More than 350,000 babies are welcomed into the world each day. That’s roughly 255 new lives born every minute — and 4.3 a second.
As parents-to-be, we prep and we plan and we picture in our mind’s eye — practically every day, for nine long months — every possible scenario that might go down. But the truth is, no birth ever really goes according to plan. Every story is unique and amazing and, sometimes, challenging in its own way.
Still, some birth stories are just a little more unforgettable than the rest.
Just take the birth story of Jes Hogan, a 31-year-old mom from Kansas, who delivered her sixth child, Maxwell, in the hospital hallway last year. According to her birth story, which was later shared online by her birth photographer, Tammy Karin, Hogan had went to the hospital with contractions on July 19, 2017, only to be sent home when her labor had stalled. But by 3 am the next morning, little Maxwell was ready to make his grand entrance — and was wasting no time at all.
Her husband Travis helped her into sweatpants and helped her to the car, where she climbed into the passenger side and labored on all fours while texting Karin to let her know she was in labor.
By the time the couple made it to the hospital, it was clear that baby Maxwell was coming fast. So fast, in fact, that Hogan barely made it through the entrance. ER nurses rushed to her aid, as she gave birth on the hospital floor in mere seconds. And luckily, Karin, of Little Leapling Photography, was right there to capture the incredible photos.
You can read her full story — and check out more photos — right here.
For Kim Overton, the birth story of her second child, Oliver, was just as incredible. But the road to get there wasn’t as quick — or as easy.
Overton was diagnosed with fibroid tumors many years ago, though after undergoing surgery, she was able to conceive and deliver her first son with no problem. But a second surgery in 2012 created complications, and she was unable to conceive the second time around.
At the time, Overton was a busy single mom, who had recently founded her own fitness accessories brand, SPIbelt. But she was still determined to add to her family, and didn’t give up hope.
“Entrepreneurs make great single parents,” she tells Babble. “We’re used to persevering.”
And persevere she did.
Soon after, a chance conversation with a relative about the possibility of surrogacy led her to become a mom for the second time — thanks to her cousin’s daughter, who offered to carry her child.
“It was a very beautiful moment,” Overton says, looking back.
But the most beautiful moment of all? The one that came in the delivery room the following year, when Overton first held her son, Oliver. The touching introduction was captured in a series of breathtaking photos by Austin, Texas birth photographer, Leilani Rogers (PhotosByLei.com).
“Words can’t describe that moment,” Overton shares. “It was like a dream.”
Read the incredible full story here.
Marek Dziekonski knows the importance of capturing those first moments, too. The photographer and owner of Marek Dziekonski Photography recently went viral for capturing a breathtaking photo of his wife Anne, shortly after she gave birth to their twins. And in just one single image, it conveys the myriad of emotions you feel as a parent in those first few moments of your child’s life.
Dziekonski and his wife Anne live and work in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan, where they’re now the proud parents of four children: Domnik, 6, Leo, 4, and the twins, Lucy and Ian, who are now 9 months old. He tells Babble that this particular pregnancy was especially emotional for them, since Anne suffered a miscarriage prior to conceiving the twins.
“After our miscarriage, it was so humbling to realize that God’s plan was greater than either of us could have imagined,” Anne tells Babble. “We were going to have two babies after all.”
Read the full story right here.
Kelsey Davis knows what it’s like to overcome the pain of pregnancy loss and finally welcome your rainbow baby, too. The Arizona mom had suffered several miscarriages by the time she became pregnant with her second daughter Ellie in 2016.
And this time, she made an unconventional choice for the birth: Davis let her 8-year-old daughter Brooke stay in the room, to watch her little sister being born.
Davis says the decision was made in part because Brooke — along with the entire family — had taken the miscarriages particularly hard.
“It was heartbreaking,” Davis told PEOPLE. “It really hit me hard … and Brooke especially. She was so young and we had been telling her she was going to be a big sister. So she took it really hard. She was completely heartbroken.”
But the moment she first laid eyes on Ellie, all the pain and sorrow melted away. And the birth wasn’t just healing for Brooke, it was also inspiring.
“It was really cool being there,” Brooke shared. “I think it made all three of us have a very close bond. I learned how to help expel the placenta from the abdomen, and I also realized when I grow up I want to be a midwife.”
Read the Davis’ full story here.
There’s a reason why birth images like these speak to us on a deeper level. Whether we’ve given birth ourselves or not, they offer glimpses into the myriad of emotions that come in those first few moments of life. When the hours of labor are finally over and the pain has finally subsided and we are finally face-to-face with the tiny humans we’ve waited so long to meet. In those moments, we’re reminded that anything is possible. And that the human body is capable of some pretty incredible things.
Special thanks to Erin Shepley (Erin Shepley Photography), Tammy Karin (Little Leapling Photography), Leilani Rogers (PhotosByLei.com), Marek Dziekonski (53ne.com), and Kelsey Davis for graciously providing their photos in the video above.