Photographer: Kayla Gonzales
At 7:50 am on Thursday, August 4, I woke up in a panic. Did I sleep through the call?! I picked up my phone and saw that all was quiet. I texted Cara immediately to check in. Quickly she responded, what a relief!
“Hi! I’m finally all settled. So weird I just grabbed my phone to text you. They JUST started pitocin drip….”
She also told me that they had just checked her, and that she was at 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. I told her I would get my kiddos squared away and head that direction and she said that was fine. A little more than an hour later, I texted to check in. When she didn’t reply immediately, I got nervous and called. I hadn’t eaten yet and was hoping to grab something on the way in, but when I called, I got no answer. I decided it was probably best to head straight to the hospital, just to be safe, but my navigation took me to a very confusing area so I called again. This time, her husband, Vince, answered, and I could hear her laboring in the background. Good news! Contractions were coming on strong, but she was still at 3 cm, he told me. I asked if it was okay to stop for breakfast and he said he thought there was plenty of time, so I grabbed a bagel and some coffee and made the rest of the trip to the hospital. It was 45 minutes from the time I hung up the phone to the moment I reached the L&D section of the hospital. I was just outside her door and asking a nurse to confirm it was the right room, when another nurse walked by and said “I think they’re delivering in there.” I bolted inside (so glad nobody stopped me!) to find the baby already crowning and the doctor in position to catch! What a terrifying moment for a birth photographer! I quickly wove my way through the nurses and the doctor attending her, just in time to fire off one labor image as she roared her baby out, followed by the first shot of baby, at the very moment of birth.
WHOA! That was close, my heart was pounding, Mama looked terrified, Dad had a look of shock and concern. How this incredible birthing mama had gone from 3 cm to baby in her arms in such a short time is just beyond comprehension! We were all so lucky I made it with just seconds to spare, but what an amazing, inspiring story it is… I am so honored to have been present to document both the birth of a baby, and the birth of a warrior.