Shannon and I had been emailing back and forth a lot since she was a few days over her EDD. Her first two labors had both been 18 hours, the first ending in a c-section, the second in 3 hours of pushing. We were preparing ourselves for another long birth, and hoping it would be soon!
I got "the call" at about 3 am that her water had broken. I was still groggy, so I forgot to ask if she was having contractions yet, and almost went back to sleep. I am so glad I decided to get up and shower because less than 30 minutes later they were headed to the hospital. One of the nice things about where I am is it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to the hospital where she delivered. Shannon was in the tub when I arrived. Her strength through her intense contractions was incredible. I am always moved by how amazing women in labor are. The nurses noticed that Shannon was starting to push a little and encouraged her out of the tub (which was getting a little chilly) so they could check her.
The nurses and midwife were so gentle and patient. They didn't rush her and let her be in whatever position was most comfortable. After only 2 hours, she was pushing- although a bit in shock because it was so fast!
At 5:30am, just a few short hours after her very first contraction, Axel was born.
His daddy happens to be a Respiratory Therapist in the NICU at the hospital where she delivered, and he pretty quickly noticed that their little man was struggling to get a good breath. The nurses let Rob basically do his job- what a blessing to have the ability to still have a parent being the caregiver! Axel's O2 saturation was really, really low every time he didn't have oxygen on, so they decided to transport him to the NICU. It was discovered later that day that he had Pneumonia, so he had to stay for several days. I went back that evening to take some photos of him with his mommy in the NICU. It's part of his story, and I feel it is important that even if a birth doesn't go exactly as planned, that we capture all of it.
Since his big sister and big brother weren't allowed in the NICU, we planned to do a homecoming session. My very favorite part of births (next to baby being born of course) is when the family meets for the very first time. I arrived a few minutes before brother woke up from nap and sister came home from school. What a precious way to meet your baby. They both stared and just drank him in- and I was blessed enough to be there. Both of their eyes sparkled with wonder and love.
If a delivery doesn't go as planned- or if birth isn't what you would like captured, but instead these precious moments- please know that I offer this as an option. Also know I may cry, because of all the love in the room. Because it's a lot. And it makes me happy cry. Have I mentioned how blessed I feel to get to capture these moments?!?
Thank you C family for trusting me to capture your family as it grows. I have loved growing to know you all.