When fellow birth photographer Justine learned that she was expecting, and that her military husband was being transferred to Oromocto from Manitoba, she reached out to me immediately. Generally, I like to meet with moms-to-be first, to talk about their ideas for this birth, about any previous birth experiences (if any), and to get to know one another. But circumstances would not allow, and so I did not have the privilege to meet Justine and her husband until their maternity session in the fall – just a short time before the birth.
“I’m so glad to meet you, and that you’re normal” she said. I love it!
We did not expect any snow for their October/November birth, but of course there was a storm that day.
Mom began her labour at home in the evening, picking up the next morning with some help of castor oil and lots of walking around. Most of her labour was back pain, and applying counter-pressure helped.
When the midwife was called, it was discouraging to hear that Justine’s labour wasn’t as far along as we had hoped. But she was coping well, staying calm and focused, and using the tub to help with pain as well.
The midwife was somewhat concerned with baby’s elevated heart rate (which stayed high for quite some time). That along with the weather and mom’s desire for change led everyone to agree to move to the hospital. So around 9pm, just as the freezing rain began, we headed in to Fredericton.
I love when you are at the hospital and you have the most knowledgeable, cheerful, caring and helpful L&D nurse. It makes everything so much better.
With some help from the gas and air (which I don’t feel helped much), Justine went from 5cm dilated to full in just 20 mins after the midwife broke her water. And then with only 20 mins or so of pushing, their precious baby boy arrived.
What can I say but this mom was an absolute beast! She faced every hurdle with calm strength, and didn’t show any discouragement even when things took much longer than expected. In the end, we were all thankful to be in hospital as mom did experience a hemorrhage as well as serious injury from the birth (she and baby and both doing well).
Thank you to the NB midwives as well as the staff at the Fredericton Everett Chalmer’s Regional Hospital for their expertise.