My first foray into delivery room photography went as well as I could have expected. I had the anticipated challenges: poor lighting, small, cramped space, numerous bodies taking up the real estate, etc. I didn't, however, have to contend with a middle-of-the-night phone call, since Bethany managed to hold off on delivering until the morning. I appreciate her sacrifice.
Seriously, though, she was a champ! Her labor started Tuesday morning, a little before dawn. She and Anthony headed to the hospital around nine, but, were sent away when the doctor determined that, although she was in active labor, she was barely dilated to a two and not even minimally effaced.
They spent the day shopping and walking around Hooterville, hoping to get things moving, and, when they returned to the hospital at five o'clock that evening, Beth was finally admitted. I left work and headed to their room, where I spent the next five hours visiting with them and Mama Jill, and, snapping an occasional photo.
Once it became clear that they were in for the long haul (despite consistent, strong contractions, Beth had only dilated to three, and, the doctor decided that they would let her rest for the night and would start Pitocin in the morning, if there had been no progress), I excused myself to go home, hoping that Beth would actually get some rest.
At 4:42 a.m., Jill texted me a photo of Beth and Anthony, crashed out; the anesthesiologist had visited with an epidural and Beth was taking advantage of the pain relief.
At 5:30, I got up and got ready for the day. I figured I would go into work, and, leave from there once I got "the call".
At 6:10, Jill texted the following: "She's dilated to 10! It's time to push!".
Apparently, the epidural relaxed her enough to allow her to dilate rather rapidly.
I grabbed a cup of coffee, jumped in my car, and sped to town, arriving at the hospital at 6:24. Sixteen minutes and three pushes later, Cooper came wailing into the world.
He's perfect, of course, and, his parents are over the moon.
I'm so glad I said yes when they asked me to be there; I felt a huge responsibility to get it right, and, thankfully, I think I did.
I can't wait to watch this baby grow up.