The Urge to Push [Documentary Birth Story]

April 07, 2017  •  3 Comments

Nicki and Corey had an expected due date of December 27th and closer to her due date, she expressed to me that she was nervous about the baby coming at an inopportune time for me (she mentioned Christmas Eve or middle of the night or what would happen if she had a c-section).  I was so happy to reassure her that as a birth photographer, I was 100% on call for her surrounding her due date and up until she had the baby — that included Christmas Eve, 3am Christmas morning, or any other event I was at.  I was at her disposal and was ready to drop everything to be there.  That’s the amazing thing about birth photography — babies come on their own time and as the birth photographer, I am absolutely committed to that.  

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Photography Mercy Hospital Maternity Ward at Christmas

As luck would have it, December 18th came and labor started for Nicki.  She labored at home for a good majority of the day but there wasn’t a ton of consistency with her contractions.  Late that evening she let me know they were headed to the hospital to see where she stood with dilation and once they knew more information they would contact me again.  I arrived at the hospital around 2am just after Nicki had an epidural placed for pain management.  

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Pregnant Mom in Labor with Fetal Monitors Mercy Hospital

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Pregnant Husband Supporting Pregnant Wife Woman in Labor Mercy Hospital When I arrived, Nicki and Corey’s daughter, Kennedy, was there playing on there iPad and generally just hanging out.  You would’ve thought it was 2 in the afternoon at this point.  Little 2 year old Kennedy was happily playing with Daddy and joking around.  She definitely didn’t appear to be tired or have any awareness of the fact that it was the middle of the night or that she was about to meet her baby sister.  They made it a family affair and included her in this big life event.  When things intensified a bit for Nicki, they opted to have her wait in the waiting room.

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story Mom Laboring Dad Chasing Daughter Mercy Hospital

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story Mom Laboring with Epidural Husband and Daughter in room Mercy Hospital Nicki made certain to warn the attending nurses about her first birth -- things happened very quickly once she felt pressure.  She made it very clear that they ought to be ready because it WILL happen quickly.  I love when a laboring mom is so in tune to her body and knows herself so well.  It’s can be so empowering to be prepared for what your body is doing.  

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Pregnant Mom Laboring Through Contractions with Fetal Monitors Mercy Hospital

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Pregnant Mom in Labor Pushing with Contractions Mercy Hospital Nicki was 100% accurate with her predictions.  At 3:15am, she was checked and was 7cm dilated, 90% effaced.  Nicki’s doctor was called and she was told the doctor was on the way.  At 3:25am, she was feeling contractions and pressure.  At 3:30am, she was crying and feeling pressure to push and Corey was right by her side supporting her and telling her she had nothing to worry about and that she could do this.  The nurses tried in vain to get an OB in to her room.  They called the OB (who was in another part of the hospital) to no avail.  They called the “House OB” and not one of them was able to get there in time.  The funny thing about babies is that they wait for no one and are generally on their own timeline.  Additionally, when a woman's body has the urge to push, there isn't much hope of stopping it.  At 3:40am, with two pushes, Miss Kerrigan Sue and was born weighing 6lbs 10oz and measuring 19inches long.  Minutes later, Nicki had 3 OBs in her room, none of whom had caught her baby.  Thank goodness for awesome nurses who are prepared to handle the unexpected!

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Newborn Baby on Mother's Belly Immediate Postpartum Mercy Hospital

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Newborn Baby on Mother's Belly Nurses take APGAR score Immediate Postpartum Mercy Hospital St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Newborn Baby's Foot on Mother's Belly Immediate Postpartum Mercy Hospital

Corey was right there throughout the entire thing and totally went into protective Daddy mode as soon as Kerrigan was out.  He asked questions about what the nurses were doing and was involved from the first moment.  He followed her and couldn’t keep his eyes off her for her newborn exams.

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Newborn Baby on Mother's Belly Immediate Postpartum Husband Looks On Mercy Hospital St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Father Dad holds Newborn Baby Immediate Postpartum Mercy Hospital And my gosh, the eye contact Kerrigan made just minutes after she was born was oh so amazing! St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Newborn Baby on Mother's Chest Making Eye Contact Mercy Hospital St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Nurse doing Newborn Exam Heart check and Head Circumference at Mercy Hospital St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Father Dad Laughs at Newborn Diaper Baby Getting Examined Immediate Postpartum  The only time Corey left Kerrigan’s side was to go get Kennedy so she could meet her new baby sister.  Such a strong, connected Daddy surrounded by his team of girls.  

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Dad holds Toddler Meeting Newborn Sister Baby Breastfeeding Nursing with Mom Mercy Hospital St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography First Breastfeeding Nursing with Mom Immediate Postpartum Mercy Hospital

It does not get better than wrinkly tiny baby feet!!  And leftover ink from her first footprints.  *swoon* St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Newborn Baby Feet with Ink Mercy Hospital St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Nurse holding crying Newborn Baby Girl Mercy Hospital St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Father Dad supports Mom's First Nursing Breastfeeding Newborn Baby Immediate Postpartum Mercy Hospital Congratulations on your darling baby, Kerrigan.  I'm sure Kennedy and Kerrigan will be the best of friends! St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Birth Story St. Louis Documentary Photography Dad Mom Sibling Newborn Baby Girl Family Immediate Postpartum Mercy Hospital


Comments

Annica Quakenbush(non-registered)
Katie, I love your editing style - these captures are just superb. They communicate exactly what was happening during this birth story. Just beautiful. What a wonderful service you have done for this beautiful family!
Jenny(non-registered)
Katie!! This is such a warm and happy birth story! It left me smiling. There are so so many photos that I love, but my favorite has to be the one of tiny Kerrigan looking up at her daddy. She was so alert for a new baby!! Your words and photographs tell a story so full of love. Congratulations to this beautiful family!
Camille Borba(non-registered)
I love this story! Beautifully captured!
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