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From Birth To Newborn | Family Photographer Portland, Oregon

I’m hoping to blog a little bit more this year, so I thought I would start out with a birth story that ended up being about 2 weeks long and finish this story off with this mama’s newborn photos.

My beautiful friend Sarah became my friend THROUGH birth photography. A couple years back a mutual friend of ours tagged me in Sarah’s post looking for a birth photographer.  She booked me knowing full well that I am a full time teacher and that we might be cutting it close on me getting to the hospital in Oregon since it was her 3rd baby and her first two were pretty quick (Did I mention that I live up in Washington?).  The good news is, I only live about 30 minutes away from the hospital where she was giving birth.  On that occasion, Sarah called me about 15 minutes before school ended and said her water had broke. I headed straight to the hospital after work. When I arrived, she was only about 3 CM dilated, so I ran downstairs to grab food real quick. I hadn’t eaten all day and I can be known to get hangry.  By the time I got back in the room, there was a lot of commotion and Sarah was climbing in the birthing tub!  Little Lawrence was born just a couple minutes later, but I was there for everything! PHEW!

Fast forward a couple years and Sarah was now pregnant with her fifth baby: a girl named Heidi.  Sarah was due close to my winter break, so we decided to chance it!  Long story short, due to some labor pains and complications that arise with parenting 4 little children at home while being that pregnant and uncomfortable, Sarah’s midwife asked her to come in early and start an induction. Sarah had been checked earlier that week and was about 3 CM, so we all thought she would progress quickly.  When Sarah was checked at the hospital, she had REGRESSED TO 1 CM!!!!!  Poor mama.  So, we did some exercises with her doula, walked the halls, tried lunges, and then started the induction. After hours of waiting, Sarah was checked – NO PROGRESSION.  Sadly, her midwife was now off duty and the new midwife felt uncomfortable keeping Sarah in the hospital, since she was technically still too early for an induction.  We all went home, mostly sad for Sarah and that no baby had arrived.  However, the plan was that the next Tuesday, she would have her water broken and then have baby Heidi.  The plan was in place!

The next Tuesday came and the hospital was BOOKED.  They kept pushing Sarah further and further back into the afternoon for her appointment to come in. Sarah told me to wait to come in until after 3pm which worked great so I could come in after school (We were already back in session).  I came in to her room and Sarah looked a little frustrated. She still hadn’t technically been admitted and had no nurse assigned to her.  So again, I went down and got some food.  We don’t need a hangry attack!  When I got back, still no nurse and no one had stopped by to even acknowledge that Sarah had been waiting so long.  We played games and chatted a ton and finally at shift change (Around 7pm), she was assigned a blessed nurse.  From Sarah’s words:  “Let’s do this! My nurse placed the best IV I’ve ever had, not even joking, and we got my antibiotics going and some low pitocin to get a good pattern of contractions. After four hours and a little nap, the midwife came back in and we got the ball rolling.”  Dad, the doula, and I napped as well.

So, they broke her water at 12:35pm and that next hour FLEW by with contractions getting stronger and stronger and the anticipation of the baby coming!  They put water in her birthing tub and once the temp was good, Sarah climbed in and could already feel pressure.  The midwife told her she wasn’t dilated enough, but Sarah KNOWS her body.  She screamed to us that the baby was coming and she was right!  At 2:22am, little Heidi was born. She didn’t cry and her heart rate wasn’t great (due to going through such a dramatic event so quickly), so they whisked her away to the warmer and got her vitals up. It was an amazing event to witness.

After a couple more hugs and photos with the new addition to the family, I went home for a little cat nap and woke up a couple hours later to go teach middle schoolers.  What a whirlwind!!!! And less than a week later, the entire family came over to my house for Heidi’s newborn photos.  I’m telling you, this mama is a ROCKSTAR!!!!

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