SCHEDULED CESAREAN BIRTH AT KAISER PERMANENTE MOANALUA | HONOLULU, HI
THE BIRTH OF Dax
Jami found my work early in her pregnancy and hired me to do her maternity shoot. The conversation about having her birth documented started somewhere in between, but she knew she was having a scheduled cesarean at Kaiser Permanente and knew the chances of a photographer being allowed inside were very slim.
After months of conversations, some killer maternity underwater shots (that's her gracefully diving underwater on my home page guys!) and many talks with her OB, she decided she wanted me there and that she would take the chances of either a yes or no.
Her OB was amazing from the start by being favorable to my presence, but being honest that the decision didn't come from her. For cesarean births, usually the anesthesia team has the last say. Sometimes the head nurse has the last say. All these staff members would have to be favorable to my presence on the morning of the surgery.
We met at 5am at the lobby of Kaiser. A big smile on her face. Her cheerful attitude was contagious! She was ready to meet her baby.
You see, Jami had had a tumor a few years back that weakened her uterine wall. Pregnancy would pose a big risk to her because her uterus cannot handle a single contraction, and therefore creating the need for an early surgery to avoid the risk of labor.
We went through the motions of getting admitted, walking up to the room, starting the prep stage - and through it she had a big smile on her face. We didn't know at this point if the actual birth would be documented by me or not.
Her husband checked the weather forecast. It was an unusually gray and windy day for Hawaii. A massive earthquake somewhere put us on a tsunami watch. I live on an evacuation zone, so I started calling my husband to be aware and get our things together in case the warning was upgraded to a tsunami watch. Thank God it wasn't, and by mid morning we were more relieved and able to focus on the birth of baby Dax.
In answer to many many prayers - because I truly believe that - every single person was favorable to me going in. It was amazing. I cried a little. This mama was getting the desire of her heart - to have her last birth documented.
It was beautiful.
Baby Dax was gently pulled into the world by two amazing female surgeons. He greeted the world with arms wide open. My first thought was "what a beautiful big boy!". There was an enormous sense of peace in the air. And so much love!
Skin to skin in the OR was amazing and the longest I've seen here in Hawaii. Baby stayed on mama's chest while she gently said in her beautiful Southern accent "I'm your mama".
I have goosebumps writing all of this. It's my dream that more cesarean section families get their first moments professionally documented. This birth was a huge win for me and one of the highlights of my year. It gives me fire to continue doing this important work. To continue bringing awareness to gentle and respectful births of all kinds.