Let me preface this with a little background info. Ryan and Brittany have been good friends of mine for several years now. We grew very close a few years back and had a very tight knit group of friends. It was so exciting when they got married last September. When they announced their pregnancy, I was so excited to now be able to document the birth of their baby.
I was able to be there, along with another close friend of ours, when they found out the sex of their baby, a girl, and then again at the birth. It is always that much more special when you get to see these tiny babes in their earliest days and weeks of existance.
Fast forward to June 26th, I noticed I had a missed call from Brittany; I didn't think much of it because her due date was almost a month away and figured maybe she just wanted to hang out sometime before the baby came. She called again an hour or so later saying her water broke and they were in the hospital, at this point she was 36 weeks and 4 days. We talked and decided to wait until active labor started for me to head to the hospital.
I kept in close contact with her and Ryan on and off throughout the night and the next morning contractions still hadn't picked up. I headed up to the hospital around 8am and shortly after I got there they started pitocin to try to get some contractions started. Brittany was very apprehensive about getting the pitocin (and rightly so) but her wonderful nurse, Alaina (who truly was an ANGEL) assured her that they would start low (at 1) and go up VERY slowly if needbe. Pit was started and contractions slowly started, seems little Miss was begining to second guess making her appearence that day! But throughout the day as we relaxed, talked, and enjoyed each others company, her surges began to pick up. Alaina, her nurse, would slowly turn the pit up ever 45 minutes to an hour and slowly but surely active labor started. At this point Ryan and Brittany had been walking the halls, bouncing on the ball, and moving around together through each contraction, especially since labor was really starting to pick up.
Once Alaina set the pit to 17 (that sneaky lady!) things REALLY picked up...But Ryan helped keep Brittany focused thorugh each surge. Dancing, moving, rocking, and whispering words of encouragement to her all thoughout. I cannot express how beautiful this was. They were SO in sync, they truly became one and were working together to meet their daughter.
Then came shift change for nurses and at this point, Brittany was more than 24 hours without food and little to no rest, the surges were coming harder and stronger but she and Ryan kept going, taking each one on and conquering it.
Sometime around 11 Brittany had had enough and requested an epidural. She was at a 4 and -1 station. At this point I decided to head home (a 5 minute drive away) to grab a couple hours of sleep. No sooner had I gotten home and laid down, and her sister Brooke texted and called me saying she was ready to push. I flew out of bed and sped to the hospital. I arrived at 11:56pm and Little Miss A was born at 12:05 a.m. after just a couple pushes. Mama pushed like a champ and Dad helped her through every one.
It was such an honor to have been a part of this birth, not only because I got to watch two of my friends become parents, but because these two worked so hard together to meet their baby and it was absolutely beautiful to watch.