Stella’s birth is a special one because sweet Stella was born the day my son was (September 7th) just 3 years later.
Shelby contacted me to shoot her birth about a month before Stella was born. We knew we would have to meet fast to make sure we were a right fit together so we set up a time to meet at Starbucks and get to know each other. We immediately hit it off and I was so excited to document a fellow photographers birth! (Shelby is an amazing newborn photographer located in San Marcos, TX – view her work here https://www.luluandroophotography.com/)
The biggest concern surrounding the last few weeks of Shelby’s pregnancy was that sweet Stella was breech, and as time went on, the possibility of a cesarean continued to grow. With the aid of her amazing doctor, an external version was planned for the morning of September 7th. I met Shelby and her husband at CTMC just in case the version was unsuccessful. In the event that it didn’t work out and immediate and emergent cesarean would be performed. (An external version is an attempt to turn baby from breech to a head down position, which is typically optimal for most hospitals.) If the version was successful, they would start mom on pitocin for an induction.
Her husband and I sat outside the OR in anticipation of what was to happen, and with many thoughts and prayers, a successful version was performed!!!
We moved back into Shelby’s room and at 2cm, pitocin was started. I decided to hang around because her OB said once a pattern started things would move fast. We all slept off and on through the day, waiting for the pitocin to work its magic. Later in the afternoon Shelby’s family visited and I captured some images of her and her son before he was no longer the only child.
Once everyone left, Shelby was checked again and at 5cm I asked if it was okay if I went home (literally 15-20 minutes away) to give them space and celebrate my son’s birthday.
Everyone was completely OK with it, so i made sure to have them call me any time something happened or she was checked. My family and I decided to eat close to home just in case I needed to go and about an hour into dinner I got the notification that Shelby was 7-8cm. I said bye to my family and headed back to CTMC. As I parked her husband texted me to hurry because she was going to start pushing and I ran through the parking lot into their room just before she started to pushing.
With all of her love an strength, Shelby pushed Stella out quickly and safely, and as she was born her OB brought her up with excitement and gently placed Stella on Shelby’s chest. It was a beautiful birth, filled with love for a long awaited baby girl! Stella had these beautiful squishy cheeks, almond shaped eyes and the cutest nose! Stella was weighed and began nursing shortly after.
It was so amazing to attend a birth in hospital with care providers and nurses who had mama in their best interest. You don’t often get to hear about OB’s opting into an external version, so knowing the attempt to keep this as natural as possible was beautiful. The nurses and OB even asked ME what lighting and positioning was best, so to know that they took my job there serious enough to take me into consideration was something I will never forget.