Jessica was one of my first friends I made in Lubbock when I moved back to Texas in May. She was around 28ish weeks when we met. We clicked right away, and I was so excited she valued birth photography as much as I did. She already had a birth photographer and doula! Her birth photographer, Shauna Owens, and I had already connected right away to be each other's backups so I knew she was in good hands.
When I heard Jessica's water broke at 34.5 weeks, I brought her a snack at the hospital that afternoon to help keep up her energy throughout early labor. I went as her friend - not as a professional birth photographer. That felt so odd for me to walk in the hospital without my camera in hand just some yogurt parfait. I was excited for her to have her second son and spend time together as moms of 2 boys together. I thought I would see her in a couple days after she had Jude. I was wrong...
Late that night I got a text from Shauna asking me if I would like to step in and take Jessica's photos. I was so confused, but Shauna explained she wanted to focus on being a support as a doula with her partner doula, Ashli, as Jessica went in to labor almost 6 weeks early.
I showed up to the hospital close to midnight. She was feeling back pain, and Shauna worked her magic to turn baby in to the optimal position. Once baby was turned, it was obvious that Jessica was progressing rapidly. Shauna and Ashli worked to calm and steady her. Within minutes she was ready to push. She asked repeatedly where her doctor was. Her doctor, Dr. Brinker, rushed over and arrived within minutes of the delivery. The NICU team along with other nurses and equipment flooded in to the tiny hospital room. There were 17 of us total.
With her forehead pressed to her husband's forehead, Jessica swiftly pushed and welcomed Jude almost exactly an hour after I arrived at 1:03am July 20th. He weighed 5 pounds 8 ounces.
Check out Jude's NICU journey here!
Jude was only allowed a few minutes of skin to skin time before being rushed back to NICU. Keep following to see Jude's NICU story up on the blog.