This was an emotional birth for this family, but also for me, as the birth photographer. Heidi had 3 boys and this baby was planned to be the last. She had wanted a vaginal birth more than anything with her first 3 births but was unable to have one due to different reasons. After a lot of research and prayer, the nurse within Heidi decided against her very much wanted VBA3C (vaginal birth after 3 cesareans) just a month before baby #4 came.
Much to Heidi's surprise, she went into labor on her own for the first time ever 4 days before her scheduled c-section. Heidi was convinced this baby was a boy because of her similar pregnancy as her previous ones. Heidi and Buzzy, her husband, were completely surprised to finally have a baby girl after 3 boys!
The shock waved through the two of them with each "her" or "she" said. The pronoun alone kept the tears rolling. Heidi's mom shared in their excitement as she was just as moved as they were about her first granddaughter! Especially because Matilda was named after Heidi's grandmother, Ruth Matilda. Matilda, "Tilly," was a perfect 9lbs 10oz.
Moments after Heidi's mom left the room in postpartum, Heidi noticed some blood on her gown. She thought nothing of it as postpartum can be messy. I stepped out casually to grab some lunch but hurried so I could get back with enough time to capture Buzzy's parents meeting "Tilly" as well. After grabbing a lunch to-go from the cafeteria, I was about to walk back into Heidi's room. I was met with the foot of Heidi's bed at the door as the nurses were wheeling her back out towards the OR.
Heidi appeared to be passed out (she later told me her eyes were just closed). I watched in utter shock and confusion as I followed inside the staff-only elevator back down to the floor with the OR - camera in one hand and salad in the other. Buzzy and I sat outside the OR waiting for an update.
The doctor said they would need to go back in and stop the bleeding. She said the procedure would take about an hour. I left and prepared to come back after she was in recovery.
Buzzy told me he waited 2 and a half hours. The doctors couldn't stop the bleeding despite every attempt and ended up taking the uterus. Buzzy couldn't do anything but pray and wait outside the OR. There is no greater feeling of helplessness than to completely trust that God and Heidi's care-provider, Dr. Devine, had everything under control.
Despite such a dramatic turn of events, Heidi was so grateful for a healthy beautiful daughter and 3 handsome sons and to be alive to enjoy them all. This birth story will be enstilled in all of our hearts for a long time.