Surrounded by Support
If I was asked to close my eyes and imagine a supported, autonomous hospital birth, this birth would be exactly what I envisioned.
When I arrived, music was playing and my client was quietly working through contractions. She was on a birth ball at the foot of the bed, using the bed to give her upper body some rest. Her doula and her her husband were rubbing her back, offering counter-pressure, and quietly encouraging her. I snapped photos of the connection, love, and peace in the room.
Contractions became more intense not to long after I arrived, and the midwife made her appearance. The midwife was gentle and warm and acknowledged how hard she was working and how much strength she was using to lean into her contractions. She began to vocalize more and more and even let out some loud roars. This is where I often capture some of the most raw, emotion filled images. The anticipation and the strength of my client and her team was so palpable in this images.
After some very intense contractions, my client decided to get an epidural. The doula and myself were not allowed in the room, so we waited outside. It felt like a very long wait, but after a bit we were able to return to our duties.
After returning to the room, things were much calmer. My client was no longer experiencing such pain and was able to be more present. A quick check showed she was fully dilated and ready to push. It's no wonder she had been experiencing such pain and pressure, as she was likely in the last stages of transition just before getting the epidural.
A few pushes and the midwife and dad caught the baby and laid it on mom's chest. She was born into such a peaceful, supportive environment.
Mom and dad enjoyed a solid golden hour of skin-to-skin contact with their amazing doula by their side.