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Cancer Survivor’s Miracle Baby: Hillsboro OR Birth Photographer

Brooke was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 at the young age of 26. Her new husband, family, and surrounding community watched her go through chemo, lose her hair, and a double mastectomy. She is a now a breast cancer survivor, but her doctors told her pregnancy wasn’t in the cards. After all the chemicals and medicine saved her life, she wasn’t supposed to be able to make LIFE.⁠ Brooke is strength, a mighty force to be reckoned with, with all the passion in the world for her new title, M O M.⁠ Today she is #NED, which means No Evidence of Disease.

This is the birth story of George, the cancer survivor’s miracle baby.⁠

Location: Kaiser Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, Oregon
Doula: Doula Kendelle
Photographer: Myself, Meg – Meg Ross Photography

Shared with love and permission by the family.

Brooke started to have some contractions on September 23 and kept me in the loop as she went in to get checked. The feeling was picking up and she was sure she was in labor. I had her give me the doula’s phone number so that I could communicate with her instead and give B the space to labor freely without feeling like she needed to update.

After being there for several hours, much to her disappointment, they sent her home. The contractions did not stop and she stayed in a stage of early labor through the night and the next day. Again on September 24, she decided to head back to Labor and Delivery to be checked out, this time I talked to Doula Kendelle to get the who? what? where? on stage of labor.

Outside of the entrance to Labor and Delivery at Kaiser Westside Hospital in Hillsboro OregonLabor and Delivery parking spot with a stork painted on the ground at Kaiser Westside Hospital in Hillsboro Oregon

You know Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony? I’m sure you do. The one that goes, “Dun dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun.” Well, that’s my louder-than-loud birth ringtone. I sit straight up in bed at 3:00am as Kendelle calls me in.⁠ The hospital is only 15 minutes away and I enter the room at 3:30am to Brooke and her support team riding some contraction waves.⁠

 

Birthing partners meet over a hospital bed holding hands during a contraction at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonBirthing person bend overs a hospital bed at Kaiser Westside and holds her partner's hands while a doula providers physical support.

 

Brooke in this moment is unaware of how ironic the name balance bar is. The “balance” of catching up with contractions can feel both like an avalanche or an uphill climb. You’re reaching and reaching and it’s exhausting and as soon as it’s over and you get a breath it is starting all over again.⁠

 

Pull back shot of birthing mom squatting with her arms supporting her body on a labor bar, birth partner to her left, doula supporting to the right, and nurse midwife watching from a stool on the floor at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonProfile of a brunette birthing mom taking a breath between contractions and resting her hands on a labor barBirthing mom takes a deep breath during a contraction holding onto a labor bed attached to a hospital bed at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro Oregon

⁠Tim, you are new to birth, and your eyes are wide with worry because your wife is in pain, and you’re exhausted because you haven’t really slept in 3 days. But you hold her hands like you’re the only rock she can hold onto in her stormy ocean.⁠

 

Birthing partners meet over a hospital bed holding hands at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonBirthing mom squats on the floor with birthing partner holding her hands from bed above.Birthing mom is resting her head on a hospital bed, bent over, with a doula rubbing her neck, and birthing partner holding her hands.

 

⁠You know that L&D might be slow for the night if the same crew of nurses hang out in the room to cheer you on and show their support in little ways like staying on the floor with a flashlight to do a little look-e-loo at your cervix 🙌⁠

 

The birthing team of doula, nurse midwife, nurse, and birthing partner supporting birthing mom squatting during a contraction on the floor at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro Oregon

 

Doula Kendelle – Helping you get a leg up in labor! 😂 ⁠Yes, I may have suggested that this be her new business tagline…⁠
⁠In all seriousness – Kendelle is the first Oregon birth doula I’ve had the awesome incredible opportunity to share birth space with, and I’d jump at the chance to do it again.

 

Labor doula Kendelle looks to the side and smiles big while holding a side lying birthing mom's top leg up high while nurses attendsClose up of Labor doula Kendelle's hands holding laboring mom's leg up highLabor doula Kendelle looks down at mom and holds one of mom's legs up high while nurses attends

 

and perhaps⁠
what made her beautiful⁠
was not her appearance⁠
or what she achieved,⁠
but in her love⁠
and in her courage, ⁠
and her audacity ⁠
to believe: ⁠
no matter the darkness⁠
around her,⁠
Light ran wild ⁠
within her, ⁠
and that was the way ⁠
she came alive,⁠
and it showed up ⁠
in everything.⁠
@morganharpernichols

 

overhead shot of a labor mom in the hospital bed holding onto a side bar with both hands, on her back. and breathing through the end of a contraction at Kaiser WestsideLooking straight down the body of a laboring mom side lying in a hospital bed from the vantage point of the head of the bedLaboring, nude mom in a side lying position has legs open and a hand over her forehead

Close up on laboring mom and dad's fingers intertwined at Kaiser Westside

Sidelying, laboring mom grits her face during a contraction while her birth partner holds her back, her doula holds the top leg spread eagle, and a nurse reaches around to check the heartbeat monitor on her belly.

 

Watching all of these hands move in readied unison to greet this babe is the closest to magic that I’ll ever see.⁠

 

The birth teams surrounds a laboring mom ion her, with legs spread wide, and a baby's head crowing at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonSide view of baby's head crowing and attending doctor cupping the moldingSide view off OB with hands supporting baby's head as neck is being deliveredSide view off OB with hands supporting baby's head as neck is being deliveredSide view off OB with hands supporting baby's head as neck is being deliveredSide view off OB with hands supporting baby's neck and back as baby is being deliveredSide view off OB with hands supporting baby's neck and back as baby is being deliveredSide view off OB with hands supporting baby's neck and back as baby is almost all the way out of the vaginal canalHospital room clock slightly hidden by a curtain shows delivery time of a baby to be 6:25 AM at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro Oregon

Midwives and OB hands pull newborn baby by the chest and neck post -delivery, surrounded by nursesBirthing mom is laying on the hospital bed and newly birthed baby is being wiped down by several hands as he is being put onto her chest at Kaiser Westside Hospital in Hillsboro OregonBirthing mom is laying on the hospital bed and newly birthed baby is being wiped down by several hands as he is being put onto her chest at Kaiser Westside Hospital in Hillsboro OregonCloseup of newly birthed baby's face from the nose-up as he is being wiped with blankets by the birth team at Kaiser Westside

Birthing mom is laying down with a huge smile on her face as her newborn baby is laid onto her chest after a long delivery at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro Oregon

 

Meeting you was like⁠
listening to a song⁠
for the first time⁠
and knowing it⁠
would be my⁠
favorite.⁠

 

Baby is laying on mom's chest skin-to-skin post delivery and the focus is on the small curled up hand and fingersMom wraps her arms around her skin-to-skin baby and kisses the top of his head in a Kaiser Westside delivery room.Nurse shows off a baby's thick white umbilical cord about 10 minutes post delivery at Kaiser WestsideClose up shot of a newborn born baby's head with sparse hair and light moldingClose up of newborn baby doing skin to skin on his dad's chest while his fingers curl up in the chest hairNew first time dad covers his mouth and tears up at the sight of his newly born son at Kaiser Westside Hospital in Hillsboro OregonA new dad with tears in his eyes leans over and leans his head against the birthing mom's who has her arms wrapped around their babyBirth partners, a mom and dad, close their eyes and nuzzle foreheads while mom snuggles their new baby on her chest at kaiser westside in hillsboro oregonLooking at birth mom from above the hospital bed while she holds her new baby's head and snuggles during skin to skin

 

“Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it.” #mikemyers⁠
Tim is already wrapped around little George’s finger. I can see in the pride on his face that he wants to be the best man he can for his son.⁠

 

New dad looks down, marvels at his new baby during skin to skin, and wrapping his arms around the baby with a few blankets on top of themNewborn baby sneaks a peek over a shoudler at the camera while resting on his dad's arm at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonNew dad looks down, marvels at his new baby during skin to skin, and cups his head gentle with a few blankets on top of them

 

Brooke, do not be afraid of what is new. It will challenge you, but it will also prepare you for the depths you have been called to.
M O T H E R H O O D.⁠
⁠Words by one of my favorite obsession inspirations @morganharpernichols

 

Looking at birth mom from the side of the hospital bed while she holds her new baby's head and snuggles during skin to skin

 

Because of Brooke’s previous cancer treatments and double mastectomy, Brooke and Tim turned to other generous families who donated colostrum and milk so that George could still benefit from all that liquid gold. In this birth story, with the help of a syringe, Tim is the first one to feed his son 💙⁠

 

New baby is laying tummy up on a pillow while a nurse shows dad how to open baby's mouth with a gloved hand to feed him colostrum via syringe at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonNew baby is laying tummy up on a pillow while a nurse shows dad how to open baby's mouth with a gloved hand to feed him colostrum via syringe at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonNew baby is laying tummy up on a pillow while dad uses a gloved hand to feed him colostrum via syringe at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonDad holds baby with legs up on his chest and rests his chin on baby's feet at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonNew baby is laying tummy up on a pillow while dad uses a gloved hand to feed him colostrum via syringe at Kaiser Westside in Hillsboro OregonBrand new dad adjusts his position while holding his baby by the back to put him on his chest

 

George, it was so nice to greet you and welcome you earthside.

 

Fresh born baby relaxes with dad's arm holding him around the crown of his head and and falls asleep while laid down on a pillow

. . . and that was the story of the labor and birth of the cancer survivor’s miracle baby.


Looking to have your birth documented?

Meg is a published birth photographer and doula (in training) supporting families and birthing persons in the Portland metro area including Beaverton and Hillsboro.

2021 has just a few more openings. Check to see if your due date is still available.


 

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