This is my very first birth story, and I am so lucky that my best friend trusted me enough to document such an amazing time.
About a week before Graham was born Liesel thought she was in labor. We were so ready to meet baby boy! I had my phone on loud every night following this particular night, waiting for the call to head to the birth center. But of course.. this night.. I forgot.
I had fallen asleep in my daughters room, after she woke up that night and wouldn't go back to sleep. My phone was on vibrate and my husband is a pretty heavy sleeper. So at about 2am my husband got woken up with by someone knocking on the window of our bedroom. It was Kody (Liesel's husband)! Luckily Liesel lives down the street from me, and after calling me several times she realized I was asleep and wasn't going to get woken up by her calling! Chris was flustered and came rushing into my daughter's room and woke me up. I rushed to get ready, grabbed my camera bag and ran out the door to meet them at the birth center.
And even though we were so ready to meet baby Graham, after 12 hours of on again off again contractions, Liesel just wasn't progressing enough and she got sent home.
And I learned my lesson, hahah.
Then on that Sunday, Liesel had been having a lot of contractions all day long. But we were trying to not get out hopes up because it had been a LONG five days anxiously waiting after her first trip into the birth center.
But that night I got the call that she was heading into the birth center because she thought she was in labor! (And don't worry, my phone was on loud).
It was about 2 am when I got the call, and this time I decided to wait until she got there and was seen by the midwife to be sure she was in labor. And about 2:45am Kody called me to say that her water broke and it was baby time! And I headed right over!
Liesel is a birth photographer herself, and she had told me there is a time (usually with non-medicated births) when the mood shifts. When the contractions are getting more and more painful and the excitement is still there but everyone, especially the mama, is focused. And I walked in, and I could tell that the mood had already started shifting. She was still happy and excited but I could tell she was in a lot of pain, but she was rocking it.
She was in the tub and I was so excited that she was going to get the birth she had been wanting!
Kody was being the most amazing partner, Helping her with everything, trying to get her as comfortable as possible. It was so great to visibly see his support and love.
She was quickly progressing! It was only maybe an hour after I got there that she was literally screaming with every contraction. It was getting so close. At one point she said "the baby is coming!"
And I didn't quite take it as literal as I should! Suddenly I realized that she meant NOW. So I ran over to get a good position without interfering with anyone. And Liesel, being the badass that she is, grabbed him and pulled him out herself.
It. Was. Amazing.
The pure emotion was overwhelming.
And just like that, he was here. Crying, head full of hair, and so so loved.
He instantly latched, and they stayed in the tub for awhile. Just in their own world. Bonding.
What a beautiful sight. A beautiful moment in time.
Then before they got out of the tub, Liesel delivered the placenta and Kody cut the cord. It was so cool to see the placenta floating in the tub next to Graham, still connected. The body is something spectacular, isn't it?
Then Kody got to hold Graham and do some skin to skin while Liesel got out of the tub, and into the bed!
And then they just got to stay there. Snuggled, and in awe of their newest addition to their family. It was so fun to see the differences at a birth center compared to my experiences at a hospital! I loved that they got some well deserved privacy to soak in Graham, and all of his adorableness.
And then they got to stay in the bed, while they did some newborn checks and got all the stats on the little man. They watched as the midwife explained what she was looking for, and as she got his foot prints.
Then a short three-ish hours after I arrived, I left them to cuddle. And only a couple hours later Liesel, Kody and Graham would go home, to surprise their other kiddos with a new baby before they even woke up! How fun is that?!
I am so happy I got to do this. And I am so proud to be this bad-ass, mama bear's friend!
If you want to see Liesel's side of her birth story and her crazy experience, so check out her blog post here!