Mom's membranes rupture at home at 37.5 weeks with very few contractions that follow. Over the next day and a half mom labors lightly and with the help of prostiglandin gel she reaches 3cm. Mom begins to get tired and so chooses pitocin to help things along. VERY hard labor follows with mom going from 4cm to 7cm in half an hour. Fetal heart tones begin to drop and mom opts for an epidural.

Mom poses with her doula while waiting for contractions to become regular. Mom brought a large white button-up shirt from home to wear throughout the delivery for comfort rather than the hospital gown.

An ultrasound is ordered to check for the baby's position. Baby is found to be head down...and LOT, or Left Occiput Transverse.

Mom is hooked up to Pitocin (the pump can be seen behind dad) while dad comforts mom.

Labor begins to become very difficult. Mom tries the birth ball...she tries the rocking chair...she tries hands and knees...and nothing is working anymore. Finally, frightened that this is will continue for a long time and exhausted from being up for a day and a half with only a few minutes of sleep, mom opts for an epidural. Dad comforts mom, telling her how much he loves her.

With the epidural already in place, dad stands next to mom's side with a cup of ice chips. Fetal heart tones are dropping precariously with each contractions, so an internal fetal monitor is placed, pitocin is unhooked and terbutaline is administered. Mom is checked and found to have gone from 4cm to 7cm in only 30 minutes. Mom and baby rest for half an hour, then pitocin is started slowly again.

Almost immediately mom is complete and ready to push. Mom moves the baby well, despite the epidural.

The perineum begins to bulge as the head begins to crown.

The head is about to be born. You can see the lead for the internal fetal monitor coming out at the top...the red/blue wire.

As the head comes out, dad reaches in to catch his baby. Mom watches her baby coming out in a mirror at the foot of the bed.

Whoops! A surprise to all, as the head comes out, it is followed by thick meconium that wasn't seen before. Due to the heart tone difficulties earlier, mom is urged not to push for a moment so that the baby may be suctioned fully.

Mom does a good job of holding back, and the baby remains at belly-level with dad holding him from below while the doctor suctions the baby deeply.

After the baby is suctioned, he slips gently out into 4 waiting hands....two belong to the doctor, and two belong to dad.

And a new baby boy enters the world....

...and is immediately placed on his mommy's tummy. He has a little caput on his head from waiting at 7cm for an hour, but he is crying heartily and appears healthy.

Baby is then brought over to the warmer and suctioned deeply once more, to be sure that all of the meconium is out of his tummy and lungs.

While being suctioned, the baby flexes. It shows how healthy he was...but it also allows for this photo which shows how really little he actually turned out to be.

Daddy, gloves still on from catching his baby, watches his new son receive a little oxygen. (I bet that he could have used a little extra oxygen himself! *wink*)

Mom anxiously watches her baby from several feet away.

While mom and dad are busy with their baby, the doctor begins to repair a small tear. An interesting thing to note about the cord is the presense of a couple of things called "Pseudoknots"...they aren't true knots, but are just loops from arteries being longer than the vein.

A hat is placed on the baby, and the doula encourages dad to take off his gloves so that he might touch his baby.

Dad is shown where to cut the umbilical cord shorter.

Dad, gloves finally off, caresses and loves on his son. You can see how little the baby was by comparing the baby to the size of daddy's hands.

Baby's footprints are taken.

Baby is weighed....WOW! Only 4 pounds 12.4 ounces! Very little for a baby at his gestational age....this little 37.5 weeker was born the weight of the average 34 weeker. Placenta and cord, which are both unusually small, are sent to pathology. His length turns out to be 17" long.

Dad is handed the baby...he then takes the baby immediately over to his mother who has been waiting anxiously to hold him again.

As dad hands the baby to mom, he smiles with tears in his eyes and whispers to her, "Thank you." Mom tears up as she looks at her beautiful baby boy. Mom, also, whispers, "Thank you.." but I'm unclear as to whether she was talking to the dad, the baby, or God.

The doula helps mom with the first nursing session. Baby latched on like a pro and, despite problems that would keep the baby in the hospital a few days longer than mom, allowed them to enjoy a successful nursing relationship as of the time this page was created.

Congratulations to the mom and dad for a job well done.