This is another beautiful Las Vegas birth story that I have been dying to share. It is incredibly emotional and moving. It holds a special place in my heart because I know this beautiful little family. When they asked me to document their birth, I was just so ecstatic. I am always dying a little on the inside when people I know and love are pregnant, hoping that they will invite me into their birth space. I also understand it is a big investment and such an intimate time in life, so I don’t take it personally when I am not.
I knew Hannah and Christian’s birth story would be emotional and so full of love because of who they are and the special relationship they have.
I worked labor and delivery with Hannah at Summerlin Hospital here in Las Vegas (she is such a compassionate and intelligent nurse), and I have had the pleasure of seeing their love grow and evolve over the past few years. I also had the pleasure of documenting their engagement session so to have the opportunity to document another momentous moment in their life was so exciting! I truly believe there is no more momentous and emotional time in our lives than the birth of our children!
Hannah and Christian are the sort of couple that draws you in. They are so deeply in love, and both so full of light, you can’t help but just smile on the inside when around them.
Once again, narrowing down images in sharing their birth story was incredibly hard; there are just so many beautiful ones!
I love when families choose both film and still images of their birth. I think that the two together tell so much more than just still images can, and each has unique details and emotions.
We talked off and on as their due date approached and as we got into September decided to set a date to meet and talk about the details that were most important to them in documenting their birth, the moments that they wanted me to focus on, and their birth plans. This helps me so much in making sure I honor your birth space and wishes.
Just days before our scheduled coffee date I received a message from Hannah that her water had broken and that she would be going in to be triaged. She was five weeks early, so there was some fear mixed in with all the anticipation.
Once they were admitted, settled in, and got some rest I headed in to capture some of the earlier details of their birth story before active labor really kicked in. We hadn’t really had a chance to talk about all those details and wishes and didn’t want to arrive when she was super uncomfortable and have her make those decisions.
I feel like we captured so much of their story because I moved in and out of the room a few times throughout their labor. Hannah and Christian had decided to keep their room quiet and free of guests (which is a pretty tough task when you know all the staff on the floor you deliver). I was really impressed by their decision, and you could just feel the healthy space that they built around themselves. I did my best to move in and out of the room at different stages of labor as unobtrusively as possible to capture details and then give them space.
They had just learned some of the Spinning Babies techniques, so got to work alternating through some of the techniques.
Things moved slowly for the first day, and although Hannah’s contractions were regular and had become more intense, there was no cervical change happening. Despite this, they both stayed positive and determined to give her body time, trying to take advantage of periods of rest while they could.
She was so great at changing positions frequently, and Christian was by her side at all times, supporting and encouraging her.
That evening her OB came in to evaluate Hannah and their baby, and together they made some changes to their plan of care and continued to labor. I stepped out of the room again to give them space and time for rest. They were becoming weary and needed that time alone. If the weather is good, I will often times sleep in my car, and that is exactly what I did while giving them the space they needed. In the early morning hours, I got a message from Hannah that things were really beginning to change, and she had become much more uncomfortable; they were ready for me to come back up.
Hannah had really hoped that her dear friend Lois would deliver her, and Lois was kind enough to come in both days while Hannah was laboring to care for her. When she arrived on shift that morning, things were progressing and changing quickly.
Her OB was called for delivery, and Hannah breathed through her contractions and the urge to push with the support of Christian and her nurse.
Luckily her doctor arrived quickly since her office was next door, and they prepared for delivery.
I mean, look at them. Their delivery was so emotionally charged and beautiful.
Because he was five weeks early, the incredible NICU team at Summerlin hospital attended her delivery. After some time on mom’s chest, he was taken to the radiant warmer for further assessment and oxygen supplementation.
Caden needed oxygen to maintain his color and oxygen saturation, so the decision to take him to the nursery for further evaluation was made. I could see the emotions and disappointment on both of their faces, but they both understood and knew there was a good chance because of his prematurity, this might be the case. Caden was bundled back up and taken back to Hannah’s arms before being transported to the nursery.
When I document your birth, I plan on staying 1-2 hours after delivery to capture those first moments bonding with your baby. Some of these moments might include skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, measurements, newborn assessments, and just those precious first hours of meeting your new baby face-to-face. Once again, we talk to come up with a plan for the moments that are most important to you!
When babies are transferred to the newborn nursery or NICU unit, there are restrictions on filming and photographing inside those spaces for many important reasons. Completing your birth story is important to me, so in these instances, there are a few options to continue in telling your story; I can come back to your birth space if the baby is transferred back in, your postpartum room, or wherever you are when your baby is released. Because the restrictions in the NICU included only two people being present at Caden’s bedside, and they didn’t want to be split up (understandably) for the next series of images and footage, we decided to wait until he was released from the NICU and back home safe and sound.
Caden spent eight days in NICU before coming home.
Little Caden was still so tiny but thriving and healthy. It was such a beautiful and tender moment to capture them at home with little Caden safe and sound in their arms. I am pretty sure my heart melted right out of my body by the end of their session. It was the perfect way to end their birth story; it all felt complete.
Look how tiny he was! You all know I have a thing for dad’s hands and their babies!
Christian is an incredibly talented artist and performer. I love that they wanted to incorporate that into their session because it is a part of their lives. He had spent plenty of time singing to little Caden while on the inside, so of course, had to capture some of that at home!