The Birth of Hudson
Meagan and I have known each other for over 10 years, we’ve walked through countless ups and downs together, and I had the privilege of documenting and supporting the birth of her first baby, a rainbow baby, as my first ever birth attended. It kindled the already lit fire of birth under my feet and began my business and journey into birth work, and what an honor it has been to be on this journey.
I lived a 3 hours drive away from the hospital. Was I nervous I’d miss it? Sure. But I knew that I wouldn’t, if that makes sense. We spent some moments in her third trimester talking through different expectations and fears leading up to the birth, as well as how important it was that we stay in super close contact about any uncomfortable contractions so that I could make it in time. I just had this gut feeling that her baby would come fast!
I heard from Meagan on Marco Polo one night that she’d been having some almost timeable, crampy feelings and back pain, so I told my husband I’d most likely be heading out in a few hours. That night, contractions got stronger, and even though she wasn’t positive she was in labor, I got in the car to make the drive from Springfield, MO to Kansas City at around 11pm. The last part of the way there, I knew they were at the hospital in triage, so I held my breath that things were going steadily enough for me to make it in time.
When I arrived at the hospital, I pulled into the parking garage and heard from Meagan via text--she was still only 4 cm, and her contractions weren’t “close enough or strong enough,” according to the nurses, for her to be admitted just yet. She could either go home or walk around the hospital. Aloud, I’m asking my friend what she wanted to do--she lives 50 minutes from the hospital--but inside I just had an inkling, by the way she’s pausing our convo for contractions and really just by the sound of her voice, that things were going to pick up in the next hour. She expressed that she just wanted to be comfortable, and didn’t want to walk around, which made so much sense, and she decided to go home. She needed to be in her space and regroup, so I followed them home.
When we arrived at her house, she couldn’t even make it to the door without having a contraction. I followed her to her front porch to apply some counter pressure to her hips. I could sense her exhaustion from being awake well into the night at this point. Two minutes later, another contraction. And again. Then one minute later, another contraction. They were getting closer. I told her, “I know you just got here, but I think we should head back to the hospital. Your contractions are a minute apart now.” Her body began to shake— the transition hormones were here.
She just wanted to climb in the bath, was so uncomfortable at this point, and didn’t want to arrive at the hospital not in “active labor.” After she had been in her tub for about ten minutes letting the water calm her heart and mind, I encouraged her that something was different, and we’d better be safe and head back to the hospital.
Between the car and the front doors of the hospital she had at least 4 contractions. With each one, she reached out for Miguel, leaning herself into his chest, her safe place, and let the contraction do its work. We got to triage, but not after she had several more contractions on the way. When they checked her, she was already 7 cm. You could almost feel the sigh of relief--she could release all the anxious energy and have her baby.
When we got to the birth room, she knew she just wanted to sit on the birthing ball. At one point, I had stepped back to take a few shots of the moment, and one of her strongest contractions up until that point swept over her so suddenly, and she reached out for me, so I ran to her and held her, and reminded her how close she was to meeting her baby. At this point, you could see the discomfort even between contractions. It was all happening so fast!
She hadn’t been on the birth ball but for a few minutes before she felt the urge to push. The midwife wasn’t there yet, but that never stops the urge to push. She instinctively climbed onto the bed onto all fours and began to bare down. Just one minute later, the midwife walked in and gracefully encouraged Meagan as her body involuntarily bore down with each contraction. Just 3 pushes later, her second rainbow baby came into the world!
Finally, the moment was here— Was it a girl? Was it a boy? She wasn’t facing her baby, so only Miguel could make the announcement. We both looked down at baby then at each other, and I said, “Oh my gosh!” And Meagan said, “What?!” And that’s when Miguel announced--”It’s a BOY!” Meagan couldn’t believe it, “A boy?!” “It’s a boy!” He replied. A son. With some direction, she rolled over onto her back to reach for her baby boy, meet him face to face, and bring him to her chest.
The next hours were spent rehashing how rapidly he came, how perfect he was, and that he was in fact a boy--their son was here. Meagan was completely enamored. After so much patience and loss along the way, Hudson Lewis finally graced them with his presence. Their best surprise yet!