I know, I know. But Kelly, you don’t normally photograph births. Especially hospital births. Its true, I really don’t unless its a special case. The on-call lifestyle is so stressful and I’d die if I missed one. And hospital births trigger my own birth trauma so its has to be a REALLY special case.
Well, if there were ever a birth I’d drive an hour for (or three, she said she felt a little like the Boy Who Cried Wolf =P), its this one. Not only is Emily a sweet, sweet girl with a very supportive husband, she was a gestational carrier for an awesome couple with their own little Brady Bunch. Surrogacy was their way of having a baby together. Or TWO!
Baby A, or Jerry, named after his boisterous and funny dad. And since Baby A was actually a “Baby J” it only stood to reason they needed a K name for “Baby K”, and Kaysen was the perfect choice.
The day I got the call that it was time, I raced up to the Woodlands from the other side of town. I was so excited.
Since this poor mama had been on bed rest and at like 4 cm for about two months I knew it would go super fast! Well, about 18 hours later this poor worn out thing (though you’d never know, talk about grace and control!) was sent back upstairs. Since she wasn’t quite term the doctors didn’t want to encourage these babies. Though at 36 weeks I know SHE was ready!
Fast forward another week or so, and I get “the” call. I know it’ll be lightening fast. After all, its been what, a month?! that she’s been in technically active labor.
A few days later I text Em to see if her doctor has talked about any induction measures and she tells me they’ve all just decided that the next morning is going to be an epidural (so she can birth her head-down twin naturally and her side-lying twin by Cesarean if the OB is unable to flip him after the first baby comes) and Pitocin. For those of you who don’t know, Pitocin without an epidural is like Medieval torture. So that epidural served its function quite well!
Em slept well during her Pitocin drip and was able to relax and progress. She got some very regular and strong contraction!
We all noticed and the nurse decided to do an exam. “Okay! Don’t push, I’m calling the doctor!”
Since Kaysen was transverse, or side-lying, he’d need to be externally flipped by the doctors in order to be birthed vaginally. If not, he would need to be birthed via Cesarean birth. If that happened it would need to be immediate so it was decided that she would deliver in the OR.
The nurse ran in and threw scrubs at the parents and Emily’s husband Gabe.
Waiting for Em to be prepped.
Pushing like the champ she is!
Baby Jerry is here!
And then a while later, a true miracle happened. Baby Kaysen flipped head down all on his own! Yay for no C-section! But then his cord prolapsed. That is almost always immediate emergency surgery. Fortunately his heart rate stayed stable and Mama Emily was able to get that little guy out with minimal help from the vacuum (the smallest I’d seen! Like a tiny little hand pump kind? So cool!) and he came splashing out! He was a little quiet and grunty, but his APGAR perked up from a 7 to a 9 (to match up to his big bro’s double nines) in no time!
(Don’t mind the grain, it was nearly completely black in there for Kaysen’s delivery for some reason.)
A little skin action for these precious dudes <3
Together at last.