Tripp’s birth story does not begin at the hospital, but it actually starts with a facebook message.
After Koralyne, I didn’t advertise my birth photography more than just posted pictures online and pricing on my website. Why? Well it wasn’t because I didn’t love it because I did! But I knew with quite a few weddings lined up this year, I would take on very limited amounts of these very special birth sessions. Babies don’t have an exact date of arrival most times and I didn’t want someone giving birth right when I was at a wedding. I wanted to be fully dedicated to all my clients. When Bethany told me her due date was the day before one of my weddings, I was a little cautious at first but I had a HUGE feeling I needed to take this job on and that it would not interfere with the wedding (and it didn’t… yay!)
So, Tripp’s momma, Bethany messaged me on facebook. She was so interested in the birth photography and wanted to meet immediately. (That always makes me feel good when clients are excited!!!) So, one afternoon, Bethany and I met and we talked over lunch (Her awesome momma was there too 🙂 I’ll be honest. I love their entire family!) Bethany surprised me when she told me she was a nurse (This would be the first of many surprises!) as that eased my mind on having to explain to her how this type of photography goes with restrictions and having to make sure I am out of the way of the nurses working. When I left that meeting, I had a smile on my face. Not only because I would photograph another special moment, but because she was so excited and on board with all of it.
Bethany and her husband (Tripp’s daddy) Kurt did a fantastic job of keeping me up to date. Bethany started by updating me after her appointments. I told Bethany that I thought Tripp would come on a Tuesday but I was soff by a day. Bethany texted me on Wednesday afternoon and told me her water broke. My first initial thought was (Oh goodness! He’s gonna be a 3am baby!) but I was so wrong. Per my requests, I asked them to text me her progress when she was admitted and then text me again at 5cm dialated. Unfortunately, Tripp wasn’t going to have it that way. I got a text when she was admitted and the next one was when they were at 6cm! Tripp obviously was not waiting for me! Bethany had progressed so fast.
I got to the hospital only a few hours after she was admitted. I was greeted in the lobby by Kurt and the grandparents-to-be and then made my way back to her room. Typically when I make me walk back to the room, I mentally prepare myself to witness a very upset client who is dealing with pain… but not Bethany. I walked in and it was her perky little ‘Hello!’ that greeted me. I was so surprised (Like I said, lots of surprises) The nurse came in, she was checked again and at 8cm. Tripp was not kidding around. This kid was coming, fast.
Ohh ohhhhh but let me NOT forget my almost favorite part of this entire story. Bethany sits in labor and Kurt grabs the tv controls and goes ‘Do you wanna watch something? Duck Dynasty?’ I almost peed my pants laughing. Kurt tried so hard to make his attempt at watching his show as trying to entertain Bethany. This amused me so much.
As Bethany made her way to the point of pushing, She was so calm in doing so. She actually had this really determined yet peaceful look on her face. Kurt was so great in helping her. It’s always great to see the comfort of the partner in the room. It’s a vital part of the process! Time went by as Bethany kept pushing but we started to see her contractions dwindle on the monitor. They weren’t coming anymore. But rest assure, the nurse was on it and wanted to start some meds to get them going again. She advised me that it may be another hour until we see contractions again. I made this to be a quick opportunity to grab a drink and a bathroom break. My mistake though…..
As I came back, I entered to halls of the maternity ward, waiting for a nurse to allow me access to the hall of her room. My first big sign of panic was that not a nurse was in sight when only 5 minutes ago there were plenty around. I mean, the place was dead silent. I stood waiting and finally one came. I told her I needed access to Bethany’s room and she said ‘Uhh let me see if you’re allowed’ and I replied with letting her know that I had been back there the whole time and I’m their photographer (Just a quick, friendly moment of education on who I was.) The nurse peaked in the room and then looked at me and said ‘Ok, you can come in’…. She allowed me to walk in expecting to see Bethany and Kurt, but instead, I witnessed a completely empty room. No Bethany, no Kurt, no bed, the monitors were off. The nurse didn’t say ANYTHING until I turned around and said ‘WHERE DID THEY GO?!’ She answered ‘c-section’. OY!
I gathered my things and went back out to the lobby. I was falling over my words and tried to tell Bethany’s mom that they had gone to the OR for a c-section. I had no idea what to expect at this point. I’ve never dealt with a c-section. I didn’t know if I should stay or go… the nurse informed me that I most likely wouldn’t see the baby. Bethany’s mom wanted to get some answers about this and just as we pushed the button to get access to the ward, a nurse came running down the hall dressed in surgery garb and said what was music to my ears…. ‘Where is the photographer!’
I stepped forward and she took me to a room. She was shoving shoe covers, a hair cap, a smock and a mask at me. As I was putting them on she asked ‘Have you ever witnessed a c-section before?’ (UH NO.) ‘Are you uncomfortable with with sight of blood?’
YES Nope… and we ran back to the OR (This is probably the most thrilling thing that has happened to me in my entire existence.) I managed to grab a selfie while running down the hall 😉
As I entered the OR, I seen Kurt, misty eyed. The Doctor said ‘Thank God the photographer wasn’t here when I was crying!’ and Bethany looks at me for the second time today and welcomes me with her ‘Hello’. It was weird, the c-section. Bethany layed there as if nothing was happening yet I seen them working on her and blood was everywhere (That sounds dramatic, but it was… hands, clothes, bedding. More than I see normally haha) But there he was, the prince had arrived. A little 6 pound 13 ounce baby boy took his first breath at 10:51pm. He was held by his father and received his first kiss from his loving momma. In those moments, I watched parenthood run through their veins. It was natural and perfect. I watched their faces, mannerisms and their words just change into this dedication that was only to Tripp. It broke my heart to watch Tripp leave Bethany’s sight.
When the nurses were ready, they directed Kurt and I down the hall to notify the grandparents… The look of joy on their faces when they seen their new grandbaby was unlike nothing you will ever see in life. We all followed while we walked down the hall to the nursery. I felt like I was not worthy of being invited into this nursery and watch Tripp be prepped for his first date… with his momma. They washed him and combed his beautiful brown hair and crowned him king of the Buckeyes! hahaha It was awesome to look up and watch the family look into the window of the nursery. It’s a sight that I have never seen and I believe very few do.
Trip was finally ready to meet his family, all together in the same room. As I watched, I felt such warmth, happiness, and joy fill the room. So many smiles. I don’t think you could feel anything but happiness in a room like that. I was honored to photograph them as a family for the very first time. I will never forget this moment, as I walked out of the hospital realizing that the girl I used to look up to in 8th grade, just let me witness the birth of her son. I watched the woman who gave me my first car loan, become a grandmother.
I feel completely undeserving of the life I live. I am not worthy of the moments I get to experience with every single soul I get to photograph. It is with honor that on the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I get to share this story with you about a new life and a new family.
Thank you so much for reading this birth story. I hope that I brought to you some of the emotion that we felt on that day. If you are ever interested in a session of any kind, please visit envphotographyy.com
Becka at ENV