beautiful story, Anna! Congrats to you and your sweet family!!! Your blog is a joy to read and makes me so excited to become a momma one day πŸ™‚

  • Thanking the Lord for your safe delivery! I am so happy for you and your family! Maximilian sounds very blessed. And how amazing it will be to have your thoughts and feelings recorded like this for him to read years from now. πŸ™‚ You are one heck of a writer! Made me cry. πŸ™‚ Congrats!

  • Anna, this is so so sweet. Reading this and looking at the pictures makes me want to have another baby; it’s just such a miraculous and heavenly experience. Snuggle him tight!

  • Congrats Anna and Gabe!! What a beautiful story! Wishing you all the best for your beautiful little boy.

  • Holy moly, Anna! I don’t know how you do it. You are awesome, and I’m in tears over here. I remember reading Veronica’s birth story not too long ago and being in tears from her story too. Geeze… lol.

    So happy to hear you and Max are happy and healthy! Congratulations to you guys πŸ™‚

  • So many tears, this sounds so similar to my birth story with my son and I’m excited to experience it all again in 10 short weeks!!

  • Loved reading your story! What a beautiful one it is! Congratulations to you and your growing family. So very happy for you five!!!

  • How exciting! My husband and I just celebrated our 5th anniversary on June 27th. And I just found out today we are having our second SON! Congrats to you and I hope your recovery is quick!

  • Well this story is just amazing! First off I love how you write, it is so true and full of emotion I felt right in the moment with you. Second, you give me hope for one day when I plan a natural birth. And lastly I was a big chunk baby at 10 pounds so I feel this guy will only achieve greatness! Ha! So happy for you and your family! xo MKR @ Waiting On Martha

  • what a beautiful story! thank you for sharing and these images were moving! so beautiful! πŸ™‚ congratulations and welcome, maximillian!
    kw ladies in navy

  • Oh Anna! What a beautiful story of God’s most wonderful creation. He is a beauty…and no wonder…look at his beautiful mommy. Take some time and soak it all in…we’ll all still be here, whether that’s a few weeks from now or a couple months. We look forward to hearing and seeing all the beauty that this new life brings to your family. God bless you friend!

  • Praise God for a safe delivery and chunky boy. I can say that since my last two boys have been over 9 lbs. πŸ˜‰ I have a Maximilian, too. He was born in March. Prayers for your recovery, your dear newborn, and precious family.

  • So beautiful in every way! Beautiful!

  • Anna, everything about this is absolutely beautiful. Your words, insight, photos… I am so thankful the Lord answered our prayers for your safe delivery and healthy baby BOY {oh yeeaah! who called it!} and has blessed you so much already. You are getting me that much more excited for the arrival of our little guy. Sending you a ton of love and hugs my sweet friend!

  • Huge congratulations on the birth of the new addition to your lovely family , I read this post twice , I am so afraid of natural birth , thank you so much for sharing this post with us .

  • This is so beautiful, Anna, and the way you connected your birth experience to Christ’s sacrifice for us made me cry. So true and wise and incredible. Enjoy that sweet new baby πŸ™‚

  • Congratulations! I teared up reading your story – so beautiful! I had a natural childbirth 7 months ago and having my son, Benjamin, was definitely the most intense experience of my life! I wish you a speedy recovery. Enjoy all those sweet baby snuggles! xo

    PS- I had my son in California but we’re in Atlanta now… I’ll have to ask about your midwife when the time comes for another baby! πŸ™‚

  • What a beautiful story, Anna. And my goodness, you looked flawless. Congratulations on the adorable addition to your family and thanks so much for sharing your story.

  • Oh, Anna!! What a wonderful experience! Every time I read this blog and especially lately with all the baby excitement, I’m inspired and I look forward to starting our family someday. Congratulations to you and your family on the arrival of little Max!

  • So happy for you Anna! What a darling little boy. I didn’t know you were Catholic. That is fascinating that you named him after Catholic Saints. I love that!

  • So happy for you!!! Congratulations!! Maximillian is such a wonderful name, I’m excited to see who he will become too!

  • This is so beautiful Anna! Thanks for sharing!

  • What an incredible story! He is absolutely beautiful and I LOVE his name πŸ™‚ I had a very similar experience with my third labor and delivery. I had planned on going as natural as possible but in the end that ended up being my only choice. We got to the hospital after having contractions, 4 minutes apart, for only an hour. After checking in, and spending exactly 3 minutes in the whirlpool tub I was at 10 centimeters and feeling the urge to push. 5 minutes and 2 big pushes later, our son Liam Edwin was born! I have to agree with you that it is by far the worst pain you could ever imagine, but the healing process goes much faster with a natural delivery and it was incredible to be able to feel every part of the labor. We also did not find out with our 3rd and we were sure it was a girl, seeing as our first two were boys. Wrongo! Best of luck to you and your beautiful family! Loved reading your birth story, brought back memories!

  • how beautiful! i love his name, st. francis is my favorite, and he is just so precious. you are such a great mom!

  • Katie Boce

    Well, you just made me get all teary-eyed at work. Such a beautiful story! I love the name and that he has your dark hair. Congratulations on another lovely baby! I’m looking forward to hearing all about him in the future. Love!

  • Melissa Coston

    First, I want to say congratulations your baby is beautiful! Such a wonderful blessing from God. I was wondering where you get some of your baby clothes?! Loved his outfits in the pictures above! I’m expecting my first baby in two months! It’s a boy and I love your little outfits for him!

  • Such a beautiful post!! Welcome Maximillian, you are a lucky boy πŸ˜‰ xo

  • so perfect and so beautiful! Anna, I’m SO very proud of you!!!! I like how Gabe had no problem running the red lights, that was totally us when little J (also our 3rd) was born!!! Lots of love to you and your family xoxox

  • Dear Anna, I am tears while reading this lovely history – I am SO happy for you and your family! Maximilian is so luck to have you as his mom…

    Wishing all of you much happiness and many blessings,

  • Oh goodness, Anna. Tears. How beautiful! πŸ™‚ Giving birth is the hardest thing…scary really…but I am sitting here so wanting to go through it again!! haha. Motherhood is weird, eh? πŸ™‚ Much love during this wonderful time. xoxoxoox.

  • Congratulations!!! Welcome to the world, precious Maximillian!!! Tears fill my eyes over your beautiful story – you shouldn’t do that to a pregnant lady!!! πŸ˜‰

  • Congratulation for all of you! This is the best POST of IHOD! Maximilian designed by God and performed by you! I hope all of your will have happy and healthy life all together!

    Best regards, Alex

  • Oh my gosh Anna. I was glued to your post…hanging on every word. He was ready for sure! Look at that sweet face, those little feet, I forget how small newborns are! I guess I better get ready since I have 2 weeks till we meet our boy. πŸ™‚ That last picture with Gabriel giving the thumbs up is probably my favorite thing ever. Congrats to your family xoxo
    PS You look gorgeous and not at all bloated. I feel like I was a balloon last time right after I gave birth – and feel like one now. Ugh.

  • Anna – I teared up reading this. “The phenomenon of willingly giving up your body to be broken for another being so that they can have life…” That is so beautifully, potently put and so very true. I will carry that thought in my heart when I go to deliver in a few weeks. Thank you for sharing.

  • What a beautiful story! So happy for your family and that your sweet little baby is here!!! Congratulations!!!!

  • Oh girl, you made me well up at work. Haha. I love that you point things back to Christ, and this is one of many shared experiences that makes me feel like God is leading me toward a natural birth. I think it’s so important to be flexible and faithful, as you were with your babies, and I am so excited for you and your sweet family. Saying prayers. Enjoy every moment. xo

  • What a story. You have a true gift for sharing experience in a way that gives life to all who are exposed to it. I am grateful to be your friend!

    HUGE congrats, great job, and I cannot wait to meet (squeeze) little brown haired Max.

    Love you, Anna!

  • He’s so beautiful Anna and Maximilian is such a sweet name. Huge congrats!

  • anna, this is such a good story. i got teary thinking of you kissing your kids goodbye as you go to give birth to a third. a push and pull, bittersweet, all of it. i’m so happy for your quick and easy birth!! go mama! and that pic of you looking at him is gorgeous. you do NOT look like you just gave birth.

  • I’ve read this a few times and am just so happy for you. Your words were so heartfelt! You are such a strong and inspirational woman. Max is beautiful and I will continue to pray for you and your family! xo, Tiff

  • YAY! He is here! What a sweet precious boy. Rest well and enjoy every second!

    Big hugs to your beautiful family!

  • huge huge congrats on the new lovely little bundle of joy! such a beautiful story and again happy birthday to maximillian. πŸ™‚

  • Congratulations Anna and family on your beautiful new boy!! Your birth story had me in tears! It was so beautiful and it reminded me so much of my Zaylee’s birth! Thanks for sharing! Hope you are getting a lot of rest and recovering well!

  • Speedy delivery! Such a precious boy, such a beautiful name, such a lovely mama! I’m so happy for your family and I pray you are all resting and recovering well. Many prayers!

  • Congrats to you and your beautiful family for the new addition!!! This is such a beautiful post and I wish you all the very best!

  • What a lovely birth story! Those third babies do seem to come awfully fast, don’t they?! Mine came in 2 hours, 35 minutes. Congratulations on your little one! Enjoy that newborn time, it’s so so sweet even with all the change and fatigue πŸ™‚

    Btw, June 28th, 2008 is my oldest son’s birthday so while you guys got married I was in labor myself, lol!

  • Congratulations Anna!! Thanks for sharing all the ins and outs, I’m so glad everything worked out well in the end! Love the name, enjoy your time out xx

  • OMG I took a blogging break and came back to this post. Wow wow wow!!!!!! Congrats! I wanted to cry when I read how much pain you were in, but thank goodness you had a healthy baby and you’re healthy as well. Your son is gorgeous, as is his name. Much love!

  • What a joy to read the enormous outpour of love for you, your family and newest addition! Thanks for sharing one of God’s greatest gifts! Love to you and your sweet fam! <3

  • Thank you for sharing your story Anna! I can only imagine the mix of emotions and feelings that went through your head. I love the name Maximilian and you have inspired me to search for a similarly significant name when we hopefully have kids!

    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  • Oh Anna! I’m so thrilled for you and your precious little family! The newest addition is so beautiful and I just adore his name. Thank you for sharing this with us! πŸ™‚

  • I have tears running down my face. Thank you for sharing Max’s beautiful story! And huge congratulations! He is absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way.

  • Oh, what a beautiful story, Anna! You had me crying over here : ) I hope baby and momma and the rest of the fam are still doing great. Welcome to the world, baby Max!

  • Such a sweet birth story. It has me excited and nervous at the same time. You are such an inspiration and I love all you do!

  • Thank you for sharing your story with us! So happy for you and your family and can’t wait to hear and see more. πŸ™‚

  • Kris Chatfield

    I love birth stories! You looked beautiful and amazing right after you had him! Our 2nd son was born on our 4th anniversary – he’s 14 now and he love that he shares that special day with us. Congratulations!

  • This is my first time reading your blog, and you brought tears to my eyes with the beauty of your words and thoughts. I’m so happy for you and your beautiful family. Congratulations on a healthy new baby boy. That b&w picture of you holding max is one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. You are a beautiful mommy.

  • Congrats. You ridiculously good for just having given birth. And, of course, the baby is a work of art.

  • Anna, so glad to hear that everyone is happy and healthy πŸ™‚ I just read this birth story for the second time and cried again {at work}. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are enjoying every minute with your sweet family!

  • Congratulations! He is truly a beauty :). I hope that you are doing well and managing to squeeze in some rest. I certainly know what you mean about feeling a much deeper gratitude for God after birthing. I felt the exact same way. Beautiful post – thank you for sharing.

  • What an amazing birth story! It made me tear up πŸ™‚ Congrats to your growing, beautiful family!

  • Okay, I’m teary now. I found out late, but agin, congratulations dear Anna! <3

  • I just read this again and cried all over again.

  • I am extremely behind on my blog reading at the moment, and catching up on yours I had to scroll back to read your birth story – a belated congratulations! What a cutie!

    (formerly Julia @ Boredom Abounds)

  • […] Max’s Birth Story, and First week of […]

  • After I had my sweet little monkey, birth stories always leave me in tears.. Extremely belated congrats πŸ™‚

  • […] Max’s birth (you may remember he came super fast and was a big baby!), I felt like I had been knocked out flat and was sore and achey for a few […]

  • […] Even though all three of mine came on their due dates, they came in very different ways. My labor with Gabriel started off in a crazy way, but ended up in a paced and peaceful delivery post epidural. Veronica came quicker than expected and without the ability to choose medication. If I had any sort of plan in place, it never would have happened because of the nature of both deliveries. However, I decided maybe I would try out some sort of a birth plan for my third pregnancy and hope this would give me a little bit more control over the result this time. Ha! Max the moose surely laughed. My planned water birth never happened. […]

  • […] around here. “Max the moose” was born a few hours after our anniversary dinner two years ago. I seemed to have blinked this year and woke up with a toddler….or mini man-child. I knew the […]

  • […] some of the anxiety I was battling. To be honest, barely making it to the hospital and having a fast natural birth with Max made it hard to feel calm about everything. I had an appointment scheduled with my midwife for […]

  • […] that came so fast there was no time for an epidural, and he almost broke me in half. (Remember that birth story?) He hasn’t slowed down since. I am so thankful for Maximilian Francis. He is wild and crazy […]

  • I have to commend you on the pure quality of your writing. I felt I was right there with you. I don’t know how some writers do that but it is wonderful to experience and is surely a great gift you’ve been bestowed with. Its to great to read that you’ve broken free of the Instagram bondage and are now flying more free on your own. You’re a good example of what people can do when they listen to themselves instead of letting their entire life be programmed by non-human algorithms. Thank you for that.

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