middle of the night I got a text that Thea was in labor. This was her 3rd baby so I knew things could go very quickly! Her doula, Joni Tuttle, and couldn't sleep. We were just to antsy for the call so we started texting each other and getting to know one another before we ever met. We decided it might be best to get a little sleep so we went to lay down and 5 minutes later Thea let us know she was heading to the hospital. We both grabbed our bags and left to join her.
We actually both arrived before Thea! So we hung out in the parking lot and waited. She had a few contraction in the parking garage and we both knew this baby was going to be here soon. After going through the admission process we were allowed back to her room. The nurses were setting up a birth tub. I was so excited to see the progress this hospital had made!
Once the tub was filled Thea got in and melted into the warm water. Sometimes water can slow down contractions if you get in to early, but when its the right time it can speed things up real quick. The later was the case for Thea. Soon she was in transition and her smooth calm breathing turned to instinctual moaning. It was amazing to see her completely giving in to the waves and riding along them! Many women and clients hope to have a quite and calm birth, especially if they are being filmed, but that is definitely not the norm for birth. Some women just don't feel the need to vocalize which is completely normal! But many do which is also VERY normal and I LOVE LOVE LOVE when a woman doesn't feel the inhibition against making the noise she needs!
Thea starts to feel the urge to push as her beloved OB walked in the room. Her OB was as calm as a cucumber and began preparing for the delivery. The nurse however was not as calm. She started getting antsy that Thea was still in the tub and was clearly ready to have this baby. At Sutter Sacramento, they will allow women to labor in the tubs but not to birth so once they reach transition they ask them to get out. The problem is, when you hit transition sometimes you just aren't able to get out! Thea's legs turned to jelly and no matter how much persuasion the nurse tried to give Thea just couldn't get herself to get out of the tub. She had had 2 water births previously so this was where she was comfortable.
As the nurse began to get more demanding, her husband reached down to help pick Thea up and place her on the bed. It was quite a sight to behold! On the bed, Thea continued to moan with the waves and her smiling OB directed her. Soon Griffin began to crown and then with Joni and her husband by her side she roared her sweet baby earth side. The Ob laid him on Thea as she took a big sigh of relief that it was all done with. Griffin let out a great big ole cry to let us all know what he thought and you just couldn't help but smile!
Soon big brothers came to join in and the family was all together again. I really pray that we can get back to normal again soon. Women need their support when giving birth and families deserve to be together during such an important transition in their life.
About Justine: Justine is a birth photographer and film maker in Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom, Yuba City, etc. As a mama of 6, she loves to help other families preserve their memories of birth. She is passionate about empowering women in birth and showing the world the birth is something to be celebrated and embraced instead of feared and managed.