Homebirth photography turned into c-section, surprise breech baby
Birth photography is very personal and intimate: This is the first birth I've ever photographed or attended, aside from the day that my daughter came into this world. For those of you who know me, you'll know that I have always had a passion for mama centered births. You may also know that the birth of my own daughter was a traumatic one for all involved. Being a part of Jasmine's birth was not only amazing, it was healing for me. I am very grateful to have been a part of this special day in their lives and thank them for the peace they have brought to me. While this is their story, its my story too, and you need to get to know me a little if you decide to choose me as your birth photographer.
Jasmine and Justin, birth of baby Auden, November 4th, 2013. St. Joseph's Hospital, Denver Colorado.
Two years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I were in a 5-week childbirth class and sat next to Justin and Jasmine each week as we were both preparing to give birth at our local birth center. Both of us hoping for beautiful natural water births in a peaceful setting, but instead we both ended up in the hospital with a c-section. Even though we were in the same childbirth class, it wasn't until a mutual friend (re)introduced us that we were able to talk about what happened during our deliveries and had pretty similar experiences, we also really hit it off right away and have been friends since.
When Jasmine and Justin got pregnant with baby number 2, I offered immediately to do birth photos as a gift for her. I've never photographed a birth and would like to do several at no cost before a paying client. I knew they wanted to do a homebirth and we knew this would be a good fit for both of us. Throughout the pregnancy we often talked about the birth, their plan, the photos, lighting, etc; I can honestly say that I was almost as excited for this delivery as they were! Especially because I wanted so badly for her to have a beautiful and intimate homebirth VBAC.
Jasmine's first pregnancy went until 42 weeks and they had to induce per their insurance, the induction failed to progress and they chose to have a c-section after a long labor. So this time around, Jasmine was pretty concerned about having the same thing happen and going to 42+ week; but her water broke on its own, while laying in bed, around 10:30 at night on November 3rd. I received a text at 11:30pm that her water had broken, but no contractions yet. I slept fitfully with my phone near the bed and got a received a call around 3am from Justin who said they were going to the hospital. Shortly after 11:30 Jasmine started contracting, and then had some meconium come out, so they called the midwife, who determined that baby's bottom was in the birth canal and baby was breech. They needed to go have a c-section, although both mom and babe were fine and it wasn't emergent. I drove over to St. Joseph's hospital with tears pouring down my face, sad for my friend, who wanted this homebirth so badly. However, breech births are one of the reasons we are glad to have medical technology and this birth ended up being healing for them.
When I arrived, I walked into their small pre-op room, Justin and Jasmine were holding hands and their midwife was with them. I had to resist the urge to give her a big hug and start crying, but thats how I felt in the moment. Jasmine handled her contractions beautifully and Justin was a wonderful and supportive partner, it was a joy to be a part of this special day in their lives.
The first thing that happened was they needed to do an ultrasound to check where baby was positioned and a resident OB came in to do this. At first, I thought she would be great, she seemed young and smiled warmly, but...to put it nicely...she pretty much did the exact opposite of what you'd hope a physician would do in a situation like this. Unfortunately, she didn't respect their wishes at all and it was the very reason they had opted for a non-hospital birth to begin with. Fortunately, the attending came in after the resident and was much more considerate, but it was still a harsh reality check for all of us in the room.
I wasn't able to go into the c-section, but Justin took these photos with his camera and I was allowed to use them for this blog. We were able to see all three of them about an hour after birth. The photos are graphic and amazing.
My introduction to birth photography was many things, emotional, amazing, inspiring and beautiful. This blog post has taken me weeks to write and I've shed many tears of pure emotion as I both edited and wrote about this birth and I'm excited for the next one.
I can't thank Justin and Jasmine enough to share in this day with them, the words 'thank you' just don't seem enough.
If you would like to talk further about your birth photography, please fill out the contact form below. Contact asap for availability, I only schedule 3-4 births per month.