A few days leading up to Riggs’s due date, there was a significant ice freeze in Birmingham, which made travel dangerous and nearly impossible. I was hoping and praying that mama would not go into labor until we could all safely get to the hospital. Luckily Riggs had similar plans. With light labor starting up, mama went in for her weekly check up and ended up staying and getting admitted. As she labored on, dad sent me updates via text. As she neared 5-6cm dilated, I decided to go ahead and head to the hospital. This was their second baby, and goodness knows those second babies can come a lot faster than first time babies!
I quietly made my way into the delivery room and noticed right away that mama had her running shoes on! How awesome is that? Looking back through the images, it makes total sense that she would have her sneakers on, it is hard work after all. She labored on the birth ball for awhile and walked the halls of UAB, with her incredibly supportive husband by her side. As the sun was setting, she found her way into the bathroom, on the birth ball, listening to music and affirmations. Her doula was ever present, offering up physical and emotional support. One thing that I’ll never forget from this birth is how calm and in control mama was. She was “in the zone”, which made reading her progress signs difficult. It was a little bit of a guessing game. Around dinner time, transition reared its unmistakable head. This wasn’t hard to read! With each passing contraction, we could tell that it was getting harder for her to focus on anything other than the pain. It was also exciting to witness, because we all knew that she was very close to giving birth.
Exhaustion started to set in, so she made her way to the bed for a little rest and oxygen. Her need to push was here, and so were the L&D nurses and doctor on call. With only a few minutes of pushing, their baby boy Riggs, was born. The room relaxed, as everyone took in this new boy and what his mama did to birth him. After some time to nurse and enjoy some skin to skin, it was time for brothers to meet! Big brother Paul was ushered into the room wearing the most fancy of pajamas and ready for some hugs from his mama. He was slightly impressed by the new baby, but not so impressed with how loud his cries were. Ah, siblings! Everyone settled in for a long night of cuddling Riggs and coming down from major adrenaline rushes.
It was an incredible birth story to witness and I’m honored to have photographed it. Thank you to this family for allowing us to experience their son’s birth through images. Enjoy!