Normally you hear about the long hours in birth photography. When you get started you hear about being in the hospital for days and running on zero sleep. The uncomfortable waiting room chairs, the sometimes not so great cafeteria food, and the ever-present fear that you’re in the way of the nurses and or doctors are always an issue when you are a photographer on call for babies. In case people are unaware, babies tend to take their time entering the world. However, February 19th did not go that way at all, at least for me.
I received a phone call at 11:30 a.m. from Jodie’s mother telling me that they were still going to stay home for now until contractions were more regular. We talked about what pictures they were wanting to capture and what angles they were hoping I could achieve for their photos. I did not have a chance to meet Jodie in advance so that we could talk about everything that she wanted and/or did not want. It was a very quick phone call and I told them I would have my phone with me all day. I heard nothing most of the day with the exception of a text from the Doctor every now and then letting me know that nothing was happening yet, but she’d let me know.
As midnight came and went I realized that I should probably get some sleep so I sat at my computer desk with my phone tucked into my shirt so if it went off there was no way I wouldn’t hear it. At 2:55 a.m. said phone went off and it was my mother asking how everything was going. I told her I still wasn’t at the hospital yet so we sat talking until the long awaited text message at 3:24 a.m. flashed across my phone. “She’s ready!!” it said and I told my mother I had to go. I think she thought I was just done talking because she was like “Oh… uhh night night”. I was like, “No, as in I have to go.” She wished me luck and away I went. I arrived at the hospital at 3:30 a.m. and went right in.
The thing that I love about working with this doctor is- one the phone calls and messages that make it easier to plan my day around a birth and two being able to get onto the maternity floor without much delay. On the flip side of that is I walked into the room with Jodie already in the birthing stirrups and everything. I will always say it is better to have a little bit more time to talk to mommies before this moment because I feel like I am distracting to people when I have to ask them questions. Earlier in the day her mother had said she didn’t want any pictures of the baby actually crowning or “down there” at all. After discussing with Jodie that I would not post any pictures without her consent she changed her mind and did want some of the baby making her debut. Jodie was nervous and I was able to capture a sweet moment with her sister before all the action began. Probably one of the most special parts of this birth was finding out that Grandma (Jodie’s mother) worked in the labor and delivery unit at the hospital and would be scrubbing in to deliver her own grandchild. I really thought that was special and a once in a lifetime experience to get to be a part of.
Phone calls were made to other family members that lived nearby (I believe) and then it was time to push. There was much discussion about weight and length as well as the time of the baby’s arrival. This was a mom that was right on time as her due date was actually February 19th. I moved quickly around the room shooting Grandma gowning up and setting up my stools that I bounce around the room on. Jodie waited patiently for a contraction during all of this and thank goodness she had to wait because baby girl was READY. Jodie is one of those mom’s that most women just wish they could be on a delivery day. Her epidural was working beautifully and she was what one would call a fantastic pusher. As I stated before I arrived at her room at 3:30 a.m. baby Rosalie was born to the world at 3:45 a.m.
Grandma was all nurse and business like at the beginning but as baby Rosalie slipped from her mother into the waiting arms of Missy (grandma) I had the unique perspective of seeing her face change and become a wealth of smiles and joy. It was an incredible experience to behold. The business of being born was over and it was time to cut the cord. I’ll never forget the look on Jodie’s sisters’ face when the doctor handed her the scissors to do the honors. The funniest moment was when phones started ringing and the sister answered with “SHE’S HERE!” from where I was standing on the other side of the room you could hear the “What? No way!” It was very funny. According to the family that arrived later, there was intense and heavy fog in the area and they had driven slowly to avoid an accident. To be honest, on my way to the hospital I could not tell you if the fog was out at that point because I do NOT remember it.
I knew when the family had arrived because a nurse opened the door to go get the scale and they were all crowded around eager to come in and meet baby Rosalie, it was very sweet. According to grandma and auntie bets had been made on how much little girl would weigh and there was a pot of money for whoever won if I’m not mistaken. Let me tell you what, this little munchkin was perfect. She had not been in the pelvis or birth canal long enough to get a cone head, she didn’t have stork bites from pressure being put on her has she passed through her mothers’ body. She was like a C-section baby, pure perfection. She did have quite a pair of lungs on her and she let the whole world know that she was very displeased from being evicted from her swimming pool. She sounded like a little squeaker toy, too cute. Little Ms. Rosalie weighed 6 lbs 9.5 oz and was 18 inches long. Coming from a mommy that had two 8+ pounders and neither was less than 21 inches long (me), she was TEE-TINY and absolutely precious.
After receiving her first diaper and getting all of her stats and vitals it was time to eat and this little nugget was hungry. She did wind up having a little bit of trouble due to having a short tongue but she got the general idea from mom and help from grandma. The doctor said it would be a quick fix that she would do in a few days to rectify the issue and baby girl wouldn’t feel a thing. I always encourage mothers to try and breastfeed if they are able. I understand there are reasons that some cannot, but if it is something you are on the fence about I HIGHLY recommend it. The skin to skin time for mommy and baby is very beneficial and it winds up being much less of a hassle when it’s time to feed your little one. I always suggest the book, “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” to any mother that is thinking about and/or wanting to breastfeed. I am hoping to continue this shot (below) that I am getting for as many mothers’ as possible in the future. I was able to get it for both Jodie and Joanna so here’s hoping.
Probably one of the silliest moments of the whole evening was when the doctor was holding the baby while the nurses helped Jodie get into position for the other visitors to come in and meet Rosalie. The look on the baby’s face was absolutely priceless. When it was time for everyone to come in and meet the baby I moved quickly around to the baby’s warmer bed so I could see their faces. I always love watching their faces when they walk in. It is a unique and adorable moment that I try to capture each time. This was grandbaby and niece number one so this was an even more special occasion for those that arrived after all of the hustle and bustle of the birth was over. I really enjoyed capturing these moments.
Baby Rosalie is a well loved little girl. The joy and excitement on each persons’ face as she was passed around was priceless. The tears of pure love from auntie’s face, the baby talk from her godmother were all moments I was glad to be there to capture for them to remember. It was a short night as far as birth photography goes, but after a bunch of congratulations and a quick see you in a few days I left and walked out into the brisk early morning light, and guess what…. it really was the foggiest morning I’ve ever seen in the 16 years that I have lived in Indiana.
48 hours later I returned to the hospital for two reasons, one I wanted to see the precious tidbit again and two I needed a better photo of her little feet. I met up with the Doctor who was coming do her check up and we walked into the room to see the cutest little Cheetah baby ever. Jodie was happy to see us and we talked about how things were going and how happy she was about going home soon. The doctor took Rosalie to the nursery and I was able to get some super cute pictures of her feet and her face. Afterward, I returned to Jodie’s room to wait for the baby to come back and we talked about future pictures and when she would get everything I had done already. The best part of the day for me was getting to cuddle with Baby Rosey when she came back. I have to say I LOVE MY JOB. Sharing in an amazing moment for a mom and family, seeing new life joining us, watching family meet the baby, and at the very end getting a few minutes to cuddle with fresh bundles of job doesn’t get much better than that for me. I did tell my husband that every time I hold one it makes me want another just a LITTLE bit more. I have a long way to go before it is time for that, though.
Baby Rosalie Ann born 2-20-2017 at 3:45 a.m. Weight 6 lbs 9.5 oz Length 18 inches
Thank you, Jodie, for allowing me to be a part of your special day and capture such a sweet little nugget.