There are few moments in life this fast paced, that take you this much by surprise. Where after the adrenaline high, you can’t believe it just happened to you. This is their story. Be sure to watch the video as well as browse through the photos as mom tells what happened from her perspective.
Ben’s parents were already at the hospital for an induction. Last checked, she was 2 cm dilated and not in active labour at all. The induction medication hadn’t even begun. I normally come when a client is in active labour as this early period could be slowed down by my presence. I texted with dad who told me we would touch base in an hour. I texted to see how things were going. Heard nothing for about 10 minutes and just had this gut feeling. I threw on my scrubs. My gear was already at the house and my childcare had been called in. I knew it would be today just not sure when.
Dad texted back something like, “Doctor says complete.”
Utter disbelief. What was he talking about? She wasn’t even in labour. This was a first baby. Complete as in completely dilated and at a 10? Maybe dad wasn’t familiar with the terms.
I put my keys in my pocket.
He wrote back something like, “He says ready to push.”
I screamed at my childcare “I gotta go, bye, I’m walking out, you are on duty, bye” and walked right to the car. I was driving away a minute later.
The drive had my heart pumping like never before. I knew this could go either way, some first time moms push for one to two hours so I might have time. Some deliver with in a couple pushes. I parked in exactly 20 minutes from when I walked out my door (went back and checked all my text time stamps).
I ran up to maternity and heard a baby crying from a delivery room. My heart sank. I knew.
He was laying on her chest and it was the first natural birth that ever beat me to it!
This was a precipitous labor, which is defined as a labor that lasts no more than three hours from onset of regular contractions to delivery. Maybe you could call hers ultra-precipitous?
The room no less, was full of peace, and with in the first minute of being there I began shooting. The looks of disbelief and utter joy were plastered all over their faces.
I knew just because the moment of delivery was missed doesn’t mean there isn’t an incredible story unfolding right before my eyes that I was hired to capture. I really pride myself in being a storyteller not just a photographer who gets a few good shots. The story was there to be woven, to help the parents process, and for Ben to be celebrated… and I’m so glad they are delighted with the result. Mom wrote a bit about how she felt when I missed her birth here. An excerpt from that:
Watching the video and looking through the photos absolutely “restored” (for lack of a better word) that for me – even though you didn’t actually catch the before part on camera, it is woven into the story so well. I have also been thinking about what the whole process was like for my husband (poor guys – the focus is really mostly on us), and your photos have such a special way of showing things from his perspective as well. Continue reading here…
Ben’s parents have graciously allowed me to share their birth in part to glorify God publicly for his miraculous life. The images chosen, many that are not in the video, I selected almost all black and white because in this case, its just so visually stunning when laid together. In case you are wondering, my clients receive all of their images in colour and black & white for every session.
To Ben’s parents, the joy and graciousness you carry exudes from a deep place of knowing truth. What a gift your son has in having you both to raise him. Thank you for hiring me. I’m slightly terrified if you hire me again that I might just camp outside your house for a week.
To the hospital staff and Dr. Brandt at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, my sincerest thank you’s for letting me run in all out of breath and document their day.
Love your work!!! And thanks for teaching me the word to my births both are within 3hoirs from me leaving home to having them on my chest
[…] Ben is no longer a baby, he’s on his way to being a big brother. Here’s his birth story if you missed it. […]
[…] she asked to hire me again for this birth, and my stomach sank. If you didn’t read the story, I missed her son’s birth because it was too quick. First births rarely are that fast. Seconds are known for being faster. I just didn’t think I […]