Un-medicated Hospital Birth in Saint John, NB

Being a Birth worker in any capacity, whether you are a Doula, photographer, or Midwife, is a demanding profession. You are on call, ready at any hour of the day or night, never making solid plans, always being ready. Being based in Moncton, I used to worry that Fredericton and Saint John were too far to travel to cover a birth. But now, having shot a birth in both locations, (and having moved to Salisbury) I am happy to accept birth work in all three major cities.

Meagan’s initial email to me was so kind: she loved my work and looked over everything when she was up at 3am, waking her husband to show him, and would I please come to Saint John to photograph the birth of her third? How could I say no?

At her Milk Bath Maternity, I learned that Meagan is a strong and capable mother with two young boys. Every milk bath session I have done has been so unique – and every one has been an impressive showcase of the power of the female body, the beauty and ambiguity of pregnancy.

These maternity sessions are so important for when you have hired a Birth photographer: it’s a chance for us to get to know one another, and for moms to feel comfortable with me so that when labour starts you have a friend and not a stranger by your side.

One rainy Wednesday morning I got a phone call: “My water broke and contractions are pretty close.” It was go time.

At the Saint John Regional hospital, labour slowed down a little, as it tends to do. The good news was, Meagan’s close friend who is a labour and deliver nurse was able to come and attend, as well as Meagan’s preferred OB. She was surrounding herself with a caring support team.

To help labour progress, we walked the hallways and climbed stairs.

Because she was experiencing so much back pain, we assumed baby was sunny side up (posterior). And because her membranes had already ruptured and infection was a risk, the birth tub was not a good option – so the shower helped provide some pain relief. Meagan was in and out of the shower a number of times, as was most comfortable for her.

Labour progressed slower than anticipated, so mom and dad to be took a brief break from the hospital room for supper. We knew the change of scenery would help kick things into high gear and we were not wrong.

Meagan was still holding strong, having received no medications (or needles) and with no desire to have any. We tried the gas, but it was not much help. Baby was sitting on a nerve, and the back pain was excruciating. Thankfully, the OB was able to help baby turn just enough to get its head into a good position. It wasn’t much longer after that that a healthy baby arrived.

It’s a Boy! Beautiful little Manning James Michael, born at 11:15pm. Dad cut the cord, and the cord blood was collected for the bank. Meagan was absolutely remarkable. She set out, knowing what she wanted, and accomplished it with grace and patience. Her care team was all by her side to the end. I want her to feel proud. Congratulations guys!

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