Philadelphia PA Birth Story Photographer – From birth center to hospital

A birth story can start any number of ways, and this one starts with one of the most amazing, loving, supportive couples I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I actually met Chita in my prenatal yoga class, and had unknowingly already connected with her wife, Yana, over our shared passion for birth photography. Isn’t Philly great that way! Yana and Chita are also amazing wedding photographers in their own rite, and I was so excited when they asked me to document their baby’s birth story. 

Chita started having prodromal labor the Sunday before she would be 42 weeks. Yana and I kept in touch over the next few days as we all waited for early labor to set in, and on Wednesday I got the call to head to the birth center at Lifecycle WomanCare. Contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, and these mamas were understandably excited to be finally getting closer to meeting their baby. Once there, the midwives confirmed that labor was progressing and baby was doing great, so Yana and Chita settled in to the work ahead of them. Over the rest of the day, the beautiful connection between these two women was so inspiring to watch. Using their skills from Hypnobabies class, they tirelessly worked through every contraction/wave, laughing and resting together in between each round of effort.

Both sets of grandparents stopped in to contribute their love and support for their daughters, and even made a run to Wawa for us to bring in lunch. Throughout the day, the midwife and nurse came in to check on baby and offer suggestions of ways to help labor move along. As evening settled in, contractions started slowing down. After trying a few more tricks and discussing the situation with the midwife, they made the difficult decision to transfer to the hospital, just about 14 hours after checking in at the birth center.

We packed everything up and drove over to Bryn Mawr Hospital in the light snow that had just started to fall. While waiting in preparation for an epidural, baby’s heart rate began to drop with each contraction. The staff calmly explained what was happening, and tried a few things in hopes that baby would do better. When things didn’t improve it was decided that they were to have a c-section. Yana waited anxiously for them to reunite her with Chita in the OR, and not long after we heard baby Zoya’s wonderful first cries. Yana got to have skin to skin with their beautiful new daughter while Chita’s surgery completed. Zoya had no trouble latching on and was able to breastfeed happily snuggled in with her new mamas. As they wheeled everyone to recovery, all four grandparents came running down the hall to embrace them, so relieved and overjoyed to see their daughters and granddaughter together as a family at last.

Birth center nurse listens to baby's heartbeat while mom has a contraction, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant mom is examined by midwife at birth center while wife supports and comforts her, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant mama and her wife lie in bed at birth center, work through contractions together, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerBirth center midwife listens to baby's heartbeat while mom has a contraction and wife watches lovingly, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant woman labors in birth center tub with support of her wife, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant woman's mother and father come to give her kisses and love while she labors, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyMother watches and her daughter and her wife work through a contraction together at the birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographWoman kisses her wife's pregnant belly as she rests in between contractions, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant mom and her wife work through contractions together at birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant mom and her wife laugh together while in labor to meet their daughter, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant mom and her wife laugh together while in labor to meet their daughter, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant mom and her wife support each other through contractions at birth center in labor to meet their daughter, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant mom is examined by midwife at birth center while wife supports and comforts her, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerGrandparents quietly enter the room while their daughters labor together to birth their baby girl, Philadelphia PA birth story photographPregnant mom has a contraction in between bites of her sandwich for lunch, Philadelphia PA birth story photographPregnant mom's belly at 42 weeks while in labor, beautiful stretch marks, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant mama and her wife rest during labor at birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographPregnant mom is examined by midwife at birth center and hear options from nurse while wife supports and comforts her, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant woman gets comfort from her wife while being examined during labor at birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant woman gets comfort from her wife while midwife listens to baby's heartbeat during contractions at birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant mom and her wife comfort each other during difficult labor to birth their baby girl, Philadelphia PA birth story photographPregnant mother and her wife climb stairs to encourage contractions during labor at birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographPregnant woman and her wife rest during labor at birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant woman is examined by midwife at birth center while wife supports and comforts her, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant woman is examined by midwife at birth center while wife supports and comforts her, Philadelphia PA birth story photographPregnant woman is comforted by her wife while midwife listens to baby's heartbeat, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyMidwives switch shifts during long labor at birth center, examine pregnant mom while wife supports her, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant woman gets support from her wife after having her water broken at birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant woman gets support from her wife after having her water broken at birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant mom fills out forms with support of her wife after transferring to the hospital from birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant mom gets comfort and support of her wife after transferring to the hospital from birth center, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyPregnant mom is wheeled out for a c-section, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant mom's wife waits anxiously in the hallway to join her for c-section to deliver their baby, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerPregnant mom has c-section and waits to meet her new baby girl, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerNewborn baby girl is delivered c-section and has umbilical cord cut by her mom, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerNew mom has skin to skin with newborn baby girl while her wife has c-section, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerNewborn baby girl has skin to skin with her mother after being born c-section, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerBaby girl meets her moms and breastfeeds for the first time after long and difficult birth, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerBaby girl meets her moms after long and difficult birth, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyBaby girl smiles at her moms after long and difficult birth, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerTiny inky toes of newborn baby girl born c-section at the hospital, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerNewborn baby girl is examined after being born c-section at hospital, Philadelphia PA birth story photographyMidwife shows new moms their baby girl's placenta after long difficult birth, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerBaby girl meets one of her moms after being born at the hospital, Philadelphia PA birth story photographNew moms fall in love with their newborn baby girl after long difficult birth, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerMom kiss and celebrate birth of their daughter after long labor, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerNew grandparents rejoice over birth of their granddaughter and celebrate with their daughters, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerProud new moms take first family photo with newborn baby daughter, Philadelphia PA birth story photographerWhere a birth story is going to end is anyone’s guess, that’s part of the magic of birth! Even though this birth day did not go “as planned”, these mamas brought their baby girl into the world with strength, bravery and love, and I was so proud to be there to witness it all. 

 

If you’d like to chat with Rachel about capturing your baby’s birth story, please be in touch.

 

Rachel Utain-Evans is a Philadelphia, PA photographer specializing in natural, loving, joyful newborn, maternity, family, breastfeeding and birth photography. Serving the Greater Philadelphia area. 

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