I love telling birth stories through images but the words aren't mine to share. This is Carter's birth story written by her strong, amazing mother.
"I was 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant when I went to my last OB appointment June 12th, 2017 to check my amniotic fluid levels, as they had been dropping for about 2 weeks.
Dr. Seaton decided that I needed to be induced that night because my fluid levels were too low to continue carrying until labor started on its own. It was exciting and scary all at once knowing our lives were about to change and our precious baby girl would be here the next day.
I got to the hospital at around 8:30, and Dr. Seaton broke my water at midnight. My contractions started immediately. I had chosen to give birth as naturally as I could with no epidural, and I truly believed I was prepared for what I was about to experience. I walked the hallways, sat on a yoga ball, and moved as much as I could, and eventually the pain was so intense that I could not stay still. I was dilated to 4 cm for hours, and my body just would not progress on its own. Carter's heart rate was dropping, and I eventually 'faced the music" and asked for an epidural . As soon as I had received it, I began to progress very quickly and was able to rest. Before I knew it, it was time to push and bring our baby girl into the world!
I pushed for approximately 15 minutes with vacuum extraction assistance before Carter Amelia took her first breath. When she was placed on my chest, I could not stop the tears and the love I felt for this slimy little purple thing I had just given life too. I was in disbelief that after 9 long months of anticipation and excitement, and 15 hours & 36 minutes of labor had ended in this one fleeting moment. My pregnancy had just ended, but it was only the beginning of a much bigger chapter in my life: Motherhood.
Her first few moments in the world were just a little bit rough for her, as she had fluid in her lungs and they had to use suction to remove it. She was such a trooper and got through it with no problems! She was perfect: 7 lbs and 10 oz of cuddly cuteness, 20.5 inches long, 10 little fingers, 10 tiny toes, a pretty little nose, the sweetest cheeks.... She certainly was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life and I had given birth to to her. She was mine! I could never explain in words the amount of love I experienced that day. Every little bit of her was an answered prayer.
My husband, Richard, and my Mom were there supporting me through the entire process, and I could not have asked for a better support group. I had such an amazing group of nurses and hospital staff at the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, and I am so thankful for everything they did for me to help me feel as comfortable as possible.
And I am so thankful to my wonderful birth photographer who captured all of those moments, and because of her, I will get to keep them forever. I could never thank her enough for her support and the wonderful job she did!"