A Family Centered Natural Pain Med Free Vaginal Birth at Baptist Health Paducah
It was 4:45 in the early early morning and I hadn’t heard from Jenni in almost 5 hours. She had been admitted into labor and delivery after spontaneous rupture of her waters and was progressing but slowly. This was her first labor experience so that’s to be expected but to hear no update in 5 hours was odd. I was sleeping (barely) on the couch downstairs so that I could pop right up and head out the door to photograph the birth of Jenni and Luke’s baby girl without disturbing my sleeping family upstairs. I’m convinced that God himself rose me from me sleep because the response I received after texting them “just checking in… haven’t heard from you in hours” was not what I expected and I leaped into action. He knew I needed to intervene and I was ready for the task!
Labor had stalled to the point where they were waiting for official orders for a non emergency c-section for Baby Clark. In the suddenness of it, no one had thought to text me and due to high emotions, Jenni didn’t remember that I would definitely want to be there to photograph the c-section, even if that wasn’t their Birth Plan A. When I inquired, I was told not to worry about coming now… that I could come around 8am to document mom and baby once they were out of recovery. I promptly replied back, heck no, I’m going to be there no matter how this baby enters the world… I’m on my way!
When I arrived to Jenni’s labor and delivery room, they were still waiting. No c section orders had been made but that’s where everyone thought this birth was heading. Jenni had been sitting at 4 cm dilated for hours and it was now way past the 24 hour mark since her waters had broken. I’m not usually like this during births (weddings are a different story!) but when I learned that Jenni hadn’t had a cervical check in over an hour I urged everyone in the room – Jenni, Luke, and Jenni’s mom and dad – to request to be checked again. Especially since in the last 15 minutes, Jenni had noticed major change in contractions. I told them I felt certain that she was at least in transition (7/8 cm) if not more and that if that was the case, she might be able to finish this labor naturally and deliver her baby vaginally. This was something that Jenni wanted so so badly and I felt the energy in the room – they were about to give in. Jenni felt defeated. I knew I had to step in and in the very least, suggest they ask for her to be checked one last time, just to make sure the c section was necessary. It never hurts to ask.
Luke rang for their labor nurse and when she arrived even she could tell in Jenni’s face that things had changed. The family requested a cervical check and the nurse promptly obliged. One minute later we were all floored, the nurse included, when she reported that Jenni was complete! In one hour Jenni had progressed from a 4 to a 10! Everyone’s face immediately brightened up and you could see the relief on Jenni’s face! The nurse called for the OB, told her the news, and they were directed to prep for a vaginal delivery! It was show time!
A few minutes past and Dr. Mueller burst in the room and it was all hands on deck… Jenni had already told us and the nurses that she felt she needed to push and push she was told to do! I normally have a little more time between the start of pushing to baby’s arrival into mama’s arms… enough time to take a picture of the clock every once in a while. That was not the case for this birth – I have no idea how long Jenni pushed but it was not long! In no time at all, Baby Clark was being lifted into the air and straight into Jenni’s chest. Jenni & Luke now had a baby girl. Baby Clark was ready and nothing was stopping her. And so, she was born!