So just try to imagine what it’s like to labour for four entire days.
That was the reality for Angel Taylor, whose son Sullivan entered the world with outstretched arms on March 8.
A routine check-up revealed the Washington mum had dangerously high blood pressure, leading her to be admitted to hospital a week ahead of her son’s due date.
Sharing her story with People, Taylor says her labour induction had to be slow because doctors were concerned she might experience uterine rupture if the process was too fast.
The 33-year-old was admitted on May 5 at one centimetre dilation; by May 8, she was still only four centimetres.
“It was definitely an emotional process … It was so long and so hard,” she tells the website.
That night, baby Sullivan finally made his entrance into the world via caesarean section; scar tissue in Taylor’s lower uterus had caused him to become “kind of stuck”.
As Taylor was prepared for the procedure, photographer Laura Shockley received the text she’d been anticipating for the last four days: “Come now”.
The mum of four had been on stand-by throughout her client’s lengthy labour, and had even taken a nap just hours before she received the nod to make her way to the hospital – just in case.
“We exchanged many texts for updates and some great ‘you’ve got this’ memes to keep [Angel’s] spirits up,” she tells Love What Matters.
The birth was a particularly special moment for Shockley, as it was the first time she’d photographed or even witnessed a c-section birth – her own deliveries had been vaginal.
“I reached out to my husband and explained, ‘I am scared, but I want to capture this’,” she recalls.
However, she describes the experience of capturing Sullivan’s birth as one of the most “jaw dropping” moments of her career.
“There is a lot to a C-section that isn’t lime-lighted — the ‘sew-up’ is way more in-depth that I imagined it would be,” she recalls to Love What Matters.
Sullivan’s open-armed arrival made for a gorgeous photo – and also brought a smile to his parents’ faces.
“I thought it was just so funny because he would be like that in my belly, he was always stretching,” Taylor tells People.