A Beautiful Beginning: Lucy Drew’s Birth Story.

Stephanie asked me months and months ago to shoot her birth but seeing as though it was going to be a cesarean, I was optimistically cautious. Eventually she got permission from her beloved Dr. Schwartz and the hospital, which in itself was amazing to me! Now, I’ve been allowed in cSections before but it was never a preplanned event, always a situational spur of the moment choice by the staff. When the Dr arrived, he told us that his flight home from New York Monday night was cancelled as well as future flights from bad weather. He didn’t want to miss Stephanie and Brian’s birth first thing Tuesday so his wife and him rotated driving the 12+ hours home, arriving a few hours before surgery. WHAT A GUY! After he said that, I knew he was going to be awesome to work with because what an effort he made to keep them all happy!

In the operating room, everyone was as lovely as could be to Steph, Brian and I. Dr Schwartz encouraged me to move around the room as I pleased. They didn’t know the sex of the baby, so they decided they wanted me to get Brian’s face instead of the baby’s. They really thought it was a boy, but got another chubby baby girl, practically looking identical to Bailey at birth! At 9:30am, 9lbs even and 21 1/4″, she came out scaaaareaming! Once in the room she was as calm as ever while the whole family doted on her! Big sibs couldn’t get enough of her and frankly, didn’t want to do anything but hold her! How sweet!

Good luck adjusting to a family of 5! I hope she’s the perfect balance of both the big kid’s personalities! She’s beautiful. Thanks so much for having me! I so loved getting way close and personal with your guts. 🙂 Really getting to watch the surgery in detail was so fascinating! What a great experience!

Love, Melanie.

A Beautiful Beginning: Laurel Louise’s Birth Story.

Because Brian and Carolynn’s journey to parenthood is complex, I asked her to share some snippets in order to get it right:
“After 3 years of infertility and a year on the adoption journey, we welcomed miracle number one who was totally a surprise, our little Ellory Maeve. We held off on the adoption journey for a year then were back at it, along with trying a few more procedures. After 2 years of no luck on either path- God blessed us with another surprise miracle on our own, Laurel Louise. She came intensely quick leaving momma no time to get that epidural relief she was hoping for lol.”
At our consultation, they warned me that Carolynn delivered Ellory very quickly after receiving an epidural. This time when she text me at dinner time saying see was tracking contractions anywhere from 2-7min apart for a few hours so she went to the hospital. Though having surges regularly, she was only 3cm and sent home after a couple hours of monitoring because to a hospital active labor admittance is “4cm dilation.” Nearing midnight we decided she should call me once she’s back in triage. The call came by 245am that Carolynn was 6cm and getting an epidural soon. I knew better than to wait so I left immediately. (Never ignore intuition!!) At 3:11 Brian told me she had her epidural put in. At 3:13 he said her water broke. THEN AT 3:14 “SHE’S FULLY DILATED.” I frantically replied, “JESUS, I’m pulling into the hospital, keep those legs closed!” 3:18a, “Dr. is here now and she’s ready to push! You here yet?” Me, frantically racing through the halls, “WAAAIT!” HAHA! Like she wanted to wait any longer to meet this baby. I walked in to a very much in pain mama and a head full of hair crowning. She came out just in time for Carolynn’s single push dose epidural to kick in (::eye roll::) at 3:29. 7.6lbs and 20″ Laurel was chill and so content, waiting to meet her big sister. Ellory came in full of joy and couldn’t keep her hands off her new baby! You have so many fun times ahead and I’m thankful you have been blessed twice over. Congrats and happy it all worked out!!

Love, Melanie

A Beautiful Beginning: Kennedy Rose’s Birth Story.

A diagnosis of preeclampsia half way through her third trimester meant Jenny was to be induced by 37wks for not only the health of her but also the safety of the baby. A few days before her scheduled induction her HBP and protein in urine were too concerning to wait. With an almost complete 12 hr cervidil induction to ease her in, she had a spontaneous water break. So the good news was that baby girl was ready to come out too. With her body progressing on its own, she thankfully avoided pitocin and only received fluids. I was very impressed with how quickly she was moving along with it being her first delivery and after dinner headed in because her doula, Molly, had said she was contracting close together and stopped talking through which typically dictates about 6cm. I walked into some wonderfully deep moaning and swaying. Those moans got deeper, louder and longer which just made me grin and my heart skip a beat. It’s just so beautiful and empowering watching a mama work through the pain so gracefully. Like an old pro, she pushed so well that she pulled Kennedy up onto her chest after just an hr. A 6#11oz. and 19.5″ a beautifully healthy little gal laid there all kind of alert as the midwives inspected Jenny’s placenta that told a completely different story. The damage from high blood pressure wasn’t even the concern, it was the very rare velamentous cord insertion! Long story short, her cord was attached to the placenta in the wrong location and multiple scenarios could have and should have happened, all leading to infant fatality, ON TOP of the preeclampsia concern. But like her midwife said, someone up above was looking out that day because the odds were stacked against Kennedy. So can I get an AMEN!?!

Baby girl stayed sweetly skin to skin the first hour plus before nursing. But as soon as they moved her from Jenny, she finally started to show off those big girl lungs. Those cries! I love it!! Great work Mommy and you too, Kenny! I love an active husband during labor! I’m glad that I was able to capture some of his wincing so Jenny could see how he hurt right along side her as she lived in labor land. Adorable. Congrats all around! Thanks for having me!

Love, Melanie.