This is the second time I've had the privilege and honor of photographing and blogging one of my sweet SIL's, Hannah, births; though it is the third birth that I have had the privilege to be present for.
As the due date approached, Hannah became more and more uncomfortable, more and more ready, more and more certain that birth was eminent.
As is common with subsequent pregnancies, your body breaks up your laboring into segments and can do so across many days. For some it can be hours and hours of real labor contractions that simply start and then without warning...stop. I know how frustrating this process can feel, as I have been through it myself. Though, the frustration has been felt by Hannah more times than she would care to recall. You see, all four of her labors have progressed this way. Lots of contractions, painful, uncomfortable, exhausting, confusing, over DAYS until finally, she would feel pretty certain that it was time. (Isn't it funny how, no matter how many children you have had, once you know that it's time, you still aren't 100% sure that you know?) Yeah. You're right. It's not funny at all.
I came to their house 2 days before, when Hannah was contracting and feeling like this could be it. Just in case it wasn't quite time, yet, I knew if she wasn't ready that it would be disappointing for Hannah, I brought some flowers, red raspberry tea, and my whole kit of DoTerra oils (You all know I don't leave home without them.). I made her some tea and offered to wash her feet and massage them with some clary sage (to strengthen the contractions), white fir & lavender (to calm and soothe achey muslces).
As it turns out, her contractions did stop through the night and I went home early the next morning. But I got to return the next day, late afternoon, as it was finally time to go.
With baby #4, Hannah and Caleb felt confident that they could have a birth that they wanted with minimally invasive care, at the hospital, and decided to do so. (I typically prefer to document births at home, exclusively; though, I do make exceptions. Especially for family.)
Augustine (Gus) Binder Ely was delivered only a few hours after arriving at the hospital. Hannah's contractions were so strong once we arrived to the hospital, that her water broke in the waiting area, while they were preparing a room for her to labor in. She had to be on the monitor, to check on baby, once per hour, but was able to move around as much as she wanted, though, she was encouraged to rest some, as things progressed. It wasn't long before our sweet little Gus was among us, breathing and screaming, filling the room with the unspeakable joy that only new life can provoke.
I have an amazing SIL, one of the most supportive BIL's and another adorable nephew.