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As a Birth Photographer I experience a lot of the same emotions as my expecting mamas, without the physical discomforts (usually!). But there is such a rush when you've waited those months alongside mama, excited to meet this new little person. Then waiting for labor to start, sleeping on my phone to make sure I don't miss the text that tells me it's time! Arriving at the hospital with so much excitement and adrenaline that my hands shake... Then into the soothing dimness of mama's laboring room and this is it, baby's almost here!
Kiaonno's labor was slow to warm up and get going, but this mama was so patient and incredibly strong. She went into labor early on a Wednesday and checked in with the hospital to see how things were progressing. Hearing that she was 2 cm dilated, they headed home to rest and eat. Angie, their Doula, met them at home and helped mama walk a bit and get some rest. Things stayed pretty mellow so I carried on running my errands with my phone's ringer on high. Early Thursday morning I got the text that mama was 6 cm dilated and that things seemed to be picking up. Angie was already en route, so I grabbed my gear and headed to the hospital.
Kiaonno stayed at 6 cm for the next several hours but patiently labored for the rest of that day and into the night. I was in awe of her during the whole process because she never once raised her voice or moaned through a contraction. I know that labor is an intense endurance event, and I've never seen a mama make it through with such courage and poise!
Since I was already on site, and knowing how quickly things can develop, I decided to stay overnight with them. In the wee hours on Friday, Kiaonno opted to receive an epidural to help her get some rest because she'd been laboring for nearly two full days! While her body labored down, we all settled in to get a few hours sleep. By late morning, labor was progressing well and mama got the go ahead to start pushing just before lunchtime. But Baby K had ideas of her own and had managed to get her little head wedged into her mama's pelvis. She was delivered via C-Section at 4:22pm and weighed in at 6lb 4oz! Welcome Baby K!