I don’t know about everyone else, but I am still trying to get into the groove of the kids being back in school. Ok, I think I am still recovering from the last week of summer. I had Ati’s birth and then two days later Melanie’s birth, hosted a dinner party that night, plus normal wife and mom of four children back-to-school stuff. So, while I’m so sorry to have kept Melanie waiting, I am sooooooo excited to share this birth with you!!

Is it ironic that my last post was for the Improving Birth rally and one of the signs says “reduce cesarean rate”? You know, I don’t know why Melanie chose to have a cesarean and I don’t need to know – that’s her choice. All I know, it was an absolutely beautiful birth.

I met Melanie through a mutual friend. We discussed the possibility of photographing her birth. Her doctor was agreeable, and the hospital was mostly agreeable, but we still didn’t know if I would be allowed in the operating room until the day-of. Even though this would be my first cesarean experience, I felt like I knew what to expect through conversations with other birth photographers, other cesarean moms, and of course watching a little YouTube. This birth far exceeded my expectations.

I met Melanie & Shad at the hospital in the dark hours of early morning. They checked in, Melanie got prepped for surgery, and we waited. And waited. And waited. We got a “maybe (probably not)” on the photography, but I wasn’t going to leave (I would’ve just shot after they came back from the OR). We waited some more. Then 7:30 neared and the ever-fantastic Dr. Harter entered the room. Bad news, though. He had just gotten a call to deliver a VBAC client. So, we waited and waited some more.

Dr. Harter returned and off to the OR we went. During our wait, a lovely nurse handed me my own set of sterile clothing, blue hair net included!

I entered the OR just a few short moments before the baby emerged. I was surprised by how small the room was! With that and trying to not touch anything, I didn’t move much. 🙂

Hello, Baby Boy!!

Out of three babies, this is Shad’s first time cutting the cord.

One thing that impressed me was that the baby station was within Melanie’s sight. From her first peek at the baby over the blue curtain to getting measured and weighed, Melanie was able to watch the whole process.

Many, many thank yous to the nurse that held the baby up to Melanie’s face for a solid 10 minutes! Melanie nuzzled and snuggled and carressed her newborn boy and whispered loving words to him. Her other boys, also cesareans, were whisked away so quickly, so these moments were something new to her and so special. She specifically mentioned this when we got back to her room, that she really appreciated being able to spend so much time with him so soon after birth.

Beautiful, sweet tears of joy.

The biggest brother was totally cool with this new baby, the now-middle brother…. wasn’t so sure.

Congratulations Melanie & Shad! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this beautiful experience. And thank you to the doctors & nurses who took such good care of this family!