Thursday, October 24th 12:50pm

My phone dinged. "Her water broke. She's at a 4 and 95% effaced."

This sweet mama had progressed quickly in the last hour and I knew I needed to head to the hospital. When I arrived, everything was calm and quiet. She had requested an epidural to ease the pain and was now resting between contractions, which were only about a minute apart.

"You're at a 9.5 now. We're going to push soon."

When the nurse spoke those words, the energy in the room completely changed. Victor stood up and went to check on his wife, with a huge smile on his face. Each family member was exuding joy and cheering her on quietly. Victor's mom, a first time grandma, kept her hand on her chest as if to calm her own heart.

"You're doing great, baby!"

Victor was so sweet and supportive of Tara the entire time. He held her hand, gave her space to breathe, and then showered her with affirmations and praise. "You've got this, baby. You're doing so great," he would say after she exhausted herself pushing. Each time she lay her head back and closed her eyes, he smiled at her with so much pride.

"You did it!"

Within minutes, the midwife announced Ronan's head was out and Mama needed to slow down. With two or three more gentle pushes, Ronan was placed on his mom's tummy.

Ronan Manuel Teodocio

born at 4.35 pm

6 pounds 9 ounces