Delivering at Banner Gateway, What to Expect | Baby H Birth Story | East Valley Birth Photographer

Delivering at Banner Gateway, What to Expect | Baby H Birth Story | East Valley Birth Photographer

I finally got to shoot my first Birth Story in Arizona for my beautiful sister-in-law who was delivering at Banner Gateway Medical Center last week. I was blown away!

This may sound strange, but one of the things that stressed me out when we moved to Arizona was wondering what my next birth experience would be like (whenever that happens) in a completely different state. Is there support for non-medicated deliveries? Are they as passionate about immediate skin to skin? Are they respectful of the mother’s wishes and birth plans?

I was absolutely blown away by the staff and level of care my beautiful sister-in-law received delivering her 3rd baby at Banner Gateway.

Here’s the thing. A lot will vary based on your care provider and nurses but here are some of my favorite things I noticed while shooting Baby H’s birth story.

What to Expect when Delivering at Banner Gateway | Baby H Birth Story | East Valley Birth Photographer

Baby H’s Birth Story

First of all, let me give you a quick re-cap of this birth story.

Penny, my beautiful sister-in-law, was diagnosed super early on with gestational diabetes. I have so much respect for how committed and diligent she was in managing her blood sugar throughout her pregnancy.

But, because of the gestational diabetes Penny was induced 5 days early. They showed up at the hospital at 3AM to get started on Oxytocin (Pitocin) and broke her water right around 8:30AM. She was dilated to a 5 at that point so I headed over to the hospital in the hope that she would continue to progress and she’d have her baby in the next few hours.

Despite being induced, Penny had a desire to labor without an epidural. She was open to using nitrous oxide (Laughing Gas) but her doctor doesn’t think it’s been researched enough and so didn’t want her to use it. All natural it was. And, holy cow, Penny handled it like a champ! I don’t think I heard her make a single sound the whole time she labored. She just breathed through each contraction.

Baby H didn’t handle the drugs very well so they decided to take her off the oxytocin when she reached 7cm. After about an hour she took a quick trip the the bathroom and came back dilated to 9cm. The next words out of her mouth were “I feel like I need to push.” Well that sent the nurses into GO mode, they called for the doctor and got the room set up to deliver. Guys, the doctor barely made it in the room. 3 contractions and 5 minutes later and Baby H took her first breaths.

Did I cry? Of course I cried. I cry at every birth.

What to Expect when Delivering at Banner Gateway | Baby H Birth Story | East Valley Birth Photographer

What to Expect when Delivering at Banner Gateway

A few things really stood out to me about the way they do things at Banner Gateway Medical Center.

Patient, Respectful, and Calm

I really appreciate the patience the staff have with the whole labor and delivery process. They didn’t try to push things too fast and went at mom and baby’s pace.

They totally respected Penny’s decision to deliver without pain medication and even when things got a little scary (Baby H had some pretty crazy decels) they were always super calm and collected as they worked with mama to get baby back to a good place.

The Golden Hour is Sacred

I thought that my hospital care in Utah had been pretty mom/baby focused but after seeing a delivery at Banner Gateway I think I prefer their way.

They had baby doing skin to skin within minutes of delivery and she did not come off mama’s chest for over an hour.

They call that first hour after delivery the Golden Hour, because its crucial in transitioning mama and baby to this new external phase of existence.

Despite the imminent need to take baby’s blood sugar because of the gestational diabetes, and all the other usual things they do after birth (weight, height, footprint, vaccinations, etc.) Baby H got a totally golden uninterrupted hour with her mama.

No Rush

One of the things I loved about the hospital I delivered Emi at was that it was small and you stayed in one room the entire time. Labor, Delivery, and Post-natal care all in one place. No moving. No scrambling to find and pack up all your stuff. No switching nurses mid-shift. It seems small and stupid but for some reason it’s always been important to me.

Banner Gateway isn’t that way. You labor and deliver in one room and then move to the post-natal ward for the remainder of  your stay.

But here’s the thing… They don’t rush you out of labor and delivery. First of all they give you that uninterrupted golden hour. And then they give you whatever more time you need before you get moved. Penny wasn’t moved til over 2 hours after delivering. After she’d had time to feed Baby H, eat herself, and daddy, grandma, and auntie all had some good cuddle time.

After seeing a delivery at Banner Gateway I don’t think I’ll mind changing rooms at all.

They helped me do my job!

Most of the time when I’m shooting a birth I try to be as much of a fly on the wall as possible. I don’t want to influence your birth story, just capture it. But there are times where that makes my job difficult.

For example, light is super crucial to capturing high quality images. The staff at Banner Gateway turned up the lights for the big moment so even though we’d had to shut the window (obviously!) I still had plenty of light to capture Baby H’s birth.

And whenever there was a particularly great photo op, they would pause and check to make sure I got the shot. Like baby’s first portrait after cutting the umbilical cord and capturing measurements like weight and height.

It made my job so much easier and I’m so grateful for their willingness to work with me and respect my client’s wishes to have the moment documented.

Delivering at Banner Gateway?

Did you deliver at banner gateway or are you considering it? Drop a comment about your favorite part of your hospital stay or, if you’re preparing for a delivery, leave me your burning questions.

And as always, I’d love to be your birth photographer! This moment is huge! monumental! life changing! And it goes by so fast! I would love to help you hold on to it forever! Head on over to my contact me page to start the process.

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