A few weeks ago, I got a call from a girl named Lindsey who was looking for a birth photographer. She was very close to her due date and the girl that she had hired for her birth photography backed out at the last minute. She briefly told me her story of having gone through multiple rounds of IVF and miscarriages, only to conceive this child the first month after stopping all fertility treatment, She said that she really wanted to have a photographer at this birth, because it could possibly be her only one. If she had called me the week previously, I would have had to tell her no because I had another client due at the same time. But, I had just found out that my other client would be having a c-section the following day, which left me open to photograph Lindsey's birth as well.
The night before Lindsey went into labor, I was up very late editing photos from the birth that I had just attended. I had laid down in bed, unsuccessfully trying to sleep, when I got her call that she was in labor and it was progressing pretty quickly. I figured there was no point in trying to fall asleep, so I packed my bag and got everything ready to go. I went back to editing photos until I got her call that she was going to the hospital.
I got to the hospital at the same time as Lindsey, and we waited on the lovely lady who took her sweet time to check us in at the front desk. We were escorted up to the maternity center and Lindsey was taken to triage. It was confirmed that she was in active labor and she was checked into the room that she would be delivering her baby in.
Lindsey handled her contractions so well. She labored for a while without an epidural, and then when she got it it wasn't working great. It took them hours before they were able to relieve her pain completely. This is a particularly challenging situation for laboring mothers. When you are planning on having an epidural, you are often not mentally or physically prepared to handle the intensity of labor. Additionally, the epidural confines you to your bed and limits your options for natural pain management. In spite of these challenges, Lindsey did so awesome. Throughout her entire labor she was cracking jokes between contractions, and making sure everyone else was comfortable and happy.
By the time the epidural had taken effect completely, Lindsey quickly finished dilating and was able to start pushing. Baby Thomas was born at 1:38 pm, after about 12 hours of labor. It was such an amazing moment when Lindsey and her husband were finally able to meet this little miracle that they had waited so many years for. She started crying, he started crying, I started crying. It was just so beautiful! Congratulations!!