Baby New Year's Home Birth

Troy, NY
Dad waits for his Baby New Year
Mom waits for her Baby New Year

A Home Birth Photography Story

At 11:24 pm on New Year’s Day under a Super Moon in Troy, NY, Baby New Year Christian Elliot, was born to parents Nikole and Jonathan and big sister Ky — after 96 hours of labor.

And while Christian took his good sweet time to get here, Nikole’s water broke just as I faced a family emergency. Panic ensued on my end as my backup was away, but Nikole had enough faith for us both, and everything fell into place as it needed to. With days to spare. So, home birth photography was in the cards for us all!

Baby New Year born under a Super Moon

Nikole leaked and replaced amniotic fluid since 9 a.m. December 30. By day 3 with no babe, the birth team playfully began blaming each other for why he hadn’t arrived: I fell asleep so the baby did too, Midwife K. Michelle Doyle of Local Care Midwifery, PLLC stepped away to make soup. Anything was possible and laughing helped to pass the time. Nikole’s sister Cathy even wrote “Hotel California” on Nikole’s big belly. This babe could check out any time he liked, but was he ever going to leave the free womb service?

Mother and father prepare for the home birth of their son

A Special Delivery, in so many ways

Nikole chose home birth because, with flu season, her daughter would not be able to be part of a hospital birthing process. And had she been in such a facility, they would have taken the baby by c-section on New Year’s Eve. Baby Christian had other plans, and an all natural home birth allowed him to choose his own birthday —  which came an entire year later.

At mama’s request, Michelle fully ruptured the amniotic membrane on New Years Day. That’s when hormones kicked the process into high gear in a way that Nikole’s breast pumping, pool soaking, and pacing could not.

During an internal check, it was discovered that Nikole had a posterior cervix. Michelle had to reposition the baby to correct for this. She also dealt with shoulder dystocia. And then, in a frightful moment, she also performed a minor resuscitation.

A party is only as good as it’s attendees.

Nikole was a warrior throughout this entire labor. Jonathan held his wife every step of the way. Nikole’s sister Cathy rubbed her back and helped Papa fill the birthing pool 3 times. Michelle pulled out all her stops, too, along with her midwifery partner Jessmyn, giving the baby a mohawk while barely out of the birth canal. Big sister Ky embraced her newborn brother with open arms, when he finally decided to show up. And the Internet named the ever attentive Molly “Doggy Doula.”

The Internet, you ask? Why yes! The final throes of labor were steamed live on BirthTUBE, a 20K member Facebook community where 1300 moms rooted for this family, the most live viewers yet as of January 1, 2018.

Incredible, intense and absolutely beautiful, I felt so honored to be in the midst of so much love and teamwork, allowing for a birth that came so naturally despite some interesting twists and literal turns. The end result was a bouncing 9.4 oz. Eskimo boy entering into his own home where his entire family (and internet fans) could receive this child with all the love and support we each had to offer.

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