As a birth photographer, the only certainty is that each birth will be different and every baby has their own story to tell. And let me tell you, Mr. Benjamin wanted to write his for the story books! I got the call at 37 weeks that it looked like he was coming. I panicked a bit because I was out of town and did not want to miss his birth. Luckily we had anticipated a possible early arrival earlier in the week and my amazing backup, Megan Montalvo, was able to meet with Alicia and I in the event she was called in. When I got the call, Alicia was having contractions every couple of minutes, but after many hours of no progression she was sent home. Selfishly, I have to admit that I was relieved because I had come to really love Alicia and her boys, and I really wanted to see her welcome her third boy into this world!
For the next four weeks Alicia would have frequent and intense contractions only to find out little progress had been made. She was tired, but let me tell you, I have never been more impressed with a Mama. Her perseverance and strength is admirable, and it would later show even more as she was able to work through an intense labor completely unmedicated. Alicia, I can only hope to be as strong as you when my time comes. Truly.
At 41 weeks, Alicia was scheduled for her induction. With her birth entourage in tow, we made our way up to Labor and Delivery at Madigan Army Medical Center. Between the nurses, midwife, Dad, two big brothers, Alicia’s sister, doula and myself…we had quite the packed room! But I have to tell you, it was one of the most intense and remarkable births I have had the honor of documenting. Alicia needed every person in that room at some point and when it was their turn, they stepped in and helped Alicia work through every contraction.
After a couple hours of working through different positions with her doula to try to encourage baby to drop, Alicia decided to try and get some rest since she was still at about 5cm. Less than 30 minutes later, Bobby came out and told me that things were picking up and I should probably come back in. It was a good thing I did! A few minutes later, Alicia’s midwife encouraged her to stand at the end of the bed and before she could even stand up all the way her water broke. 30 minutes later, weighing nine pounds and eleven ounces, Benjamin entered the world.
Alicia, Bobby, and family, thank you for choosing me to document Benjamin’s birth story. It has been an honor to get to know your family and document your journey. I wish you the very best as you make your way back to the midwest. We will miss you here in WA!
Happy Birthday, Benjamin. This is your birth story!
Doula: Kimble Birth Services