“Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear.”
The first time I met the G family it was in a crowded coffee shop. I usually meet with just mom, but this meeting was different. Dad and two big sisters were there along with mom. It was wonderful to meet the whole family! One of the first things Mom said to me was, “Just so you know, when my water breaks, my babies come extremely fast.” KEEP THIS IN MIND. Take note, this is also her third baby….
Early one night in mid-September I got a text from Jen saying that she was going to the hospital for strong contractions. I loaded up my gear and waited for the go. I was so worried I would miss the whole thing. I finally got the ok to come down.
When I got to the hospital she was 80% effaced and 5cm dilated with a bulging bag. In birth world talk, she was halfway to having a baby. We walked the halls, did stretches, breathed through contractions. When I say “we”, I really mean Jen with the help of her husband. After all of that, they decided to send Jen home because she was 37 weeks and 3 days and stalled at 5cm. You are probably thinking WHY? WHY? WHY? Mercy Gilbert was in near-completion of their Baby Friendly Certification. Basically what that means is birth professionals can not help patients progress with labor until they are at least 39 weeks. To say we were all frustrated would be a bit of an understatement.
Jen and I became fast friends over the course of her pregnancy and would quite often stay up until 2 am chatting with each other on Facebook.
Two nights later while on my way home I received a phone call at 8:30 pm from her.
Jen: “Are you asleep?”
Me: “Jen, it’s 8:30. You of all people should know I’m not asleep.”
Jen: “Good, because either I have lost all control of my bladder or my water just broke.”
I still to this day do not know how I shaved 15 minutes off of a normal 45-minute drive, but it happened.
Jen and I walked the halls for a while, and even took a selfie! After much walking, we all took a nap for a bit.
Then Jen got in the tub for a short minute. (Literally) When she got out of the tub you could tell the baby had made it’s way to the birth canal. At this point, Jen wanted an epidural. But she wouldn't be able to get one!
The nurse comes in to check and there is Maddy’s head. The nurse runs to the hall and screams for a doctor. A random doctor comes in, barely able to get gloves on. They didn’t have time to get the bed apart or the “stage” lights on. That is how FAST she came.
In less than 15 minutes, Maddy was here! From the time Jen got in the tub to the time she delivered was just under 15 minutes. Jen didn’t even push!
Ten minutes after Maddy was born, Jen’s OB/GYN, Dr. Guzman, arrived. I can’t say enough nice things about this man. He truly cares about his patients and it shows! He stayed and visited with the newest arrival, crying tears of joy with them. He hugged them. He laughed with them. He cared and it showed.
Next, the new big sisters came to meet their little sister. To say they were in love would be an understatement. Middle sister wouldn’t stop gently stroking Maddy’s head and kissing it. Adorable, right?
People often ask me why I love birth photography. THIS story is a prime example as to why I do what I do. I am the fly on the wall. I am the artist who captures those moments that are often forgotten, the parts of the story that we overlook in the heat of the moment, the tender moments of encouragement showed by husband while his wife is in labor, the sweet gentle kisses of a new big sister, the embrace of a proud doctor. THAT is the reason why I do birth photography.
Congratulations Gunty Family! I love you!!