Back in February, Alysha got in touch with me to ask if I would be interested in capturing the birth of her second child. I had never shot a birth before but I had always thought it would be such an amazing expirience so I was thrilled that she asked. To make it even more exciting, they decided not to find out the gender. They already have a little boy at home so I was rooting for a girl. When Alysha was 37 weeks pregnant I was officially on call. I checked my phone constantly and kept it right by my bed throughout the night waiting to get that call. On October 1st at 11:00pm 2 days before her due date, Alysha texted me that she was in the hospital for strep throat and they were keeping her overnight because she was dialed to a 7. She had been dialed to a 5 all week so neither of us expected her to go into labor that night but I told her I was ready to go either way. I made sure my clothes were set out and my bag was ready to go and went to bed. At 2:45am I woke up to a text from Alysha that said, “My water just broke. If you get this I’m room 2408.” I jumped out of bed, threw my clothes on and flew downtown to the hospital as fast as I could. When I got there security asked for the patients name and room number, I told him and he said “I don’t have that.” I asked him to check again, then I spelled it for him. Still nothing. Panicking that I was somehow at the wrong hospital, I called Alysha’s phone and her husband, Cody answered. He told me she was checked in under her maiden name and then he said “By the way, we had our little girl!” My heart sank because I missed the birth, but I was also so excited to hear that it was a GIRL! I hurried upstairs to find the baby still on Alysha’s chest. It turns out she was born at 3:21am, exactly 36min after Alysha texted me that her water had broken!
I spent the next 7 hours photographing as much of sweet Finley Suzanne’s birthday as possible. It was so incredible to see her parents fall completely in love with her and her big brother refusing to believe it was a girl, which was pretty adorable.
Cody and Alysha waited to tell family the gender and name until they came up to visit and I was able to see Alysha’s family come and find out it was a girl, including her sister who drove all the way from school in Chicago to find out if she had a niece or nephew!
It was an amazing day.
Here is an account of labor and delivery in Alysha’s words:
“I went into triage October 1 around 9:00pm after my on-call doctor said I should go in to get monitored since I had a fever all day and they suspected I had strep throat.
After I was hooked up to all the monitors they noticed the machines picking up small contractions. They decided to check my cervix to see if there was any change from the day before, when I was dilated to 5. The plan was to start me on antibiotics and send me on my way home. After the nurse checked me and I was dilated to 7cm they decided to admit me, let me get some rest, and talk game plan in the morning. When I FINALLY got up to my room around 1:00am they let me sleep, but baby had other plans. I woke up at 2:30 to go to the bathroom, went to sit down to get back in bed and my water broke. I immediately paged my nurse and told her my water broke. She was there in the blink of an eye checked my cervix and I was 10cm and ready to push. I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my hand gripped tightly to the arm rest of the hospital bed, saying ow ow ow every time a contraction hit. I think my husband was just sitting and watching, not knowing quite how to help me. Everything was happening so fast. I remember saying “ok I’ll take that epidural now” the nurses humoring me saying “alright we will get that right now for ya” then look at my husband shaking there heads. As soon as the doctor walked in they laid me back and my body took over. Pushing about 5 times, and out came my precious baby girl one day before she was due at 3:21am weighing 8lbs 2oz and 21in long.”