A Southern Hills Cesarean Birth

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.

Southern Hills hospital in Las Vegas, NV
Southern Hills hospital labor and delivery unit

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.

mother laboring in the hospital before a c-section
mother gripping side raid during contraction
lab draw before a c-section at Southern Hills

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.

leaning on husband while sitting up for an epidural
how an epidural is placed during labor
patient being wheeled to the operating room at Southern Hills
husband putting on sterile clothing before c-section
operating room for c-section
husband holding wife's hand while she is being operated on
support in the operating room during a c-section
pressure as they bring the baby out during cesarean

Having her children close together, there was still so many vivid memories from their first delivery that added a layer of emotion and fear.

baby being delivered by c-section
little loo photography at a c-section
baby at the warmer after a cesarean delivery

Their delivery was so beautiful and look at that head of hair!

important moments to capture during a c-section
baby ink footprints after delivery at Southern Hills
newborn exam after a c-section
the joy of seeing your baby for the first time

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.

father going with new baby to the nursery
father taking picture of his new baby in the nursery
newborn blood pressures after delivery
newborn details after delivery
father with baby in the nursery at Southern Hills
father wheeling baby back to the room after c-section

After Ruby was finished with her newborn exam and vitals, dad headed back to the room with her, and mom arrived shortly after.

southern hills rooming in with newborn
dad holding his daughter after delivery at southern hills hospital
mother holding her new baby at Southern HIlls hospital
bonding with your newborn after a c-section
skin to skin after a c-section
tiny details to capture after delivery
eye to eye contact with baby after delivery
father skin to skin with his new baby in the hospital
dad bonding with daughter after delivery
using framing elements in birth photography
mother holding baby with boppy pillow after c-section
tender moments between mom and newborn

Thank you so much, Hagar family, for trusting me, not once, but twice, with life’s most precious and intimate moments!

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