How has it already been a year? I welcome this day with joy and happiness knowing that Tim is doing great- walking, playing, enjoying life. Looking back at these images reminds me that he is a miracle. Happy 1st Birthday Timothy. You are a gift.
This is not and never will be a condemnation of home birth. Every family should be given the option to birth how and where they want. Just as every hospital birth can’t be prediction of a good or bad outcome, neither can a home birth. I encourage all families to research what is the best fit for them and find a trusted care provider that will help them on their journey. My job is to tell the story, and this is Timothy’s.
Timothy’s birth was a home birth after a cesarean (HBAC). His parents had tried to have a VBAC at the local hospital but were denied without being given any medical reason. They opted for a home birth instead.
Her labor was progressing beautifully. Her husband was an awesome support, her midwives both attentive and giving them space to work as a team. Everything was going beautifully.
Until it didn’t. When Baby Tim started to crown his heart beat could not be found, which is not uncommon in the final stages of delivery but can be a sign of a baby that will need extra help. The mom did an heroic job pushing to get him out as fast as possible. It was clear he needed help. The midwife immediately started CPR and asked me to call 911. Tim didn’t have a heartbeat for four minutes.
After what felt like the longest phone conversation I had ever had, I heard the ambulance race down the street and the house was filled with people there to help Baby Tim. He was taken away and later sent to Children’s Hospital via helicopter. As a professional choice, and respect to the family and care providers, I choose to no longer continue photographing once CPR started, but believe his life was saved because of the CPR that was performed.
The next day I went to the NICU to find Baby Tim in a cooling cap because of seizures. Baby Tim was diagnosed with Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, which is a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain, also commonly known as intrapartum asphyxia. (source) The family was told they didn’t expect him to live through the night. These would be the only photographs they would have of him. Well guess what?
One week later here he is, breastfeeding and preparing to go home!!! A true miracle.
I think about Baby Tim everyday. His birth changed his family and it also changed me. Yes, birth is normal and we shouldn’t fear it but we also should respect the process, listen to the parents, and be thankful for the skillful hands of an amazing care provider. I know no other word, other than miracle, to describe his life.
This was the herbal bath we were able to do one week after his birth, when he was off oxygen for the first time.
One year later!
The long-term prognosis for Timothy is still unknown. Please continue to keep him and his family in your prayers and thoughts.
This post, long with all my other posts, are written with and approved by the parents.