Birth doesn’t always go as planned. In fact, I’d venture to say that birth rarely goes as planned. Melissa had a beautiful homebirth with her daughter and was looking forward to the same with her son. The problem? Her little guy was breech. No amount of manipulation or encouragement could get baby Finn to turn head down. Melissa and her husband Mark dealt with the change of plans with such grace; when he wouldn’t budge, they they settled on a planned c-section. Melissa was sad to lose the dream of a homebirth but wanted what was best for her baby.
The morning of Melissa’s scheduled c-section, I had another client in early labor. Despite their due dates being ten days apart, it looked like their little boys would arrive on the same day. I called my back up to head to the birth center for my other couple and checked into the hospital with Melissa and Mark.
Melissa got all settled into her room. The nurse set up an IV, they had a cap and suit ready for Mark to wear in to the OR. All that was left was to do a final ultrasound to confirm that the baby was still breech.
Now, I am the first to admit that I rarely know what is going on in an ultrasound image. I can detect the flash of a beating heart, but that’s about it. Despite my poor ultrasound reading abilities, when the doctor did the ultrasound on Melissa, all I saw was a big, round circle….a circle that looked suspiciously like a head at the bottom of her stomach.
I was off in the corner documenting it all…I love how you can see the interest growing in just what was showing up on that ultrasound screen…sure enough, baby Finn had defied the odds and turned head down; no c-section necessary.
Melissa immediately called her midwife to discuss the turn of events. The doctor gave them the option to head home or stay and be induced. After a lot of discussion they made the decision to stay and be induced. After learning she didn’t need a c-section after all, Melissa didn’t want to risk Finn turning breech again.
At this point, things slowed down. I left to go relieve my backup photographer and photograph the birth of my other client at the birth center just a few miles away. That baby boy, also with the name Finn, was born within an hour or so. I stayed for about two hours after his birth, capturing all of his first moments. Things were still moving slowly for Melissa, so I headed home. Once things picked up in the afternoon, I headed back to the hospital to capture the birth.
Labor had kicked in and Melissa was working hard.
After a fast first delivery of her daughter, Melissa was in for a long, slow ride this time. She and Marked worked together beautifully.
When Finn finally arrived, he needed a bit of help and was taken to the warming bed.
Finn’s daddy stayed by his side the whole time, lovingly watching over him.
Finn was born covered with a rash, so the nurses called the pediatrician to look him over.
After a thorough once over, Finn was declared fine and finally taken to his mama’s waiting arms.
Finally, finally Melissa had her reward in her arms. I think her face says everything right here.
Congratulations, Melissa and Mark! You did an amazing job brining Finn into this world. You faced disappointment and stress at every turn. You showed courage and grace through the entire experience. I feel so honored to have been invited into your birth space.
Finn is amazing!