Overwhelming Love: a Cesarean Birth Story in Wisconsin

Sarah Salvia from Little Sparrow Photography LLC shared this gorgeous birth story with us, and we are thrilled to be sharing it during Cesarean Awareness month. You can find more of Sarah's incredible work by clicking on the links below. 

Business Website: www.littlesparrowphoto.com

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Sarah's Description of Birth: I had the opportunity to get to know this family a little bit before Sophia was born into this world, when they invited me to their home to document them getting ready for her arrival. Nea and Patrick were eagerly anticipating their daughter’s birth, as the chalkboard in the kitchen announced the date they thought might be her birthday. Nea’s mother and sister had recently arrived from Brazil, hoping to be there in time for the birth.

Sophia had other ideas, however, and she continued to stay cozy inside her mama for another week past her estimated due date before she finally arrived. Early Monday morning, Nea and Pat made their way to the hospital. Labor was slow to progress and contractions were intermittent for a while, but Nea remained positive and upbeat throughout the whole process. When I arrived in the afternoon, the family was just sitting down to play some board games. The atmosphere was cheerful and excited, as the sun glinted off the river below us.

After about seven hours of labor, Nea was checked, and there was still no progress. After breaking her water, the intensity of the contractions increased, and Nea spent some time laboring in different positions, including the tub, to try to remain calm and comfortable. I was amazed at her strength and focus, and her ability to crack a good joke, even during the most intense contractions. She labored for about twelve hours with very little cervical progress, before requesting an epidural, in the hopes that it would allow her body to relax and open up to let out her daughter. Patrick was by her side the entire time, lending a hand to hold and words of encouragement.

Sophia’s heart tones were fluctuating throughout the evening and into the night, and staff was diligent about keeping Nea in the right position and with enough oxygen to try to reduce stress on the baby. Eventually, though she was stuck at 9cm for several hours, they asked Nea to try pushing, needing to get Sophia out soon. Her cervix stubbornly refused to budge, and she then spiked a fever. The difficult decision was made to take the baby by Cesarean. 

Thanks to Nea’s persuasive speech to the anesthesiologist, I was allowed into the OR. The surgery was efficient, and baby Sophia entered the world at 3:41am, February 23, 2016. She was having some difficulty early on due to a tight nuchal cord and a fever, but staff worked quickly to make sure she was getting sufficient oxygen, and at last, her parents were able to hear her announce herself with a cry. Daddy was allowed to trim her cord and carry her to meet her mama.

The hospital allowed little Sophia to snuggle with her mama on their way back to her room, where grandparents and auntie were excited to meet her. The love in that room was overpowering, and Sophia was welcomed into a family that will no doubt continue to show her the same support that she received from everyone as she made her way into the world.