It was 11:00pm at that point and we decided to nap. In my mind, something didn’t feel right. Katelyn was progressing so slowly that I felt like something was not right. I’m no medical professional but I just had an inkling. Katelyn was having to be turned and moved every thirty minutes or so because contractions were becoming too close and baby’s heart rate was dropping. After our small power nap, the hours went on. 1am, 2am, then around 3am, Katelyn was just so exhausted. She hadn’t ate since 5:30am that morning. I spoke to her and Alex and told them I would leave to sleep at home. Once I got up in the morning, I would check in and come back whether baby was born or not. We could still get pictures either way.
To be honest, I was completely anticipating waking up to a text saying that baby was born. I wanted that for them. I had grown close to them over this time and wanted so badly for them to have baby Shawn in their arms. I texted at 10am. Alex said baby was not here and they were exploring the c-section option. I told him to keep me updated. I got another text at 2:30pm and Alex said they were doing a c-section right then.
I left my home and traveled to OSU. I admit, over the several times I’ve photographed births and the stories my newborn parents tell me, this was like no other birth. I had never left a laboring mom before only to come back and baby still not be here. This was new territory for me and only a reminder that, truly, no birth is like another. They are all different.
I arrived at the hospital at about 4pm. I hadn’t had a single text from Alex. I entered the labor and delivery waiting room to a large group with unsettled faces. All of them were waiting on baby Shawn. Alex’s mother asked ‘They are still back there….’ and my face told it all. Alex’s mom saw my face and said ‘Yeah, I thought so…’ My heart dropped because we had no idea what was happening. In my experience, an emergency c-section has been about 45 minutes. Maybe an hour and 15 minutes. But over two hours (it was 4:45pm at this point) and we were all praying everything was okay. Family members were crying, on the phone, reading their bibles and praying. Eyes waited for the body that would cross the clicking doors, hoping someone would tell them, tell us, what was going on.
Alex, in his red Ohio logo-ed shirt finally crossed the view of the waiting room to walk towards us. We could all feel ourselves leaning closer, as the seconds that passed to read his face couldn’t tell us quick enough what was going on. Alex’s lips broke into an upward curve revealing a smile only a new daddy could have. ‘EVERYONE IS OK. Everyone is doing ok.’ he said. Everyone got up at once and hugged the person closest to them. There was a wave of relief over the room. ‘Praise JESUS!’ and ‘THANK YOU GOD’ exclaimed from each family member as they crowded around Alex. He said, ‘Everyone is doing good. He wasn’t breathing well at first but he’s ok now. Katelyn’s asleep too. She’s out!’ Everyone began hugging Alex and then he took off his glasses. Everyone fell silent.