The birth of Milly | Kari's trial of labor after 2 cesareans | Brittney Hogue Birth Photographer of Peoria IL

This is Kari’s story. I don’t feel like there are many words I can say to describe how it went, what was remarkable, what was inspiring. Truly, there are some powerful images here.

Kari was hopeful. Her first birth was a scheduled cesarean out of fear. You see, she’s kinda of a petite lady. A physician was not interested in letting her trial labor for fear of an obstruction. Kari was young. She didn’t know or understand her options.

Kari’s second birth was a TOLAC. Trial of labor after cesarean. It ended in cesarean when her son’s nuchal cord caused some problems at crowning.

Enter Kari’s third and final pregnancy. She was so close to a vaginal delivery before. Her skilled surgeons gave her the option to labor again without major fear of uterine rupture. She had healed well. She prepared. She studied. She hoped. She believed.

Kari went into spontaneous labor. Her contractions were strong, close and perfect. She breathed, she swayed, she relaxed through them. She quickly progressed to complete and began pushing. Milly was little high still. Strong pushes. A lot of pushes. More pushing. Position changes. Heart rate dips. Position changes. Pushing. Pushing. Pushing.

Hour 1.

Hour 2.

Hour 3.

Hour 4.

Kari had an onset of fever. Milly’s heart rate was high, above 200 in some moments. Her physician and the resident came in at that time and said the words she did not want but was ready to hear after nearly 4.5 hours of pushing: it was time to go to the OR.

Things moved quickly at that point. Anesthesia pushed her epidural as much as possible. Ultimately, Kari’s birth plan was not able to be met and she underwent general anesthesia due to complications in the OR.

Kari’s husband returned from the OR with little Milly in his arms. Then we waited.


30 minutes.

1 hour.

2 hours.

And finally word from recovery. After just over 2 hours, her physician was able to control some complicated bleeding issues. Kari was in recovery and doing well. After nearly 4 hours from time of birth, Kari was able to meet her daughter for the first time. <3