Atlanta Birth Story – North Fulton Hospital – Luca Arrives
It was just over a year and a half since I had photographed Charlotte’s first birth. We were together for over thirty hours as she labored, switched from a birthing facility to a hospital, and then gave birth on day two. At the start of this birthing experience, we both hoped and prayed it would be a much faster birth for everyone involved.
When I arrived at North Fulton Hospital, Charlotte’s labor & delivery room was dark. A monitor hummed in the back corner as it continuously printed out the progression of her contractions. And a white board on the wall kept track of her support team and dilation.
Already in the room with Charlotte was her best friend Melissa and her fabulous doula, Lauren Shields of the Meraki Mama Collective. Lauren helped Charlotte through her first birth and I was relieved to find she would be helping her safely bring Luca into the world. She is amazing at providing coping + pain management techniques throughout the labor process, with or without pain meds.
After less than an hour of pushing, Luca arrived. Perfectly formed. Perfectly healthy. Perfect in every way.
It was after Luca was born, the placenta was delivered, and Luca was back in Charlotte’s arms after getting cleaned up that there may have been an admission about knowing it was too late to get an epidural when Charlotte asked for it. But Charlotte pushed through this birth like the badass warrior she is. Fierce. Determined. All in.
I love the moment when the room has cleared out. The nurses. The midwife. All the hospital personnel who came in to clean up all signs of labor and delivery…gone. The room is suddenly quiet and a newly expanded family can begin to breathe.
Charlotte’s mom joined her during this quiet time and even held Luca for a bit before giving him back to Charlotte to breast feed for the first time. I quietly slipped out as they spoke in French, not understanding their words. But knowing by their tone how much love filled the room.