The Birth of Clara - an unmedicated birth at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park

When I first met Sarah, she was pregnant with her second child. We hit it off immediately. Her son was the same age as my daughter (almost 4), she had a wicked sense of humor, and she was simply delightful. It was a match made in heaven.

She explained that this would likely be her last baby, and she warned me that her first birth progressed very quickly (she barely made it to the hospital in time!), which was something else that we had in common. So when she contacted me at 1:30 am on her due date and told me that things were starting to happen, I snapped to attention and prepared to hit the road. I got the next call a few hours later and made it to the hospital before 8 am, expecting to see a whirlwind of activity and to hit the ground running.

This couldn’t have been further from the case. When I got to her room, the beautiful morning light was streaming through the windows, and she and her husband, Marc, were relaxing and chatting away. So I made myself comfortable, prepared to stay for the long haul, and rejoiced in getting to take some pictures with GORGEOUS natural daylight.

As the day wore on and Sarah’s labor progressed, I marveled at her strength, endurance, and serenity. I have NEVER seen such a peaceful birth space. Even with all the lighthearted conversation, the joking, and the Jock Jams that Marc was playing—I told you these were my kind of people! If you don’t know Jock Jams, stop what you’re doing and look it up immediately—there was something special about this space.

Clara Lucille was born that evening, after about 18 hours of labor. Her unmedicated, midwife-assisted birth was a joy to behold. Sarah was a picture of strength, and she was surrounded by love, both from her husband and her amazing midwife team.

The best part, though, was when little Andrew got to meet his brand new sister. These moments are always the absolute sweetest. Maybe someday I’ll make it through a birth without crying, but it was definitely not this day.