The Fast and Healing Unmedicated Hospital Birth of Emilie Vonn | Oklahoma City Birth Photography and Videography
I officially photographed my first birth almost four years ago in April 2015, but about 9 months before that I stood outside the door of a hospital room and heard the first cry of my niece before being invited in to use my brother's DSLR on auto (before I knew my way around a camera) to document some of her first moments. It was a whirlwind 15 minutes as sweet Evie began to struggle to breathe and needed to be whisked off to the NICU before her mama got a chance to get a good look at her. And as I stood by her mama, my lovely sister-in-love, and encouraged her by showing her photos on the back of the camera of her sweet baby girl, I had my first glimpse of how powerful birth photography can be.
So when four years later we were all joyfully surprised by the news of another niece heading our way, I was SO incredibly honored to be invited back into their birth space… this time from the very beginning. Megan called on a Monday morning - Labor Day of all days - while my family was on a hike near our house. Nothing was really rocking and rolling yet, but she could tell something felt a little off and wondered if things might be warming up. I told her to keep me updated, and we hustled back down the hill to get our littles down for a nap, thinking it’d likely be that evening before I heard anything.
Around 4 o’clock, I got a text from my brother letting me know baby was for sure on her way and that I should head towards OKC, about an hour and a half drive from my house. They decided they wanted me to meet them at their house first as Megan had wanted to labor at home for as long as possible, so I made it not long after 5:30pm. Megan was calm and focused with her headphones in, not even noticing my entrance until after peacefully navigating several pressure waves. However, despite her calm demeanor, it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was probably time to head to the hospital as her waves were coming consistently 2 minutes apart. I could tell my brother was feeling a little anxious to head that way too, and while she was still feeling super calm, Megan ultimately decided that it was time to make their way that direction and so we gathered all the things and hit the road.
At the hospital, things were much of the same. Megan would stop every little bit along the path to/from the elevators to ride a powerful wave, and then would keep moving. We could tell the nurses looked a little skeptical at triage when my brother said his wife was in labor - simply because Megan seemed so cool and collected. The nurses did their thing and checked on baby and progress, and announced the Meg was sitting around 5cm, and then left her to labor peacefully alongside her husband and mom who had recently arrived while they arranged a room with L&D.
But that’s when something shifted. The waves picked up in intensity and within minutes of them leaving the room I could tell Megan was starting to push by the sounds she was making. We summoned the nurses and like lightning they grabbed a wheelchair and basically ran to the elevators to hop up and across to the Labor & Delivery Unit.
After that, Megan basically climbed onto the bed, rolled onto her side, and powerfully pushed out her baby girl before her doctor could even make it in the room (though that fabulous Dr. Brunnabend made it within 90 seconds of birth after having run across the parking lot at 8 months pregnant. Seriously PROPS). Thankfully one of the on-call docs got there just in time to catch, and in a moment where time seemed to stand still laid a vibrantly pink and crying little one onto her mama’s chest. “I really get to keep you?!,” I heard Megan whisper to her little one… waiting for the pin to drop that had required her oldest to be whisked away from her arms. But not this time. The beauty in healing going on in the room as baby sister snuggled into mom for keeps was truly breathtaking.