A Raw and Unmedicated Birth

What an experience!!

As a mama it makes perfect sense to me to photograph one of the most important days of my life. COVID-19 hit and everything shut down not long after the last birth story I was able to be apart of, so I was beyond excited when this mama's friends' reached out and wanted to book me for her! At the time I was living in Rockford and helping my husband with renovations to our house in Grand Rapids. It was a week or two before mama's (K) due date, I had all my gear ready to go and with me anytime I went anywhere. My husband and I had talked out different scenarios on when I could get the call and had plans in place for our kiddos too. It was Saturday night and I packed up our boys to go to the house and help with some work. 11PM rolled around, the boys were asleep, we were cleaning up and getting ready for bed when we were chatting about K and how I was excited I could get the call at any moment, and as soon as I said that out loud, the AirPod in my ear started reading off a message from her, that her water broke and she was on the way to the hospital!! With butterflies in my stomach and my excitement running rampant I grabbed my gear and made my way to the hospital which was only 7 minutes away! Thankful I made a last minute call to be in Grand Rapids for the night!

There is no way to predict birth or how things are going to go so at 12:30AM I drove to the hospital and slept in the parking ramp waiting for the next call to come. 10AM hit, I had just got breakfast when she sent a text saying she was dilated to 7 and ready for me. As fast as I could possibly walk, I made my way to the delivery room, and even though she was in intense active labor I couldn't help but feel so calm and at peace. There were candles to help set the atmosphere, I could tell K was in-tune with her body, what was happening, and her breathing helped her stay in control. Her husband (T) was a saint, it truly amazed me watching him comfort, support, check in, and remind her that she's got this. Honestly I kept tearing up watching them interact and how attentive he was the entire time. Anytime she said she couldn't do it anymore he was right there to knock those negative thoughts out of her head and reassure her. Truly such a beautiful thing to witness.

Within an hour of my arrival, Baby H was on his mamas chest. I cried, they cried, everyone was smiling and crying. There's just something about being present during a birth that changes you, makes you respect and be in awe of women and what their bodies were made to do. Birth is many many things, but always a miracle and blessing.

Birth Story from H's Mama's Point of View

I started having contractions during my shift at work.. They didn't feel intense but still painful. I went home and the contractions continued. I started to time them around 5PM unsure if I was in early labor. I continued to rest, eat dinner, and then headed to bed with T. Around 10:30PM I went to the bathroom and when I stood up my water broke/started to leak. I called the midwife to let them know what was happening. We debated on when to head to the hospital since we had a 45 minute drive and didn't know what to expect as this was our first baby.

We got to the hospital just before 1AM. When they did the cervical check I was only at 3cm.... slightly discouraged because my plan was to labor at home for much longer than I did. Overall I'm happy with our decision to head to the hospital when we did because after I got into the tub, things started to progress fairly quickly.

After we got to our labor and delivery room, I tried to rest. T set up our candles and rubbed my back. I wasn't able to keep my water down but I still tried my best to stay hydrated. I spent most of my time on the yoga ball and moved to the tub once more. I continued to labor on the yoga ball until I finally moved to the bed. At this point I started to feel like I couldn't keep going. I was so exhausted and moving between different laboring positions was becoming increasingly difficult. I asked to be checked and was hopeful the answer was near.

My midwife let me know I was at 7cm.. Finally... transition. T continued to repeat my affirmations with me and encouraged me the whole time. I feel extremley lucky to have a partner like him. He stepped up in every way. Anytime I doubted myself, he was right there to reassure me that I'm strong and capable of birth. It was exactly what I needed.

From 7cm to baby on my chest was about one hour. I can't even find the words to describe what it felt like to finally see our baby boy. Overall it felt like my pregnancy went by so fast, but at the same time it felt like we had been waiting our whole lives for this moment. I'm still in shock that he's here. His birth was so empowering and challenging in the best ways.

birth documentary corewell health hospital
birth documentary corewell health hospital
birth documentary corewell health hospital
birth documentary corewell health hospital
hydrating during birth
resting during birth documentary corewell health hospital
gripping the hospital bed during active labor
active labor birth documentary
monitoring baby during labor birth documentary
monitoring baby during labor birth documentary
checking baby during labor birth documentary
husband and wife together during active labor