birth stories: blizzard baby

you know i love hearing birth stories!  well, listen to this adventure of a baby born during a blizzard with nine inches of snow on the ground. the roads were almost impassable, but i made it safely a few hours after the baby was born.  Here is Allison’s birth story.   I usually stay home if i see a snowflake, but i ventured out to see this baby.

Here is Allison’s birth story:  “When I prayed about how this labor would go I just heard, “Be flexible”. Not very comforting. Also how can you not be flexible when you are having a baby? I was about to find out.

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I woke up and realized my water had broken. I called my friend Shalene, a professional doula, to confirm that’s what had happened. I asked her, “Should I wake up Ted?” she said, “You better get him to shovel you out!”  It had snowed and iced 9 inches overnight. Our 100 ft driveway was covered!

I woke up Ted. He jumped up and grabbed a shovel. I called our downstairs neighbor and friend Jessie. He grabbed a shovel too. I sent Dorathea in a snowsuit across the street to alert the neighbors that we needed help getting shoveled out. They called their next door neighbors, who brought over a 4 wheel drive truck and said, “Don’t worry about the driveway. Just take our truck”.  Yes, they gave us the truck to drive to the hospital.  Good thing too because we never would have made it on the white and icy highways without 4 wheel drive.

On the way to the hospital, in Radford, 25 miles away I called to tell them I was coming. The hospital said, “You should go to the Blacksburg hospital, the roads are too bad right now to come all the way here.” So we drove to the other side of Blacksburg. On the way, we saw a pizza truck (at 10 in the morning?) that ran into a ditch right in front of us.  The only cars not in ditches were ambulances. “Oh well!” we said, “At least we can flag one down if we get into trouble”. Ted breathed a big sigh of relief when we made it to the hospital! My hero!, fresh 48 birth session, birth, birth story

At the hospital I met a doctor I had never seen before, and was put into a temporary room that had windows that looked out into the lobby (so much for privacy).  It took the hospital two hours to figure out that 1. My water had actually broken, and 2. To get my records from the Radford hospital  so I could be admitted and get a real room.

My friends Shalene and Laura couldn’t make it in all the crazy weather. But the chef at the hospital, a friend of ours Brady, was there and texted offering us a lunch of shrimp and grits. We ate as we moved into our room.

Also thank God for texting because I was texting my Mom and girlfriends updates so they could pray for me and advise me throughout labor. It was wonderful to get support from afar. For instance; when they were sticking me for an IV for the fifth time. They texted, “Get the anesthetist!” A nice calm anesthetist painlessly got my IV and I felt like a very round pin cushion, but also a very loved one.

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We had a fantastic seasoned nurse who really worked with us until, her shift ended, and we had a much younger pushier one, who tried to induce me and get labor moving much faster than I thought necessary.  Ted to the rescue again! He went to the nursing station and had them call the doctor to find out what our options really were. We choose the least invasive option and low and behold, I went from 1 cm dilated to 9 in an hour. Also I had an epidural that made me throw up a lot, but was still worth it. It started to wear off right before it was time to push. I literally begged the second nurse to get the anesthetist to refill it.  She laughed me off until I told her I was not pushing until the anesthetist came. She got the nice calm anesthetist. I got my refill.

Man, labor is such a crazy ride! Sometimes I was in tears at feeling so loved and cared for, other times in tears because I felt misunderstood and mistreated. Sometimes I felt like their was no way I could push through the pain and have this baby, sometimes I felt more than capable and more than strong enough. Sometimes I felt so vulnerable and exposed, other times I felt beautiful inside and out.  And then it was over and they placed my Joy baby on my chest. Bliss! I could feel the horrible pregnancy I describe here lose it’s painful hold on me as I held him.

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This sweet boy was obviously made for enjoying. So that’s what I’ve been doing.  I am more willing to let time go slower with this third child. I just soak in his fresh from heaven-ness.  Born at 3:59 in the morning, Daddy and I couldn’t quite agree on a name so we slept. Ted woke up and went to retrieve the kids.  Still no name decided on, but my talented photographer friend Laura Swift texted, “Would you still like me to come? My husband is going into work and can drop me off”  “Are you kidding, Laura? That would be a huge blessing!” So enter Laura with her joyful giggle, camera, and years of experience as a labor and delivery nurse. She snapped photos of baby, as I chatted with her and then slept as she watched over my newborn son.

Can I tell you how amazing to have 5-hour-old photos of my newborn taken by a professional?  She stayed to catch photos of the kids meeting baby. D and J entered the room calling him “Isaiah” and “baby Zay Zay” Ted had decided to give baby my first choice on the way over. They gave him his name.

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Isaiah 55:12; “You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!”

The kids walked in a little tentative at first.  D held him, sitting with me on the bed.  J told us, “I’m cute. Take pictures of me.” We obliged. Then something magical happened. The baby who kicked whenever his family talked to him in utero, started smiling at them.  He knew these voices.  This was His family. And now they were here in person, talking to him.  Naming him.  Isaiah James Keys.  The story that started with the words, “Be flexible”. The story of a boy that was given during a blizzard.  He was worth shoveling the drive for, and driving icy roads, and things not going according to my plans.

In the midst of it our having to be flexible became the adventure of how we got Isaiah.  Isaiah’s story of being born is an adventure with a happy ending; Jesus told the disciples- “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22.  Now I am holding joy in my arms.”  ~Allison

More about Laura’s birth photography

 Christiansburg, VA

retired after 25 years as a labor and delivery nurse, I am now working as a hospital/home birth photographer in southwest Virginia and loving it.  i feel at home when i attend a birth.  it’s a beautiful feeling.

And i am thoroughly enjoying being back in the labor and delivery room as the family’s photographer capturing with a camera life as it happens. Quiet, calm, and confident in the labor and delivery room, I can anticipate the events and therefore, I am an excellent choice for photographing the birth of your baby.

Follow me on Facebook.

for birth photography information, contact laura@lauraswiftphotograpy or my contact page.

Read about  my journey to become a birth photographer.  ~laura


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