The birth of Adeline is a belly-to-home birth story that captures so much more than the birth of their sweet girl. It captures this family’s love for each other and this mom’s determination and strength.
Kaitlyn found me when searching for a birth photographer here in Las Vegas. Her goals were to capture everything about this stage of their lives, from the anticipation of awaiting their little girl to their birth at our local birth center, Serenity Birth Center, to bringing her home with an in-home newborn session. More and more families have chosen this birth package over the last few years. The Whole Story birth package includes maternity, birth, and newborn sessions. It captures so much more than just the day your baby arrives. After all, there is so much more to birth stories than the day you deliver!
Be sure also to check out their beautiful birth film at the end. It perfectly demonstrates the beauty and grace she brought their sweet baby into this world.
Getting to know clients is vital in being prepared to capture the moments most important to you, so face-to-face meetings are always included in my birth packages. It is the perfect time to hear your wishes and hopes and get a feel for your personalities and family dynamics. It also helps to make the day of delivery more comfortable for everyone. Working alongside families during maternity sessions also helps as I get to see their dynamics in action, and it adds a layer of trust before delivery day. I left this maternity session even more excited to document their birth because their love for each other was tender and sweet. Their laid-back personalities and the way they interacted made it evident that their connection would be a highlight of their birth story.
Kaitlyn had an estimated due date of December 29th, which added an exciting layer of anticipation of whether she would deliver in 2022 or 2023 or even on New Year’s Eve. She is a registered nurse who has not only worked as a travel nurse but now works for a travel nurse company. She worked hard both in a staff position on the floor and as a coordinator until the week before her due date and was ready to meet her baby girl. But, their sweet girl was nice and cozy on the inside and waited until 41 weeks and three days to make her grand appearance.
Kaitlyn labored for days before finally bringing their sweet girl earthside. Contractions began after an exam in the office with their midwife and were consistently off and on and uncomfortable, but not enough to be admitted into the birth center. Finally, two days later, they changed and became consistent and intense. She was admitted to the birth center, and I was called in the early morning hours to head their way.
Their amazing doula Regina Roy, was with them, and I was so excited to finally meet her in person.
Kaitlyn was most comfortable in the water, and their birth space was quiet and serene, with Jason and Regina diligently by her side, very in tune with what she needed and when she needed it. She was tired after contracting as long as she had and rested as much as possible between contractions.
After a few hours, her contractions became a bit irregular again, and so an exam was done. She had made minimal change, and so the decision was made for her to go back home and hopefully get some rest while her body continued to work. They were, of course, disappointed.
There was little rest at home, and Kaitlyn remained uncomfortable but determined. Finally, two days later, things changed, and the intensity and frequency finally increased, and they returned to the birth center, this time with significant cervical change.
Kaitlyn’s demeanor had also changed. Her determination was awe-inspiring. She remained turned inward where she needed to be to stay focused, and Regina was consistently by her side. Their trust was evident, which helped Kaitlyn’s trust in her direction and suggestions for labor positions. Although exhausted, Jason remained by her side and calm and grounded throughout the process. I was impressed with how calm and supportive he stayed throughout, always trusting Kaitlyn’s body and the process. This is a perfect case of how important it is that your birth team believes in you and supports you. That energy becomes palpable and, I believe, can sway outcomes.
The last stages of labor required Kaitlyn to dig deep and allow her body the rest it needed between contractions. Although she was fully dilated for hours, the urge to push and fetal descent was a slow process, just like the rest of her labor, but she remained determined and committed. Finally, at one point, her amazing midwife, April Clyde, and student midwife, Alexyis Bonilla, encouraged her to sit on the toilet in hopes it would aid in fetal descent. There is a reason they call the toilet the “dilation station.” It is often the key to opening the pelvis up to allow for fetal rotation and descent, and it finally did the trick. Kaitlyn went from working so hard to her baby’s head right there! They quickly assisted her into the tub (where she wanted to deliver) just in time for her to deliver her sweet baby girl.
The pride on pure joy on Jason’s face and the pure love and joy of Kaitlyn as she finally held her sweet girl in her arms pretty much had us all in tears.
As Kaitlyn was showered and assisted back to bed, dad had some precious skin-to-skin time with his new baby girl; it was so tender and beautiful. He just soaked it all up.
And this beautiful soul, Regina. I had heard so many things about her, and I could 1000% see why her clients and the birth community love her. She is a blessing and holds such a special gift. She was so patient and connected with Kaitlyn, and so knowledgeable of the labor process.
Newborn sessions with The Whole Package clients are always a little bittersweet. We’ve communicated so often in the weeks leading up to their birth, and to be a part of such an intimate and important time in their lives always leaves a lasting connection. To see that sweet reward in their arms is the best. These two were utterly smitten with their sweet Adeline, and I loved that they included their fur babies.
And finally, their birth story in motion. The emotions and beauty of this period always carry over much better in film.
Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
This birth of Iliana is a beautiful birth story from St. Rose San Martin Hospital here in Las Vegas.
This family has trusted me in one form or another with bringing each of their four children into this world.
It all began when Courtney inquired about maternity and newborn sessions for their oldest daughter. She has always valued images and their importance in preserving memories. With their first baby, I was able to document both their maternity and newborn sessions. Being a little uncomfortable in her post-pregnancy skin after their first, she was very hesitant about being in their newborn images. It took a little nudging on my part and she was so glad later that SHE was in them too!
By the time their third baby was on the way, she had come to see, hold, and cherish all these memories even the ones where she might not have been comfortable. I was so excited when she reached out to have me document their third birth. There is nothing more vulnerable than those moments surrounding the birth of your baby, and I loved that she was willing to embrace it all!
By the time they found out their fourth and last baby was on the way, she knew she wanted it all; maternity, birth, fresh 48, and newborn. There is something so special about those last babies. Of course, all babies are special but I remember with my last just wanting it all to move slower, to enjoy even the smallest of moments, and just wishing I could bottle it all up.
Courtney had gone super fast with her last delivery, and so we anticipated the same with this one. In fact, with baby number three we were in the hospital for less than an hour, and anesthesia didn’t even make it in time for her to get an epidural. Because I live a good distance away from St. Rose San Martin, I was on hyper-alert and just two days before she delivered we had a little false alarm. It is not uncommon at all, even with previous deliveries! I always tell my clients that I would rather have 10 false alarms than an “oh no! come now”! When it was finally time and they said they were on their way to the hospital, I booked it as quickly as I could to get there. As I was pulling into the parking lot, her husband updated me that she was 7 cms and moving fast. I had to get past the COVID protocols up front and rush up to the unit. When I arrived they were quickly admitting her and her doctor was notified. It was pretty intense at this point.
Courtney was working so hard with her contractions and staying so calm in the midst of the chaos going on around her. There was COVID testing to be done, IVs to start, labs to draw, and the room to set up. Aaron stayed right by her side fanning her and maintaining a sense of calm with his reassuring words.
Within 20 minutes of my arrival, it was already time! I think we were all sweating at this point just so happy to have everyone made it, including her doctor. She brought their sweet girl into this world so quickly and so powerfully!
Iliana’s birth happened so quickly it took a bit of time to take it all in! I love these sweet and tender moments in the hour or two following birth. It is so surreal to process that this tiny human that you carried for so many months is now in your arms. Aaron is such a great dad and so hands-on with his children, it is beautiful to witness.
Because COVID hospital restrictions were still in place siblings were unable to come to meet their new baby sister for their fresh 48 session. Instead, we decided I would capture them meeting her for the first time at home. It was the sweetest. All three of Iliana’s siblings were completely enamored with her.
It is always a little bittersweet to come to newborn sessions with these families that book ‘The Whole Story’ with me. By this point, I have become so invested, and have communicated often with them.
It is fun to see how everyone has settled and how much newborns have changed in those short days and weeks. There has been some rest and routines are starting to develop, but life still has that slower pace which is so nice.
This sweet little one is already so loved and I don’t think between mom, dad, and her three siblings, she is loved on and held often.
Their birth story wouldn’t be complete without their beautiful film. There is something special about seeing all these tender moments on film, even more so than a still image can capture.
Friday, February 3rd, 2023
I’m excited to share The Birth of Ruby Ray, a beautiful cesarean birth at Southern Hills Hospital here in Las Vegas.
What makes this birth story extra special is that it is the second birth I’ve had the privilege of documenting for this family. This is another COVID birth story with so many unknowns. This mama advocated hard for me to be present for their birth and put in so many hours and hard work, making sure she contacted and talked to the people she needed to in order to make it happen. Even in the weeks preceding their birth, we weren’t 100% sure I would be able to attend, but she did not give up because it was important to them.
Sometimes it takes families a previous birth experience to realize how important having these moments captured is to them. Having faced infertility with their first, they knew they wanted their births captured. Dad is an incredibly talented photojournalist, and so, of course, they truly understood the value of documenting time and moments.
Their first delivery ended in a cesarean section, and luckily, I was allowed in the OR for that delivery. Facing postpartum depression and anxiety after that delivery, Sarah often shared that the images and video footage we had captured of their birth carried them through many hard days and nights and brought some healing into their journey. This time she was more prepared and able to be proactive in preparing for those emotions knowing she would likely experience it with their second. What I love about Sarah is her transparency and vulnerability in sharing her struggles and victories. She is passionate and advocates for what she believes in, and I admire that!
I’m grateful to Southern Hills nursing staff, nurse management, her OB, and anesthesia for allowing me into their birth space. Being allowed into the operating room isn’t always guaranteed and depends on multiple factors; I am grateful to be trusted in this space.
Be sure to read through to the end to see their beautiful birth story in film.
Having finally gotten the approval to be present in the operating room for her delivery just a week ahead, I was ready and excited for her surgery on their scheduled date. I woke up to a text from her telling me that she had started laboring in the early morning hours and was heading in a bit early. I quickly finished getting ready and rushed to meet them there.
By the time they arrived, her contractions had gotten intense, and she was pretty uncomfortable. A cervical exam revealed that she was significantly dilated, so they had tough decisions on whether to proceed with the scheduled cesarean or attempt a trial of labor. There were many factors they considered in this tough choice, and they decided, along with their OB, to move forward with the c-section. So, her prep for surgery was completed, and an epidural was administered to give her some pain relief before surgery.
Having her children close together, there was still so many vivid memories from their first delivery that added a layer of emotion and fear.
Their delivery was so beautiful and look at that head of hair!
Why they continued with repair after delivery, dad was able to accompany their sweet girl to the nursery. There were so many tender moments there.
After Ruby was finished with her newborn exam and vitals, dad headed back to the room with her, and mom arrived shortly after.
Thank you so much, Hagar family, for trusting me, not once, but twice, with life’s most precious and intimate moments!
Wednesday, November 9th, 2022
I am so excited to finally share this beautiful Las Vegas home birth story.
Once again, I am behind on my blog posts, but I am committed to getting each birth story up, not only because they are beautiful and full of emotion but also because each is unique and special.
What I love about this birth story is that there are so many beautiful elements and layers of support woven in from her husband who never left her side, to her sweet pups that were nearby at all times patiently waiting, and her midwives who held and supported her when she began to doubt she could.
Be sure to follow along to the end to see their beautiful and powerful birth story in film.
Deanna called me on a Saturday morning to let me know that she had been contracting since before sunrise and that they were staying consistent as well as increasing in intensity. The funny thing is that she had a feeling that this particular day would be her son’s delivery date, and she was right! She told me she would call me back when she was ready for me, and I got that call just a few hours later. So mid-morning, I joined them.
She was doing so well moving around to whatever position she felt most comfortable, and that changed from standing, to the birthing ball, to rocking on the bed. You could feel the anticipation in the room. She was able to talk through her contractions, and we had some sweet conversations about how they met and their history together; I love hearing families stories about how it all began.
Her midwife team arrived early afternoon and got right to making sure she was hydrated and had some healthy nutrition on board, as well as checking on baby and mom’s vital signs. It was such a beautiful early summer day, so they decided to try and get things moving and went for a walk.
Her contractions did increase in intensity with the physical activity, and she began to turn inward more, and we all gave her the space to labor. You can feel that shift when moms have a strong birth team; it is a very sacred feeling when the room begins to ground itself, and the chatter fades to quiet support.
She spent some time in the water and tried to find the most comfortable position for her. After some time in the water, she decided to get out and spend some time on the birthing ball she had found comfort on earlier. By this point, it was getting a bit harder to rest between her contractions, but she continued to stay focused and grounded through each wave.
By now it was early evening and she was moving into the transition stage of labor. Her contractions were coming closer together, and she leaned into her support team. I have seen mothers begin to doubt themselves during this stage of labor; there is often so much going on physically between intense contractions, nausea, shaking, and pressure. She began to doubt herself and her husband, and midwives were there to physically and verbally support her with position changes and encouraging periods of rest. This stage lasted late into the night, and this mama was so exhausted.
By now, she was feeling pressure and the urge to push and spent some time in this stage of labor, and finding a comfortable position was increasingly difficult. There is a reason they call the toilet ‘the dilation station’; it is often where women instinctually go with that intense pelvic pressure, and sitting on the toilet helps to open the pelvis and allow the baby to come down. When her sweet babe decided to come, it happened so quickly that she only had time to get to the space directly outside her bathroom.
Because of the baby’s position and he was delivered, there was some perineal tearing and quite a bit of blood loss. Poor Deanna was not feeling well at this point and was trying hard to enjoy and savor every moment. Because of the difficulty keeping her vital signs stable, they decided to transfer to the hospital.
Luckily, I was able to come and document a sweet Fresh session for them when they were all home safe and sound.
Thursday, October 27th, 2022
I am so excited to finally share this beautiful Las Vegas home birth story!
This mama found me in her online search for a birth photographer. Keline had not documented her first birth, and as with so many moms realized after that experience how much meaning having those memories captured can hold. She also had a hospital birth with her first and planned a home birth this time around, so this would be a new experience on multiple levels. She also booked ‘The Whole Story’ package with me, including maternity, birth, and newborn sessions. These are by far my favorite because I get to witness so much more than the birth of your baby, I get a deeper peek into the dynamics, love, and unique characteristics of each family. There are so many beautiful layers to birth, and I love capturing more of each family’s stories through this package.
Keline had pretty quick labor with her first so we knew when active labor kicked in it had the potential to progress quickly. Four days after her due date and after an exam in the office things really started picking up with her contractions. She had been experiencing some labor signs in the days leading up to her labor, but nothing consistent. She was great at updating me on progress and what was happening with her body. We texted back and forth as she updated me and within minutes of telling me things weren’t progressing too much yet, I got another text asking me to come now. So, I grabbed my bags and headed out.
When I arrived, things were moving really quickly. She was already feeling intense pressure and the urge to push, and her tub was still being set up even as she was getting in. Luckily, the birth team was all present including her midwife Sarah, her husband, sister, and daughter, all there to support and hold her.
The plan was for dad to catch the baby, so he got right in the tub with her coaching her through contractions with encouraging words and supporting pressure.
I have seen so often that period when moms question whether they can really do it. In fact, it is quite common in the transition stage of labor and the baby makes its way down to doubt yourself. Keline stayed so strong and committed even through the intensity of it all.
When little Angelo finally came down, he did so quickly! Both Keline and Ashton delivered him up into Keline’s arms. Their birth is one of the most beautiful and emotional births I’ve documented. Their faces totally say it all. Big sister moved in and out of the area and didn’t stay for too long each time, but when sweet Angelo made his appearance, she was right there. It was the sweetest thing ever.
One of my favorite things about homebirths is the family-centered care and vibe. It has such a natural feel and provides so much space for families to hold, bond with, and get to know their babies. Those first hours are honored and supported, which is so beautiful to witness.
It is always so fun to come back for newborn sessions, especially for my birth clients. It is also a bit bittersweet. I get to see so much of the story come full circle and get to bear witness to so much strength and beauty, and then to see families thriving after it all and so smitten by their new babies. It is seriously the best!
Be sure to follow along to the end to see their beautiful birth film. You’ll need some tissues especially with the tender moments between this big sister and her new baby brother.
Thursday, May 26th, 2022
This beautiful birth story took place in this family’s home, born into the arms of those that love her the most.
When I began my photography business in Las Vegas in 2011 (I just celebrated ten years!), it felt impossible to build a solid clientele while creating a brand in which I could stand out in such a competitive field. I began my business working with newborns and their families, a specialty that evolved organically from working with families for many years as a labor and delivery nurse. What drew me into newborn photography was the same core desire that drove me into nursing and finally into birth photography during what I believe is life’s most intimate and life-changing time. I’ve worked with families bringing new life into this world for over 21 years now in one capacity or another. There are still so many times that I find myself in tears and so grateful that this is what I get to do. Its blessings are never lost on me.
What is better than all of that? When families come back to me year after year and baby after baby, and I see them grow as a family, that is seriously the best and reminds me that my years of hard work and dedication have paid off!
It is always a privilege to document birth stories and be trusted in my client’s birth space with once-in-a-lifetime moments, moments that cannot be redone. That privilege is a heavy weight to bear, one that I don’t take lightly. But, to be trusted with a family’s birth story more than once is heaven!
They had delivered their first two in the hospital. Although their hospital experiences were good, they wanted to be home surrounded by family with their daughter nearby, which wasn’t possible during the pandemic restrictions within hospitals. She sought dual-track care and committed to delivering at home only if things were going well, and she was a good candidate for a homebirth. After interviewing multiple midwives, they connected with Marvelys Lopez and Kim Trower of Sweet Beginnings Midwifery here in Las Vegas.
In early January, mom went into labor alone in the middle of the night. I got the call that the contractions that had been coming off and on for weeks without any regularity had finally changed and had become regular in pattern and were increasingly uncomfortable. So I gathered my things and quickly headed out the door.
This is the second birth I’ve attended with this birth team, and this special touch of braiding her patient’s hair while laboring touched my heart both times. It was a beautiful mix of physical touch and thoughtfulness that helped both moms feel more confident and ready to meet their babies.
Although this was their third baby, this one was not their fastest labor; getting this sweet baby to rotate required a lot of position changes and movement, and both mom and her midwives were so patient and dedicated.
When the baby finally decided to come, she came fast! This mama barely made it out of the bathroom and almost to the bed, and she was here!
The timing could not have been more perfect because by now, it was morning, and big sister was waking up. She was a bit unsure at first about this new baby in their home but quickly warmed up, and we captured the most adorable moments, be sure to watch their video!
And finally, their beautiful birth story is told so well in film.
Monday, September 6th, 2021
This beautiful pandemic birth story took place at Summerlin Hospital.
One of my 2020 highlights while in the COVID-19 pandemic was documenting this beautiful family’s second birth story.
To say that the restrictions accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic have affected my ability to document life’s most important moments for families is a major understatement.
Having documented this family’s first birth, the idea of missing the opportunity with their second was stressful for all of us, and we waited on pins and needles in the weeks and months leading up to their due date, completely unsure of how things would look and whether it would even be an option. Luckily, by the time their due date came along, our cases and hospital capacity here in Nevada were looking much better and because I was certifying as a doula, I had the privilege of being able to attend while doula privileges were allowed. I will forever be grateful for that opportunity.
Be sure to read end to end to see their beautiful birth story in video!
Hannah and Christian are one of my favorite couples. They have a unique bond and a relationship that draws you in and makes you want to be in their presence. They naturally love each other and wear their emotions beautifully on the outside. They are also reserved and very private in many senses; being in their birth space both times felt almost reverent. Hannah was strong enough to set healthy boundaries and expectations around both birth experiences and voice her wishes; in both of their births, I worked my hardest to honor that space.
So many elements of Hannah’s labor were so similar to her first, from the time of day she labored to the way her labor progressed. She was fortunate enough to have the same room as her first delivery and her dear friend and fellow nurse as her labor nurse.
With both labors, they used many of the methods they had learned from the Spinning Babies techniques, and Christian was right in tune with knowing which one to help her with as she labored.
Their sweet girl did not want to rotate and come down, which prolonged her labor, even with all her dedication to position changes. Finally, she came down, and it was time!
Just like their previous birth, once she decided to come, it unraveled quickly, and they weren’t sure her doctor would make it in time, but also, just like last time, she did! And just like that- their sweet baby girl was here!
After cutting the cord and skin-to-skin, their sweet baby girl went to the radiant warmer for assessment and her newborn exam.
Quickly she was right back in her mama’s arms for more skin-to-skin and initial breastfeeding. Because their last delivery was preterm and their son transferred to the NICU, this period was both special and incredibly emotional for them.
And finally, their beautiful birth story film!
Tuesday, March 16th, 2021
‘By Her Side’ were the first words that came to mind thinking back on their birth story. There was not a moment that Brianne was not surrounded with love and support as she brought her precious Emerson earthside. You’ll see it all through her birth images and birth story film (be sure to check it out at the end of this post). I am excited to finally share this beautiful and special birth story.
This birth story is extra special because Brianne is my sweet friend and fellow birth photographer and artist behind Brianne Hidalgo Photos + Films here in Las Vegas. We have been backups for each other for the past year and have changed, and have had so many wonderful conversations and meetings of the minds on how to best serve our community and support each other. She has such a smart business sense and is community-minded, not to mention incredibly talented. I was so happy to have found her. So, when she asked me to document her own birth, I was ecstatic!
Brianne had delivered in the hospital with her daughter. She was excited about the opportunity to deliver at home with one of our local midwives Sherry Hopkins of Well Rounded Mama. Emily Espinosa a certified doula with Well Rounded Mama was her certified doula and was so in tune with Brianne and was so attentive and professional.
As it seems to happen most often, Brianne went into labor during nighttime. Right before she let me know that her water had broken and her contractions were irregular but becoming more and more consistent and would call when they became more regular and intense. Just a few hours later she called me to come on over! Since I live on the completely opposite side of town, I got ready and headed out immediately, arriving just after midnight.
Once I arrived, Brianne’s contractions intensified pretty quickly, yet she remained so focused and determined. Her husband and daughter stayed by her side, providing physical support and words of encouragement. It was so cute when her daughter even directed her to breathe through her contractions.
Brianne was so close, and to assist in the rotation of her baby, her birth team assisted her out of the tub and to her bed and side-lying. The lights were dimmed for rest.
The movement and position change was just what she needed and pretty quickly she had the urge to push. Things moved pretty quickly at this point and after just a few pushes, her sweet baby was in her arms.
At 0318 with her family by her side, Brianne delivered this sweet boy.
One of the things I love most about home births is the postpartum period after delivery. I love seeing how comfortable moms are at home in their beds, with their family members by their sides, with no rushed bonding or timelines. It feels so relaxed and natural.
And, finally, their birth story film. I love seeing birth stories through video; it adds such a beautiful element and shows emotion and moments that can’t be as fully captured in still images.
Thank you so much, Hidalgo family, for trusting me with your birth story!
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
There are so many fears and doubts that can hold people back from documenting their birth. I understand so many of those fears and doubts.
Birth is one of life’s most intimate and life-changing moments we experience. You are vulnerable and at your rawest. I would argue that this is why you should document your birth story.
Birth is made up of moments that change us at our very core, moments that cannot be relived or redone. It is also one of the most emotional times in our lives. It can become hazy and fade quickly amidst the loss of sleep, physical changes, and fleeting memories.
Emily found me after seeing a birth story shared on social media and was immediately interested! She says that she hadn’t really considered documenting her birth until she saw this post, and then saw my name mentioned in the thread as a local birth photographer and videographer. She reached out to me, and I am so glad that she did!
One of Emily’s main drives in wanting to document her birth was the fact that her family lives out of the country. Emily and Daniel met while he was serving in the Air Force in Europe. Her family is all still overseas, and wanting to have a way to share their birth with her family was important to her. (Be sure to see their beautiful birth film at the end of the post!)
There was much anticipation and excitement in the months and weeks approaching their birth, and they were so happy to have a way to share that with family and friends who could not be by their sides.
As Daniel is still on active duty, their birth would take place at Mike O’Callaghan Hospital at Nellis Air Force Base here in Las Vegas. Because it is a military hospital, it was necessary for them to arrange clearance for me onto the base. This was the perfect opportunity for us to meet in person and have a nice coffee date (I meet all my birth clients before their birth either in person or via FaceTime). We talked about what was most important to her and Daniel, the types of images and footage they were most interested in, what her biggest fears and concerns were, and I got to see exactly where I needed to go when the big day came.
As Emily passed her due date, an induction of labor was set up.
One of Emily’s wishes was to tell the whole story of their birth experience to share with her family and friends. So, we decided that I would come as she was being admitted to the unit and capture some of the early details of checking in and getting settled, and then would head home and wait for active labor before returning. That way, they could get the rest they needed, all the while adding additional details to their birth story.
This was my first experience at our military hospital, and I was so impressed by their staff and the beautiful experience they gave Emily and Daniel. As a retired labor nurse of 19 years at another local hospital, I am always curious about how different care might be in other facilities. I do have to say each hospital has its own vibe and subtle differences. I think Nellis often gets a bad rap because it is a military hospital, but I have to say I walked away from this experience in awe of the care they provided this family.
After they were all settled in and the plan of care discussed and initiated, I stepped out and went home to get some rest and await their call for my return. In the early morning hours, Emily let me know that she had progressed and had an epidural placed for pain relief. It was the perfect time for me to head back, be close by, and be ready to document more of their story.
It had been almost 12 hours since their induction began, and Emily hadn’t really gotten much sleep but had received pain relief with her epidural placement, so she was able to finally squeeze in a small nap and some games with Daniel. It was a fun way to pass the time.
I love when clients bring personal items to keep at their bedside. It adds such a personal element and something beautiful to focus on. Emily kept a picture of her mother, who is no longer with her, at her bedside.
As the morning wore on, Emily became more and more uncomfortable and the staff did their best to keep her comfortable between position changes and adjustments to her epidural.
Even with the return of discomfort and the hours passed with no cervical change, Emily and Daniel remained positive and patient, trusting the process. I was really in awe of how strong Emily was. She kept such a beautiful attitude through it all.
As Emily labored through another shift change with still not much cervical change, her night shift nurse came in and advocated for Emily, trying everything she could to help her baby rotate. Her advocacy and interventions were just what Emily needed at this stage, and she quickly progressed to complete dilation and was soon ready to push.
Emily was a rock star who worked hard to deliver baby Daniel. Thank goodness this last stage was relatively quick after all those hours of laboring. There was some distress upon delivery, so baby Daniel was quickly taken to the radiant warmer for assessment and stabilization.
Daniel and Emily’s birth team were so coordinated and capable and worked seamlessly to assess and stabilize Daniel so that he could quickly return to his mama’s chest for skin-to-skin.
Finally, Emily had in her arms the baby she had worked so hard for, waited so patiently for, and anticipated for so long.
There was so much story, emotion, and intimate details throughout Emily and Daniel’s birth story, it is one of my favorites to date. So grateful to have been trusted in capturing it.
Nothing captures the emotions and beauty in birth better than video, and I love how beautiful their birth story is in film.
Sunday, June 7th, 2020
It’s an honor that you let me capture yours.