Rocco Samuel’s Birth Story

July 30, 2015


Meet Rocco Samuel.Already proving he has got his own rhythm on life, he arrived 8 days early, on a hot summer night, July 26th. I now have three sons, and a wildflower. Wait, what?! It’s all quite surreal, and just like the birth stories I have tried to share before, there are no adequate words to be found to describe what meeting your child for the first time is really like. Here is just a summary of one of the best days of my life…

Before it all started…
All three of my children before Rocco were born on their due dates, so I wasn’t expecting much different this time around. It wasn’t until I arrived to Friday night after a long hot week here in Atlanta, I started to think this babe might be a different story. I was a few days short of 39 weeks, and I was beginning to have very strong braxton hicks contractions anytime I attempted beyond a snails pace level of activity. Legs occasionally going numb also might have been a clue? I started to frantically organize my house as would be the bazaar and accurate thing to do when you sense a baby about to arrive. (Someone should really figure out how to bottle that mysterious nesting energy that gives you all kinds of motivation to complete avoidable tasks.) I wrote out directions for my sister who would be caring for our little ones, packed the last details of my hospital bag, went to the store and stocked up on food, tied up some last minute projects, and began to pray for strength to overcome 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 Monday that we had planned a month prior to see if we could catch pre-labor signs before my due date. I knew that would be my reassurance of timing and when to prepare.  However, as I am always quick to forget, God had other plans, and they were much better than my own. My gut instinct was I wouldn’t quite make it to Monday. I really wanted my midwife to deliver this baby since she delivered my first son as well. I was driving 45 minutes just to see her throughout the pregnancy, but we knew though that with my history of fast labors I had to be open minded with no real birth plan but to make it to the hospital on time. 

Here he comes…
After a long brunch with family on Sunday and a calm afternoon, I began to think this baby was just fooling me all along, and I would just have to put up with braxton hicks contractions another week. We were all packing up to head out the door to a friend’s going away party when I had my first contraction. I immediately downloaded the full term app and started timing. (Because surely I wouldn’t be able to time them on my own as I had done for the last three!) I half second guessed myself. Was it really a contraction? You think you would know the 4th time around. After just a few they were getting a little stronger. Gabe looked at me and knew it was time. He went into mission mode and started loading the car in between phone calls. Behind teary eyes I took each of my children and held them and kissed them one more time before a new chapter would begin. My contractions were already 5 min. apart and I begin to panic that I wouldn’t make it up to my midwife. When I called her we both agreed it was best to head straight to the nearest hospital….

Fast forward to the delivery room ten minutes later, I made sure the nurses and doctors knew my body doesn’t know how to pace itself very well, and they very well could be catching a baby with a baseball glove momentarily. Luckily this time around, there was more of a steady pace of progression that actually gave us enough time to get me gowned and tubed up before things got really painful. Ladies who have given birth…. it’s that 5-6 cm mark that really does it right?? I needed Gabe’s hand on one side, and my rosary in the other. I felt God near. I knew He was in that room, as with the birth of every new life that He creates. I felt the world pause as I was about to take part in one of the greatest gifts given to a woman…the ability to be a vessel of new life.  

Beholden. | IHOD

The birth…
I held my breath as the doctor asked me to stop pushing. I had only pushed once and the baby was flying out. The cord was wrapped around his neck, and he needed to cut it quick. I was given the go ahead to give my last push. He was out in a flash, and they stole him away to the other side of the room.With my heart racing and begging God to hear that first cry, I waited in anticipation. There was a minor complication they were looking into, and so my heart felt like it was inside of my throat. It wasn’t until I heard that first little wail that my entire body breathed again. I looked at Gabe through teary eyes in a moment of complete gratitude. We had a son, and he had a healthy pair of lungs!

Gabe got to gaze at him first as they made sure he was okay. We kept shouting at each other across the room…He has dark hair! Does he have the signature family birthmark? He has a whole new look! When they finally brought him over to me, a dam of tears broke inside, and I wept uncontrollably as I got to feel my baby’s skin for the first time against mine. He was the smallest of all of my babies so far, and his tiny body felt immediately like he was always meant to be. Psalm 139 came rushing into my mind… 

You formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you know.
…Your eyes saw me unformed;
in your book all are written down;
my days were shaped, before one came to be.

Rocco Samuel
baby boy
gabe and roccomaxIMG_0707


I am thankful for this indescribable joy just as much as I am thankful for the pains and aches that paved the way for this reality. It has been a blissful few days of complete exhaustion, and baby snuggling, and lots of feeding and diaper changing and a little noisy chaos in between. Gabe is taking care of our other three little ones as we adjust to life with four. I can’t even describe how much Gabriel and Veronica love their little brother already. They won’t leave his side. Max is somewhat clueless, although we have high hopes for their future bond;) Gabe chose the name Rocco after a catholic saint who spent his life in the service of the poor and sick. We always like to choose names that are role models for our children to turn to as they grow:)

Thank you to each of you who have shared your congratulations, and love. We are so grateful for you!


A little video Gabe and my sister took when the little ones met Rocco for the first time:) Song by Coldplay.

*We didn’t know the gender of the baby so we had two names picked out. Swell Forever so kindly sent the keepsake blanket a few weeks before he was born. You should check out their company and support of adoption and loss!
Rocco’s little bonnet is from Flora and Henri, and striped blanket I found from Little Unicorn.

Leave a Comment

  • This (like you) was so beautiful. I love how you said you felt God in the room. So true! I just had my fifth two months ago. The birth process, I think, is such a special glimpse of Grace. I’m so glad everything went okay, and it was just a minor complication, but I can totally understand how you felt! God bless you all!

    • Joy, congratulations on your 5th! You are right, the grace is tangible…and so needed for the months that follow, especially during the long nights;) xx

  • Raced over asap because I’m up nursing my bebe. Nothing like weeping at midnight over birth stories Absolutely beautiful, Anna. I love that you choose to share your faith in your stories. Congratulations to your family. Let the babymoon stretch on and on ❤️

  • So beautifully written Anna!!! Naturally it made me cry in my 2 weeks postpartum state 🙂 Congrats to you and your family!!

  • Ugh, can’t help but tear up reading a beautiful birth story once you are a mama! Congratulations on a beautiful little boy!

    Where is the striped blanket from? It looks so soft and beautifully simple!

  • Rachel Layfield

    I just cried through that video! At 430 am…;) You captured such a precious indescribable moment. I love your sweet family…reminds me so much if mine. Love you sweet friend!

  • Congratulations on your new little one. What a sweet birth story. Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures with all of us.

  • That photo of you holding your son was breathtaking. Such a genuine feel to it. Congrats to you and your amazing family. Many blessings to come. (:

  • congratulations! he is perfect.

  • That video is the most precious thing ever. Your pictures are treasures and family beautiful.


  • Pat Schwab

    Welcome Rocco Samuel! Made me think about how much I miss the sweetness of little ones. My youngest is already 17. Beautiful

  • Congratulations!!! He is SO precious. I’m glad his birth went smoothly. That video made me cry! What a special moment to meet their little brother and how wonderful to have that documented. I remember my nephews meeting their little sis for the first time—their hesitation, wonder and confusion is priceless. Then the love they pour on their new sibling…there are no words for it! Lots of love sent your way!

    • Brooke you are always so thoughtful. Thank you for the congrats! It was one of the best days getting to see my children so enamored with their new brother:)

  • Oh my goodness, I was on the verge of tearing up at that video. I’m sure you did!! Your kiddos are all so sweet with their new brother. Best of luck!

  • Oh god that video… You are so blessed, as are your children for having you as a Mommy!!!! CONGRATS! Love the name and he’s gorgeous!

  • Such a beautiful and special time…congrats to you and your family!

  • All glory be to God! This was beautifully written. Congrats to you and your family!

  • This is so beautiful! And those pictures are just priceless.

  • What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations! So, does Rocco have the signature family birthmark?

  • Aww, so many congratulations to you, Gabe and the rest of your family! I have always read and heard how after each baby they continue to come faster and faster but I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone to have their baby as quickly as you do! It must feel very stressful but I am so glad everything went well 🙂 The video is so beautiful and had me in tears! Love your family <3

  • Sarah Elmahdy

    Thanks for sharing such beautiful moments with us 🙂 Congratulations to your family! Rocco is adorable and so are all of your kids – the video of them is so precious!

  • Congratulations to you and your family on your healthy baby boy!! What a wonderful gift from God. Beautiful photos that capture such a precious moment. xoxo

  • Congratulations Anna! He is beautiful!

  • Anna, these pics are so beautiful! What a treasure. Love all the sweet smiles, especially from the big kids!

  • Congratulations! The pictures capture the emotions so well! And that video is so bloody adorable, it absolutely made my day!

  • Oh Anna!!!!!! You’ve got me crying my eyes out (and wanting another babe)! What beautiful photos to capture a precious time for your family! Congratulations on your little Rocco, dear friend!!!!! <3 Absolutely loved reading your birth story!

  • Amanda Marshall

    Praise God!!!!! Sweet little Rocco!! So happy for you my friend!

  • Such a sweet video – you look like such an amazing mama. Congrats to you and your beautiful family.

  • Congratulations, Rocco looks a lot like you and his proud dad! I am Sarah Metts’ mom, in Spain, he was born on my feast day, santa Ana, July 26, here in Spain people’s saints’ days are as important as birthdays, so, may Santa Ana protect and bless your Rocco all his life!

    May God bless your beautiful family,


  • What a beautiful story and video. I had tears. Thanks for sharing your incredible family with us. I just love the whole post. Congratulations on a healthy baby boy, Rocco. My son goes to school with a Rocco! Super cool and SMART kiddo!

  • Such a gift and honor to read this intimate and life-filled account — thank you for sharing Anna!

  • This birth story made me cry! I am 22 weeks pregnant with twin boys and cannot wait for my turn to hold my babies in my arms…you are a beautiful writer.

  • What a beautiful story — I love reading birth stories. I was so captured how the Holy Spirit immediately brought Psalm 139 to mind, what an incredible moment.

    My birth was similarly quick with my third ( The arrival of a new life is never predictable or routine. Congratulations.

  • Congratulations!! What a lovely video, so many happy memories for you all to share 🙂

  • Just discovered your blog when looking at the speaker list for Create + Cultivate since I am going to be attending and saw this post and had to read!

    So many congratulations on the new baby, he is absolutely precious! His name is awesome, I love that it is a Catholic name without being one of the typical ones. My family is Catholic so all of us were named after saints too 🙂 Also, your son and I are birthday twins! He chose a good day to arrive 😉

    Hope everything is going well as you get back into the swing of caring for and loving on a newborn!

    xo Mary-Katherine |

  • […] case you are running low on birth stories to read, grab a cup of tea tonight and read about Anna and Grace‘s recent births. You’ll want to add both these blogs to your […]

  • This is the sweetest post! First time mom here … we welcomed our precious baby girl into the world in June. Your photos are amazing and the video is priceless. What did your family use to capture the video footage? My husband and I have been looking at camcorders but realize not many people use those anymore. We are trying to soaked up every moment!

  • this is so beautifully written! Giving birth was by far the most amazing moment I have ever experience. I love your sweet words about giving birth to your new baby boy.

  • Ro Blackmer

    Such a beautiful story. Thanks so much for sharing this so many parts I could relate too, made me smile and cry. How truly blessed we are as women to bring these beautiful souls into the world. Congratulations God bless

  • You make motherhood look so good! 🙂 Your family is just gorgeous and precious and I’m thrilled for you and this new little bundle of joy. Love following along on your blog and IG. <3 Thank you for sharing!

  • Such a beautiful story. I love reading other Catholic momma’s birth experiences. I’m 37 weeks getting ready for my first baby and I just KNOW I am going to need to rely on prayer to make it through. Thank you for sharing.

  • […] Rocco’s birth story and first few weeks of life. (Which feels like last month….HOW.) […]

  • […] before her birth, I had the gut instinct she would be coming early….but maybe a week early like Rocco Samuel. It never crossed my mind she could come any sooner. I had just been to the doctor for a normal 35 […]

Copyright © 2024 In Honor Of Design powered by chloédigital