INCREDIBLE PHOTO: ‘Our beautiful baby girl emerged in a large GUSH of amniotic fluid’

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“The third pregnancy was similar but different than my first two. There were unexpected twists and turns but the familiarity of a burgeoning belly. Approaching my late-30s and my first ‘geriatric’ pregnancy, my body did not feel older, but there were unwelcome signs – veins appearing from my under eye area to my legs and an increasing number of white hairs. However, I physically and mentally (mostly) felt fantastic.

Pregnant woman lies in hospital with eyes closed
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

The fatigue was present, similar to my pregnancy with Connor, but I was in better physical shape thanks to two years of barre classes, and daily prescription iron pills that made me feel fantastic in the often-dreaded third trimester. As with my other two pregnancies, I wanted as much time as possible to carry my third child.

Pregnant woman lies in bed with eyes shut holding on to husbands hand while nurse tends to her
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

I pushed for about 20 minutes. Pushing was hard. It was physically demanding and exhausting. Despite the necessity of brute strength, I was SO present for this birthing moment and felt every sensation as the baby descended through my pelvis and the birth canal. It was a glorious feeling.

Pregnant woman lying in hospital bed with fetal monitor over her stomach
Leilani Rogers, Photographer
Close up of pregnant womans toes curled over in hospital bed
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

My body was strong; baby was strong; Dad was a supportive partner every step of the way.

Husband sitting behind pregnant wife with fetal monitor on stomach in hospital bed for support
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

I remember looking at the clock at 5:07 p.m. and knew that he or she was to be arriving soon. On the next contraction, I performed three colossal push efforts and could not withdraw the baby from my pelvis. The ‘ring of fire’ ensued as the baby crowned and the doctor gently untangled the umbilical cord.

Pregnant woman with fetal monitor over stomach rests head on pillow in hospital bed
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

One more push effort at 5:11 p.m. and our beautiful crying baby girl with dark hair emerged in-midst of a large gush of amniotic fluid. The same bag of waters that had protected her in my womb and cushioned her from two tumultuous falls at 15 and 33 weeks.

Pregnant woman giving birth with husband sitting behind her while OBGYN delivers baby and nurse holds woman's hand
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

Our third baby – Alice Helena – had arrived. The emotions surrounding her entrance into this world were abundant. The mindful presence and relaxation were surreal. I was in complete control of the entire birthing process.

OBGYN delivers baby covered in amniotic fluid while wife is in fetal position with husband sitting behind her
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

Alice and I had worked together in unity as we had the past nine months. I felt grateful, blessed, thankful, and strong.

Nurse holds up newborn baby who was covered in amniotic fluid
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

As fast as labor had started; it quickly dissipated into the distance. Perhaps, there was a passing moment of sadness, as this was quite possibly my last birthing experience. However, this was overshadowed by elation and insurmountable love in celebration of Alice’s unforgettable arrival.

View from mothers head of newborn who was covered in amniotic fluid lying on mother's breast
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

You cleared NICU in flying colors and were on my chest in minutes. You latched easily and loved the colostrum. You did not appear to be as large as Abigail or Connor but, nevertheless, weighed in at 8-pounds, 6.5-ounces. All three babies were separated by less than 1 ounce! To me, this is a crazy phenomenon.

Aerial view of woman who just gave birth to baby covered in amniotic fluid holding newborn to her chest
Leilani Rogers, Photographer
Woman who just gave birth to baby covered in amniotic fluid lays with eyes closed holding baby to her chest
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

Charlene brought Abigail and Connor to the labor and delivery within an hour of the birth. Abigail was hesitant, but thrilled that she had a sister.

Father of newborn covered in amniotic fluid holds older daughter next to machine with nurse
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

Connor was also excited but promptly stated that he also wanted a baby brother.

Father of newborn covered in amniotic fluid holds son to look at his new sibling
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

The only remaining sensation was the pure joy experienced from an amazing, natural, healthy birth. It was a magical experience, and a tremendous end to a wondrous nine months.

Father leans over hospital bed and looks at wife breastfeeding newborn who was covered in amniotic fluid
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

Reflecting back, your birth was all that we could have asked for and more. We LOVE YOU and are so blessed that you are a part of our family.”

Mother who gave birth to baby covered in amniotic fluid smiles in hospital bed with newborn, son, daughter and husband
Leilani Rogers, Photographer

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Rachel Throop, 38, of Austin, Texas, and birthing photographer, Leilani RogersSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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