I got an message from an expectant momma looking for a birth photographer in San Diego. She was scheduled to give birth at Scripps La Jolla in September. My first thought was “wow, that’s kinda far“.My second thought was “it’s really not that far“. Two and half hours in heavy traffic and 2 hours with light to moderate. Definitely doable!
We set up a Facetime call with her and her husband. They were such wonderful people. We clicked right away. She asked about my doula services that I combine with birth photography. I explained how being a doulatog works. Turns out that was the service she and her husband wanted. Now, I am newly certified birth doula, but excited and passionate about this important service. If you are curious about what a birth doula does, I have a simple to read blog post explaining it here.
I met with them at their San Diego home as I would with all doula clients. We went over their birth desires and preferences. Some people call this a birth plan, but that tends to create unfulfilled wishes and disappointments. If you have a preference and desire, but keep an open mind if things go a different direction, then disappointment is lessened (generally speaking). We went over breathing techniques, talked about labor stages and what to expect. Practicing labor positions and how her partner was an integral part was also practiced. My job mostly was to teach him how to help her. We stayed together several hours talking about all types of things labor related and personal related.
Finally getting to the hospital
The day had arrived to induce labor. Since the hospital was so full, the date kept getting moved back. Finally at 11pm on August 18th, they were instructed to come in. I met them there at 1am or so and have to hand it to this woman. She did everything under the sun to bring this baby earthside. Her partner was the best as he never left her side.
The Pitocin Drip
They started pitocin soon after arriving at the hospital and slowly increased it over time. Many people think that induction means speeding up the process. While this can be true in some circumstances, more often it is a lengthy process. In this case it was very long.
Around the 30 hour mark, this warrior mother had had enough. The pain was too much, the labor had stalled and she was exhausted. The baby wasn’t tolerating the pitocin increases, yet without the increase her body wasn’t making the contractions it needed to.
A Cesarean Birth
At 8am she was taken back for a cesarean birth. She wanted it done. The exhaustion was overwhelming and she just wanted her baby girl.
They had a wonderfully happy baby girl and I am so proud of them. I have visited a couple times postpartum and she is amazing. Her parents are amazing and I am so blessed (a way overused word!) to have been part of this. If you would like to see there highlight real, you can find it here.