A Sunny Side Up Birth Story
Jennifer hired me in her third trimester at 35 weeks, which isn’t completely unheard of. In fact, it’s never too late to hire a me! A lot of times, Moms will suddenly realize how fast time has flown through their pregnancy, and how much they want to remember during their birth. For Jennifer, that’s exactly what happened! She was having her third baby and knew she wanted it documented.
Her previous labors were really fast, so when I arrived at the birth center, I was fully expecting it to go quickly. You could tell she was becoming emotionally weary and physically exhausted after many hours of strong labor and her baby still not arriving. She walked the halls, labored a good bit in the shower and the birth pool, and labored in her birth suite. She was making progress, but it was inching by. After several more hours, another midwife was taking the place of the midwife who’d been at the center for several other births, and after palpating Jennifer’s uterus to check the position of the baby, she offered that baby was most likely in a posterior position. Many people call this “sunny side up.” Ideally, you would like your baby to be facing your back or sacrum during labor and then rotate around while being birthed. So when baby is posterior positioned, the back of his head puts much more pressure on the mother’s sacrum causing the dreaded “back labor” you hear some women talk about.
This explained it all! No wonder she was experiencing a more painful labor than her other births. After this discovery, the midwife advised she get in a forward-leaning position to help baby flip around. Leaning forward on a birth ball while on the bed, she rocked back and forth on her knees through contractions. Within 4-5 contractions felt the urge to push. Baby had obviously flipped around and got into the proper position. Jennifer worked so hard and pushed her third baby out and brought him into her arms.
As the sun was coming up, her older two girls woke up to see their new baby brother, and they were in total awe of his cuteness! Little Niko’s name was decided right there in the room as the whole family was together. Soon after, Jennifer’s Mom came in to snuggle the baby while she showered and got cleaned up.
Labor patterns are so rarely predictable. Even when we think we know how it will progress based on our own previous experiences or the experiences of people we know, it’s so unique to each person, baby, and season of life. Like Jennifer experienced, with the right support and direction, she felt safe and able to work through the unexpected delays of labor with knowledge and confidence.
(This birth story was written from the perspective of me, the birth photographer, and can in no way substitute the experience of the Mother who did all of the hard work.)