Every birth I photograph is memorable. They all touch my heart and they all make an impact on me. But this birth was one I will never ever forget.
When Lynette got in touch with me, she told me she was due in March but would likely deliver in February. I'll be honest, MOST moms who contact me think they'll go early, so I tend to take it with a grain of salt. However, this time was different. Lynette had a history of preterm babies. We met for coffee and one week later, she texted me. Her water had broken. She was 34.5 weeks.
They let a few days pass and then on February 1st, began induction. When Lynette touched base with me that morning, she told me that contractions were already 3 minutes apart, but not painful. Knowing how induction can often cause contractions to be back to back, I wasn't surprised and assumed I'd have quite a bit of time. I only decided to head out early because I wanted to avoid rush hour and shift change traffic at the hospital. It's a good thing I did.
I arrived at the hospital around 6:45, BARELY missing shift change! Lynette was still chatty and in good spirits. Her husband and two year old son were keeping her company. Not long after I arrived, Dad decided to grab Starbucks for breakfast. He jokingly told Lynette not to have a baby while he was gone, but she was still moving around and talking through contractions, so we weren't worried.
Lynette sat on the labor ball and I could see her demeanor change. She suddenly was struggling through contractions and decided to move back to the bed. She paged a nurse for help. I nearly told her not to worry and that I'd help her get in bed, but figured the button was already pushed. Again, it's a good thing she pushed the button.
Immediately after getting into bed, Lynette felt the urge to push. Dad was still getting Starbucks, there was one nurse in the room, in addition to me and her two year old. The nurse paged for other staff. A doctor hustled in and began washing his hands, but by that point, the baby was already out. The nurse caught her baby girl and placed her on Lynette's chest.
Lynette was given a few moments of skin to skin and allowed to delay clamping the umbilical cord, but it was soon time for baby to move to the warmer for some exams and extra help. Dad still hadn't made it back, so Lynette cut the cord herself while I took photos with her son on my hip.
Finally, Dad returned, Starbucks in hand. A nurse congratulated him before he even realized what was going on. You can see below that he was rather shocked.
I was able to accompany Dad as Arya was transferred to the NICU where she was weighed and given the help she needed. Lynette was given time to express breastmilk and blew the NICU staff away with the amount of colostrum she pumped! Then, she headed over to the NICU for some lovely bonding time.
Last I heard, Arya was improving quickly. Congratulations, Lynette and family!
You can see the video of Arya's birth story below!