the first thing i noticed when i entered the spacious hospital room where whitney was laboring was the smell: it was lavender, vanilla, and chamomile. the second thing i noticed was the silence. the constant quiet whir of machines and the beeping of the heart rate monitor were conspicuously absent, like those noises you didn't notice until they are removed. this, i knew, was not to be a typical hospital birth.
whitney and brandon had planned for a home birth. the decision to go to the hospital instead was devastating for their dream of how their birth would go. so much so, that whitney actually uninvited me as the photographer for a minute (until their midwife talked her back into it)! :) but if critically low fluid levels at 41.5 weeks gestation was going to push them into a hospital, they were intent on having it be as un-hospital-y as possible. and it really was. all their wishes -- so careful prescribed on the back of an envelop -- were followed respectfully, and whitney labored peacefully, without intervention, and without ever once getting into the hospital bed (haha. she was VERY insistent that she would labor anywhere but there). their midwife attended them in the hospital in the role of doula. their moms were also present.
in the end, it was the toilet that provided the most productive position for working through contractions, and for pushing. after a mild attempt to persuade whitney away from the toilet, the OB on call gave in, put scrubs on over his street clothes, and got down on his knees on the bathroom floor. right next to the midwife. which was the most beautiful picture of mutual respect between and OB and home birth midwife i've seen, and such a shining example of woman-centered child birth in a hospital.
after long moments of held tension, breathing through the urge to push through the discomfort, bronx was eased out onto the little pillow cushion in front of the toilet, pinked and ready to yell. he went straight to his mama's chest and stayed there for over an hour. he was perfect. and BIG! i'm not sure there was a dry eye in the house.
here you'll see... the birth of baby bronx....
whitney and brandon, i'm ever so glad you decided to let me come after all. as you said, this really turned out to be the best scenario imaginable for bronx's debut. i'm so very happy for you all.