It was early hours on the 1st of February that I got the call to come down to the hospital. Tiffany was in labour! When I arrived, she was walking down the hallways, handling rather mighty contractions. She and her partner Michael were incredibly well connected, and she leaned into him for every contraction that came at her. He knew just where to touch and hold to be the best possible support he could be. The shower proved to be immensely helpful to Tiffany for a while... especially with the nozzle being aimed right up against her lower belly where she was feeling the pain at the time.
Things progressed quite quickly, and the couple found themselves back in the hospital room where Tiffany had increasingly intense pain in her lower back due to her baby moving down and against her spine. She received some help from the nitrous gas that was available at the bedside, as well as some fentanyl which helped take a bit of the edge off of her intense back labor pains. Tiffany was so strong. But as the night progressed, she grew more and more tired - both physically (she had had a busy day the day before, being a mom of 2 young boys, and hadn't had much rest prior to going into labor that night) as well as tired from the back-to-back contractions that were giving her such intense pain in her lower belly and back. Her waters had not yet ruptured, and we all had a feeling that as soon as they would rupture, her baby would be born immediately.
Well, as Tiffany moved through the final moments of her intense labor, her nurse (a wonderful, intuitive, experienced nurse we all really loved!) offered to check her, to give her some much needed encouragement. You will note that in one photo, the hand is that of the nurse, checking Tiffany and realizing that she was fully dilated and that baby was *right there* with bulging membranes. The next photo, which quite literally was taken meer seconds after the nurse's check, shows the doctor's ONE hand guiding her baby out (I say ONE, because he didn't have the time to put on his other glove - he guided her fast-moving baby out one-handed onto the bed). What had happened was her waters ruptured while the nurse was checking, and as soon as the waters ruptured, baby proceeded to slide right out - this is no exaggeration! Tiffany was on her bed, and so, baby had a soft and safe surface to land on, but it was still quite dramatic to see her baby descend so, so quickly! We were all relieved that the doctor had arrived and was ready to receive baby right then and there, albeit one-handed - otherwise her nurse would have caught him, and I'm sure it would not have been the first time for this wonderful seasoned nurse. Still, everyone likes things to fall into place at times like these, and they certainly did in Tiffany's case!
Tiffany immediately had skin-to-skin contact with her baby, and had the most beautiful placental birth... it was so clear and easy to see, and everyone was so very happy, tired and healthy. First latches were successful and she was finally able to rest her poor tired body.
I was so happy for Tiffany that after those difficult hours of all that intense pain, she didn't really have to even push her baby out, because he arrived solely on his own. It was a beautiful balancing out of intense prolonged pain followed by almost instant relief on the part of this brave, strong woman.
This was such a beautiful hospital birth - where Tiffany got the help that she needed - on her own terms, received wonderful care from a committed and compassionate team of nurses and her speedy delivery was handled swiftly and competently by the obstetrician on call. Of course her partner Michael was instrumental in offering her the emotional support that she needed, and he was so beautifully sweet with his son after his birth. I appreciate Tiffany and Michael and their openness to allow me to share their birth story like this. These are deeply intimate photos and I share them with the utmost reverence for their personal and unique experience.
I hope that you find inspiration, education, and empowerment in the following visuals accompanying the story above.
Whether you plan on a hospital vaginal birth, a surgical birth, a homebirth, a freebirth, or a birthcentre birth - I would be honoured to document your experience. I believe that all birth is amazing and everyone experiencing this journey is beautiful and powerful and fascinating. If you're thinking about it, please connect with me and tell me about yourself. I'd love to hear from you.