When Kelsey found out she was pregnant, I was overjoyed for them. (I'm always excited about pregnancy, but when it's two people this awesome, it's even better.) When she asked me to photograph that special day, I couldn't refuse! It's so fulfilling to watch a couple over the course of their relationship- from engagement, to marriage, to childbirth and beyond-- it's like the ultimate compliment for a photographer.
Saturday I had the strangest feeling I should check on Kelsey and see how she was progressing in her pregnancy. (She had informed me the week before she was already dilated to 3.5cm and that her doctor thought she may be having the baby a few weeks early.) Here was our conversation:
"Hey girl! How are you doing?" -me
"Well I'm actually on my way to the hospital.... I'm having contractions!" -Kelsey
"OMG why didn't you tell me?!" -me
"I didn't want you to get ready for nothing!" -Kelsey
"Do not have a marathon birth." -me
(I laughed so hard at this, because my previous birth client, (remember Jade? See her story HERE) had the marathon labor that ended in less than 20 minutes was the client that referred Kelsey to me years ago!)
I quickly arranged for childcare for my daughter and planned to head to the hospital. Kelsey delivered in Owensboro, which is about an hour and a half from me. We kept in touch through the night, as her doc admitted her and let her labor on her own overnight. At 2am she had reached 6cm and received her epidural. The doctor broke her water around 6am, and I got ready to head to the hospital. (Hannah picked the coldest day of the year to be born- it was less than 30 degrees when I left my house!)
Waiting patiently for Hannah's arrival!
Kelsey had so many faithful friends and family members waiting in the lobby!
Kelsey was able to sleep through quite a bit of the labor in the early morning. When she stalled out on progressing on her own, the doctor ordered Pitocin to speed up the contractions. By 11:15am, Kelsey had dilated to 9cm, and they sat her up to let her labor down for a bit until Hannah dropped. Kelsey's friends came in to touch up her makeup and make sure she was looking her best for all my photos. These are real friends! :)
When it was time to push, Kelsey was so strong. Adam held her hand through it all, and her mom was also there to see the birth. She had such a strong support system! I was very impressed with Owensboro and their facility, nurses, and doctors.
Family members gave their last wishes before it was time for Kelsey to push!
This was the final push- when the tears started flowing. These are the images that are so full of emotion! Kelsey, your excitement about your baby girl is a beautiful thing.
Weighing in at 7lb, 7oz and 20 inches long, Hannah was completely perfect!
Hannah was passed around to friends and family; joy filled the room!
Kelsey had such a beautiful birth with a fabulous team of nurses, family and friends. I'm forever grateful, Kelsey and Adam, for letting me be part of such an important moment in your lives. Hannah is blessed beyond measure; she doesn't know how much she is already loved!