When my best friend gave birth to her son, I was stunned at how smooth her pregnancy was. She never got morning sickness, and was only in labor for three hours and the baby was born happy and healthy, with a full head of hair.
While some mothers have wonderful stories of their children's delivery (which I also hope to one day share), others will endure more dramatic tales.
Angel Taylor, 33, from Bremerton, Washington recently gave birth to her son after an agonizing four days in labor.
When the soon to be mother-of-three was at her 37-week checkup, Taylor was told that because she had dangerously high blood pressure, she would have to be induced a week early.
"It was really a difficult pregnancy in general and I had a lot of complications like gestational diabetes and hypertension, so it was very high risk from early on," Taylor told BuzzFeed News. "I wasn't ready at all; we hadn't even put the car seat in or finished packing... so I was panicked."
When Taylor and her husband arrived at the hospital to be induced, they were told her blood pressure had gone down. Unfortunately, that would be the only good news the couple would hear in a while.
Once Taylor was admitted into the hospital, she still hadn't shown any signs of dilation, so doctors gave her very small and gradual doses of Pitocin, a "synthetic hormone used to cause or strengthen contractions to induce childbirth."
By March 8, Taylor had only dilated 4 centimeters, but the baby had not budged.
"We were able to wait it out and try to have a natural birth, but we wanted to be slow because a more aggressive induction could've stressed the baby out or caused a uterine rupture, because I had gotten a C-section before," Taylor said.
“It was really hard for them to get him out. He was really stuck in there,” Taylor also told PEOPLE. “It turns out I had a lot of scar tissue in my lower uterus and it was very tight and it wasn’t opening up so he was kind of stuck in that.”
Doctors decided to schedule an emergency C-Section for Taylor later that evening, where she invited photographer, Laura Shockley, in with her.
Shockley was able to capture the exact moment Sullivan was born, it may be the "chillest" picture ever.
His arms were stretched out, the smiling newborn looked triumphant to finally be entering the world.
“I thought it was just so funny because he would be like that in my belly, he was always stretching. We’d tell him, ‘You’d have so much more room to stretch if you just came out!” And when he came out, that’s exactly what he did. It was a big relief. We were worried how he would do … He was in really good shape!” Taylor said.
"He was totally fine and screaming his head off — it was a big relief," Taylor said.
While Taylor and her husband initially feared there was something wrong with their son (he had a knot in his umbilical cord and unable to feed for the first few days), he was able to go home healthy and happy as any newborn can be, and according to Taylor, is already fitting right in.
“He is the chillest baby. He is really sweet and very calm. He hardly ever cries. He just loves to snuggle and is just very sweet,” she shared. “My older kids love him and are just always wanting to hold him. He’s just fitting right into our family — like he’s always belonged.”
Did you have a difficult labor? Let us know!