This Birth Story started with middle of the night contractions as so many birth stories do (my theory is babies like to get a head start with the whole waking their parents in the middle of the night!). I met Crystal and her husband, Ben, at the hospital around 3am. Crystal was monitored for a little while and it was determined she was not in labor. She apologized profusely for the "false alarm" but I kept reminding her there was no reason to apologize. Not only was I honored that as a fellow photographer she had asked me to photograph her birth, but I go into the job knowing full well that things don't usually go as planned or expected!
The following day was her scheduled induction. I met Crystal and Ben at the hospital as well as their support team — her two kids, her sister, and her mom. It is always amazing to me to see a mom in labor who is still tending to her kids. Crystal had ordered lunch before things really picked up and of course, she ordered knowing what her two littles would like the menu too. Her littlest at the time, Kameron, couldn’t resist cuddles with mom and being near her.
Crystal’s contractions were consistent but she made the decision to not get an epidural until she felt she was really ready for it. When she got to the point of tears and the pain was too much, she requested the epidural. She handled her contractions so well throughout — breathing through, concentrating and using those guttural grunts and moans to work past them.
Once her epidural was placed, it wasn’t long before she was ready to push and holy cow did that process happen quickly! Crystal gave birth to baby boy Cole after just 2-3 very productive pushes. Looking at her, though, you’d never know that just minutes before she was experiencing painful contractions and birthed a child!
I love that everyone’s birth story is uniquely theirs. Minutes after Cole was out, there were probably ten people in the room between her support team, her nurses, the doctor and the baby’s care team. They are quick and efficient at what they do, that’s for sure!
Crystal’s family was right there for all the firsts — the initial clean up of Cole, weighing, diapering, dressing him for the first time, first bath and first feed. What an amazing way to bring your baby earthside — surrounded by those who mean the most to you!
Congratulations, Crystal and Ben, on your adorable baby Cole and your new family of 5! Thank you for allowing me in to your birth space for such an intimate life event!