The Birth of Dylan Gray | Chicago birth photographer

On an early morning in May, I was fortunate enough to witness the birth of a beautiful baby girl. It's the first birth (other than my own) I've been present for, and it was awe-inspiring. I'm so grateful to Heather and Demian for asking me to be present for the birth of their daughter. If you're just here for the visual birth story, you can watch this slideshow and view more pictures here. Otherwise you can continue on first, and read the story of Dylan's birth as experienced by the photographer (with a few extra photos) before watching the video.

If you want to watch in fullscreen, click over to YouTube and select the HD format.

On Saturday night, Demian texted me around 6:00 to let me know Heather was having regular contractions and the doctor had asked them to come in to the hospital. Since she was planning to birth in the city, and since this was her fifth labor and delivery, I thought I should probably move quickly. I ran around gathering my things while waiting for Luke (my husband) to arrive home to stay with the kids. As soon as he walked through the door, I was off into the Chicago sunset (Well, sort of. The sun sets on the other side of the state, actually).
When I arrived at the hospital, Demian and Heather's best friend Rebeccah were waiting in obstetrical triage. Heather's water had started to leak, and she was dilated to 3 cm. They eventually sent us all up to the labor and delivery unit, where the fun began.
Heather labored 100% naturally for a long time, despite having always been epiduralized before. She went on and on about how easy it really was so far, and while she knew it would get harder, she was really happy to have decided to try sticking to her natural defenses against pain. I have to say, she was one beautiful, strong, composed mama!
After having been at the hospital and contracting for 7 hours with no cervical change, and with her labor having slowed significantly, the doctors decided she needed pitocin to augment her labor. Heather talked the team into letting her walk to try to get her labor back on track, but after another 45 minutes, Heather and her (awesome! amazing!) nurse agreed to start a slow pitocin drip.
The pitocin increased Heather's pain, but she held off against the epidural. After another couple of hours, she had only progressed by about 1 centimeter. The doctor came in and broke her water bag fully (it had only been leaking before), and that's when the party really started.
During the next two hours, Heather's pain increased steadily as her cervix dilated hard and fast. I stood (and stand!) in awe of Heather's strength. She worked phenominally hard and by the time she really couldn't take any more, she was ready to push her daughter into the world.
I cannot describe the joy of watching Heather work so hard for this moment, and then watching it happen. The looks of awe on the faces of Heather, Demian, and Rebeccah were heart-wrenching. She did it. SHE DID IT!
There were some complications after the birth, and after they explained the situation to her, Heather ended up being whisked to the operating room to get everything under control. Demian and Rebeccah waited anxiously with the baby, and an hour later, they got the news that everything had gone well and Heather was recovering.
A family that was four is now five, and at least seven lives have been permanently altered in an amazing way. Congratulations Heather and Demian!

All my big events are currently shot with rented gear from - 
I recommend them highly (and here's my affiliate link!)
 lens rental