Baby Cosette born 2:38 am Wednesday 8/14/19 @ 6 lbs 10 oz 19.5 inches long
“I think she’s in early labor and it’s not letting up” For a birth photographer this text means line up the baby sitters, get showered and ready to leave in a moment’s notice and get some coffee! After a nap of course. I waited until my cue from the doula, Chelsea, and then I made my way up to the hospital.
I walked into room 1207 and sensed the calm. In between contractions, Camille was able to ever so sweetly say “HI Carey”, and it made me so excited to be there for her. The in-between contraction conversations are the best. They’re good, they’re fine and then they’re quiet and you know she’s starting to feel the surge. The room goes quiet until she’s ready to speak again. She needs the quiet to focus.
She endured hours of contractions, one by one, just letting her body take the lead. Mike gently helped his wife when he knew she needed him. Even while weathering the storm, Camille kept such a sweet and courteous demeanor. She didn’t have to. She was amazing. A warrior. Every warrior needs a break and it was time for her to get the rest that she wasn’t able to get the last few days of non-stop early labor. She got her epidural and Chelsea and I decided that we should get a nap in too. I’m a firm believer that the laboring mom needs awhile to herself to just endure. Labor is such a primal thing and animals do it in the wild alone. We’re not too much different and while I want to get every shot I can, I am going to step away when needed to let the mom do her thing.
Feeling refreshed and ready after my hour or so nap, I head back. I’m greeted with that same sweet demeanor that I don’t expect a laboring mother to have, but here she is, being all welcoming and pleasant. At one point she demands Mike and I get food, but still in the sweetest way possible. We scarfed our hospital cafe food down, though HA! After several more contractions she starts feeling the need to bear down. When your body is ready to begin the pushing phase, you’ll feel the need to poop. It’s music to my ears when they unknowingly mention that. I just kind of grinned and let the midwives make that next call. But guess who was ready to push?
The pushing phase is different for everyone. Some people push for 5 hours, some push for 5 minutes and some don’t push at all. Camille pushed for a long time. Her body made her work for it. She went from I can’t do this anymore, to SHEER determination. That is my favorite part about labor. You don’t think you can anymore, but you will and you do. When fear is met with power, the light switches on and a mother goes into a different mode. The midwife but the mirror in front of her, so that she could see Cosette’s head coming closer with each push. THAT is what appeared to make her fight harder. The end was in sight and she just wanted her baby on her chest. She pushed through, and she pushed hard.
Once Cosette was crowning, it was like the rest happened so quickly. She was born into the world at 2:38 AM and despite being told she would be a big baby, she was a perfect 6 lbs 10 oz
This baby was born into love. When I say that I mean that. She was born to a family that fosters 3 children, and 3 others that were adopted from foster hood. See? I really mean that. ‘The golden hour’ was lovely. The midwives and nurses left Camille, Mike & Cosette to bond uninterrupted. She was not weighed and cleaned off immediately, but rather wiped a bit and left with her mother. It was truly beautiful to witness, and I am so grateful that I was chosen to capture Cosette’s story