The longer I do birth photography, the more I realize how different every birth experience is! The important thing is to hold your expectations loosely as plans can change as your baby dictates them. Photography is no exception...I have to be as flexible to the events as the parents! This is my version of baby Christopher's birth story.
Due to potential complications, Mama Amy was preparing to be induced around 38 weeks. She texted me after her 37 week appointment to say they would go into the hospital on the evening of August 20th or the morning of August 21st to start the induction process.
On Friday, August 15th around midnight, Amy called me to say she thought her water had just broke and they were headed to St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland. I tried so hard to go to sleep after that, but the adrenaline just flows when I know I'm going to get to shoot a birth that day! Around 2:20am, Amy let me know that it was a "false alarm" and the hospital was sending her home. I was so bummed and finally fell asleep. At 8:00am, I got a call from Amy's husband, David, to say they were back at the hospital and Amy was dilated to 6 cm!
Because I'm nearly an hour from St. Vincent, I threw on some clothes and grabbed my bag of camera gear (this is why birth photographers HAVE to be prepared when they're on call!) and was out the door within 10 minutes. Birth photography is a commitment and a sacrifice for sure!
When I got to the room, Amy had just gotten an epidural and the pain was finally manageable. The doctor came in around 11:30am and told us she would probably be pushing at 12:00pm. She wasn't too far off...Amy was fully dilated and started pushing around 12:15pm.
Amy pushed for three hours! (Superstar!) Unfortunately, the doctor didn't see enough progress, and it was decided that she would have a Cesarean Section. I was super bummed because I'd already been told I wouldn't be allowed into the OR. *sad face* I quickly gave Dad some lessons on my camera and followed as they wheeled her into the operating room. Dad ROCKED the shots of the c-section delivery! I was so impressed!
Christopher Joseph was born August 16, 2014 at 4:35pm. He was 7 lbs. 8 oz., and 20 inches long.
I took a break for about two hours to grab some food for Dad and me (Mom wasn't allowed to eat that day, poor thing) and got the text from David at 6:30pm saying I could come back up to meet the baby.
David's grandmother was in town for a few days, and her visit just happened to coincide with little Christopher's birth. (I love it when stuff like that happens!) So she along with David's parents (first time grandparents) came into the room to meet their grandchild. These happen to be some of my favorite images from this birth story.
Being able to capture this birth story and to get to know this family was truly a blessing to me. I'm so honored to get to be a part of Christopher's birth day. Thanks again David and Amy!
Check out Grandpa giving the fist pump after the baby's arrival! :)
Christopher's full birth story video can be viewed below.