The Birth of Sophie
This birth story is an amazing example of courage and strength in difficult conditions. Almost everything that could go “wrong” with this birth did, but this amazing young couple took it all in their stride and could still be positive about their experience looking back at it afterwards. It truly blew me away.
Nicole was induced early for social reasons, and the induction process took three days. So these two had already spent a lot of time, including sleepless nights, in hospital by the time I got to them on the evening of the 7th of November. But still their mood was upbeat. I had arrived a few hours before I was called into the room, because I was anticipating things might progress suddenly. Being an LMH birth, and me being based down south, I wanted to be close by in case anything happened.
I came in to the news that Nicole was fully dilated, with an epidural on board, and that they were just letting her sit for a while to make sure everything was ready. Then we were told that bubs wasn’t in an ideal position (she was still quite high), so a doctor would need to come and see how things were going. The doctor was very straight with Nicole, that she thought the baby was too high and wasn’t going to come down. But they agreed that Nicole would attempt pushing, and see how everything went.
Nicole pushed for a solid hour, and the determination was written all over her face. Her partner Jordan was incredibly supportive, and held her through the whole process. But unfortunately the doctor came back to check and bubs had not really moved at all. And the decision was made to go to theatre. Nicole was clearly very disappointed, and there was a quiet time where Jordan held her and comforted her. But she rallied, showing her amazing strength again, and then it was time to go.
What followed was quite bizarre. I was very lucky that they decided I could go into theatre (which is rare in public hospitals). I think it was because it was the middle of the night by this stage. We waited a long time in the waiting bay, for the team to all arrive. Finally we went into the operating room, and they had Nicole mostly prepped, then there was an emergency call over the PA and half the team disappeared! For quite a long time. They explained afterwards that they would never have left if her surgery had actually started. But it was unnerving at the time, and something I have never seen before!
The team returned, and beautiful little Sophie was born at 2:36am on the 8th of November. She came out a bit stunned, and needed extra help to breath and get going. Unfortunately Nicole could feel the surgery, so as soon as Sophie was out she agreed to them putting her under general anaesthetic for the rest of the operation. A miraculously calm Jordan followed Sophie around to NICU, where she was quickly determined to be OK and was weighed and measured. I reminded Jordan that skin to skin after the birth was something that they highlighted in their birth plan, so he had a cuddle with Sophie before I left them to it.
This birth is the most difficult I have captured, and it took me a little while to get my head around it afterwards. Everything that happened (except the team leaving theatre!) I have seen happen to other couples at other births I have captured. But not all of it to one couple. When I caught up with Nicole and Jordan for Sophie’s newborn session they were doing really well. Nicole expressed that they don’t know any different, aside from their experience, so it wasn’t causing her upset at this time. I think their strength and togetherness as a couple just shines through the way they have coped with it. But I did leave them with the advice to speak to someone if it comes up at some stage, maybe when they are pregnant with their next child, and to be open and to work through it together.
In the meantime they are busy enjoying their gorgeous baby girl <3.
Birth Photographer Adelaide – Beck Newell