Faith Based Birth, Tulsa, OK
Photographer: Taryn Starkey
These are the words my client, Katie spoke as she told her birth story, Birthing Bohanan. I love how her faith has carried her through. She was so courageous throughout her entire labor and called upon her God to carry her through it. It was an absolute honor to support her and photograph the birth of her beautiful son.
Monday, 3/25, I started to feel contractions in the afternoon. I went to lay down to see if they would subside. They did somewhat but started up again around 5:30pm. They continued until I took a bath around 8pm. I texted my doula. She recommended I rest for a few hours, so I went to bed at 9pm. Around 11pm I woke up to use the restroom. A contraction hit. Then another after 7 minutes. Then another after 5. Then they were 2-3 minutes apart all of a sudden. Cody and I hurriedly packed the rest of our hospital bag, spoke with our doula, called my mom to get Cohen, and got to the hospital. My mom and doula met us there. Mom took Cohen back to her house. At 1am, we were put in a room for monitoring for an hour. I was dilated to a 3. After that first hour I was nearly a 4. Shortly after I was admitted.
The next few hours things moved slowly. I was able to work through the contractions with support from Cody and our doula. They were more and more intense but not unbearable. I was able to move freely, to try different positions and not be stuck in bed the whole time.
By 6am I was dilated to a 5. That was good news. Things were happening. I was able to request a labor tub. It took a while to get one; it was shift change and they needed me to be monitored for a while longer before I could move. Around 7:20am we got the go-ahead to get over to the tub room.
The tub was amazing. Relaxing. I worked through three or four big contractions there. After maybe 20 minutes, I was feeling different, like I needed to push. I decided to get out so I could get checked, and I was at an 8 or 9—the nurse said it was hard to tell as my water still hadn't broken and was bulging. I tried to go get back to the tub, but some of the water had drained & I felt there wasn't enough time to get back in and get it filled again. We went back to the bed and I was able to labor there in an upright position and then on my knees and elbows.
Things got intense. Baby was coming. I was in pain & not totally maintaining composure/peace at that point. The nurse said she had talked to my midwife. I knew she had been in town that Monday and was leaving again that Tuesday. The nurse said she hadn't left, and she was on the way in. I wept. God knew my desires to have her there.
My body wasn't waiting though. The doctor on call was called in. My water still hadn't broken, as he was about to break it, my midwife walked in. I was still on my elbows and knees. The next moments were a blur. Pushing a baby out is hard work. His head came out but his shoulder was stuck. Somewhere in there my water finally broke. I couldn't turn myself over, but they needed me to. So the nurses and staff did it. Then Bohanon was out and handed to me. He was here. I did it; my body did it. My midwife delivered my placenta. Then she announced I needed no stitches—I didn't tear!
We had the next hour or so to soak in our baby. No rush to get him weighed or measured. That all happened on our time table.
This pregnancy and birth were so completely different than my first. It was full of completely relying on God and believing him to meet the desires of my heart—which he did.
My baby came right on time; on his due date.
My body did all the work—naturally, without any medical interventions.
My midwife was in attendance.
I had the amazing support of my husband and doula.
Staff in the room was limited to only who was needed.
My doula was able to capture the whole thing through photographs.
We were empowered and confident—we got to make the informed decisions we needed to make.
I walk away from this birth feeling & knowing the love of God for me. And he is so, so good.