As they say, every child is different. And for me, that’s been true right down to pregnancy and labor for each of my own kids. That’s why when I heard the story of Angel Taylor and her four-day-long labor — yes, you heard that right, FOUR DAYS — I had to talk to this mama about her experience.
Angel Taylor lives in Washington with her husband and three kids, and she is no stranger to difficult pregnancies and labor. Her oldest, now 6 years old, was delivered during a very traumatic C-section, and her daughter, now 3 years old, was born as a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) with a really long labor. But, she had no idea what was in store for her with baby number three.
Angel was diagnosed during her third pregnancy as being Group B strep positive, and she also had gestational diabetes.
“I kept calling him my wildcard baby, because there was so much about the pregnancy and birth that were totally different from what I’d experienced before,” Angel tells Babble. “A lot of things were completely new experiences for me, especially the gestational diabetes diagnosis.”
But, she also says that this was her third baby — and she knew it would be her last — so she tried to enjoy her pregnancy a little more.
“I didn’t feel miserable or in a rush for it to be over or anything like that,” Angel says. “If you stop and really think about it, it’s so mind-blowing what a miracle it is to create a new person and grow them from scratch, to feel them moving inside of you. It’s such a precious gift.”
And, any mom who has been through pregnancy and childbirth knows how true that statement is. While Angel knew that induction was going to be necessary due to her gestational diabetes, she also said that her blood pressure became an issue, too. She went in for a checkup thinking she would be induced the following week, and got a surprise from the doctor. They checked her blood pressure and it was dangerously high.
“He told me I’d actually need to go to L&D that very day,” says Angel. “He actually wanted me to go straight there, but we were completely unprepared as we expected to have another week left to prepare. So I needed to rush home to finish packing my hospital bags, install the car seat, pick my oldest up from school, and figure out childcare for them and pack their bags for it.”
As moms know, it’s not always easy to drop everything and go deliver a baby. Especially when you have older kids.
What makes Angel’s story unique, though, is the fact that she was in labor for four days, which sounds like a total nightmare to most women who have done it. But, she shares that she had excellent care, and knew that her doctors were doing what was best for her and the baby.
“He intentionally wanted it to be a slow process since we were not in imminent danger. Being aggressive with the induction runs the risk of stressing one or both of us or causing dangerous complications like uterine rupture. And he decided to start it at 37 weeks so we could be able to take the time for a long induction, rather than wait longer when my condition could have worsened and it would have been more of an emergency to get him out.”
Angel told Babble that the hardest part of being in labor for so long was the fact that she had to have a lot of focus to remain calm and relaxed for all that time. Especially when she was worried about how unprepared she had been to go into labor that day.
When I asked Angel why she thinks this story is resonating with so many, she said she believes it’s definitely because of the striking images her photographer, Laura Shockley, was able to capture in those incredible moments during and unique circumstances.
“C-sections are so rarely photographed at all (my OB had to pull some strings with the charge nurse for her to be allowed in, since the hospital policy is usually only one support person allowed) and the photos she captured are so incredible.”
And they really are. Her baby boy, Sullivan, was born on March 8th at 11:24 pm, and the photo of him with his arms outstretched makes me think this sweet little baby was just as ready to come out and meet his mama as she was to meet him.
And the best part is — after all that work and waiting, she told PEOPLE he is the “chillest baby.” In fact, she further explained to Babble that he rarely cries at all.
“It’s more like a whimper than full-out crying,” she says. “He has definitely made the transition easy on me since he is so calm. And my other kids just adore him and want to help as much as they can, so I definitely feel less apprehensive about my husband going out to sea soon.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but look at these photos and remember what a miraculous feeling it is as a mom to have the privilege to bring sweet babies into this world, and Angel agrees.
“Birth is such a unique and unpredictable thing. It is one of our most vulnerable times and is so profound and life-changing. So it’s the kind of thing that brings people together to commiserate, empathize, and just support each other and our different stories.”
And we love Angel’s story. It sounds like all that waiting for baby Sullivan was worth it — not to mention, she has the gorgeous photos to prove it, too.
h/t: Love What MattersMore On