A Beautifully Fast Natural Hospital Birth in
| Milly L. Birth Story
With almost every birth, mom goes through a series of plans and hopes that she wants to include in her experience. Answering questions of where to birth, how to birth, who will be present etc. But the crazy yet beautiful part of birth is how unpredictable is can be. One moment you're filling up a tub for a home birth and the next you are sitting in a hospital bed. As much as we love to plan it out and wish our plans into reality, sometimes birth, babies and bodies have a mind of their own.
The day I met Amber and Chad was pretty crazy. They had randomly called me a few days before and were due in under 5 days. They were in a bit of a panic/rush to find a new birth photographer since other options had fallen through. Amber's previous birth had been early and fast so they really had no time to wait, they just wanted to meet and get something confirmed. I came over to their home office the very next day and they confirmed on the spot.
Days went by, every morning I would wake up thinking I was missing it but Amber would text me to say all was good and still no notable contractions. So i went on with my days, did some family sessions and made sure those families knew I may have to rush off at any moment. But still Amber's due date came and went and we waited and texted almost everyday. Our local Baby Co. birth center went on a diversion earlier this year. Amber had been hoping to deliver there after having to deliver at a hospital with her first. So with each text we also hoped and prayed that Baby co. would lift their diversion just in time to let Amber birth at their center.
One evening our friends asked us out to a local Blues club. Chris and I love going out with friends but rarely find the time during the week days. But this Wednesday we were down and Chris had just finished his semester so we wanted to celebrate. Of course that was going to be the night of this little one's arrival. The moment we walked into our home after dancing with our friends and enjoying live music, I got the text from Amber that they were heading to the birth center. My mode immediately changed and I was in birth photog zone. I got changed and packed and wondered if I should wait for a follow up text. (Often I like to wait till mom gets some sort of check or conversation with their care provider since I like to be there only once active labor starts) But I included the phrase, "but let me know if things start to progress quickly on the car ride" I am so glad i said that because within about 10 minutes Amber responded with basically, "this baby is coming" I got in the car immediately.
I met them and their sweet midwife from Baby Co. in the Lobby of Wake Med Cary. (unfortunately the diversion had not been lifted at this point, but the incredible midwives of Baby Co. were still committed to caring for Amber while delivering at the hospital) I was waiting for a few minutes before they all walked in, Amber in obvious active labor and trying to move as quickly through paperwork as humanly possible.
We all rushed into the room. Chad was completely devoted, sacrificial and loving throughout every contraction. He whispered words of truth and strength to her when she needed it.
My favorite moment was when amber said, "I can't do this." and He gently replied, "you already are."
They worked together like a team and thats one of the most beautiful things to see in a birth space.
Amber was fierce and so sweet I could not handle it. She would breath through an exceptionally hard contraction and then in the short moments between smile and laugh at the random joke given by the nurse. She had such a sense of purpose and joy as she labored her daughter into the world. She was determined, the move fearlessly through her contractions and to let her body release the tension as much as possible.
That baby was in Amber's arms within 1 hour of checking into the hospital. Her contractions moved from ready to more ready to pushing all within 40 minutes of each other and she brought little Milly earth side so smoothly and gracefully! The incredible support from their midwife at Wake med Cary and their midwife from Baby co. truly blew me away. Amber was able to labor fully natural and pretty hands off. I know Amber had hoped for a birth center birth but in the end the care that surrounded her was truly perfect. She was able to feel safe with her choices which in my experience should always be an important goal for birth.
Sweet Milly was born Happy, healthy and snuggly. Amber and Chad had waited to find out the gender and when little Milly was lifted up, there was just a sweet resounding cry of, "it's Milly." Amber's reaction of joy was one of my favorites of all time, pure laughter and joy that now she had a little girl.
The day we had all first met I remember them telling me that while dating they had talked about names they would want for their children. They agreed on two names, 1 boy and one girl. Elias and Milly, and now they have both. That thought kept ringing in my head as I was photographing that first hour of all three of them together.
There story was riddled with the unpredictable beauty of birth. But Amber and Chad stayed strong and flexible in the face of changes. I was able to do my very first fusion birth video for them. I'll link it first for those who want to take a look at their story or if you want a reason to cry :P Stay tuned as well for their Fresh 48 session where little Milly meets her older brother Elias for the first time. Gosh I love this family's story so much!