In the early morning hours of September 1, 2016 Deniz and Yusef Unzunca welcomed their second beautiful baby girl Lia into the world and I had the immense pleasure of being a fly on the wall (almost literally) for her delivery. I slowly made my way to St. Joseph's once I was told Deniz was about 3cm, it was only a 15 minute ride and in the middle of the night getting to Paterson was actually quite easy compared to any other time of day. Lia's birth takes the lead in my record of shortest deliveries, by the time it took me to drive over and get passed the night security guard, Deniz was already 5cm dilated! I brought all involved (other than her unfortunately, looking back I feel even MORE guilt since in my opinion, if Mama can't have.. NO ONE SHOULD) hot tea from Dunkin' Donuts. If it wasn't obvious by the title, this lovely family is Turkish and tea is pretty much.. life! After sitting and chatting for less than two hours the medical team had to actually slow Deniz's contractions through a form of medication, she was beginning to contract too quickly without being completely effaced and little Lia was a bit stuck and with every contraction her breathing seemed to be labored. What went from being a pretty standard delivery turned quickly into what almost resulted in an emergency C-section.
With the OR prepped, every member of her medical team stood by to keep watch on Lia's monitors, while waiting for the medication to take effect. The energy in the room was like static.. I felt like my heart was going to leap out of my chest! Luckily, the medication did it's job, and within minutes everything was right in the world. What felt like moments later Deniz declared it was time, and the nurses almost couldn't believe she could change so quickly, for a second it felt like they thought she was just being dramatic, UNTIL... they gave her a glance.. not even a check.. all they had to do was glance over to know it was go time.
I stood on chairs, and tables, I bounced around the room in a U-shape formation behind and above the backs of the 10+ medical professionals in the room and I'm fairly certain they all thought I was a touch crazy, In this profession, I've learned most doctors and nurses want no part of being photographed, so while doing everything physically possible to capture all the most important moments, I had to avoid photographing them to the best of my ability.
All it took was 4 pushes and Lia was born, I made the mistake of wearing my glasses instead of my contacts and had to shoot blind for a moment while I cried and fogged up my frames. It was beyond beautiful, the emotions could have poured out of the room and down the hall they were so strong and abundant. Lia was here! Healthy and gorgeous, beyond what any Anne & Baba could dream up, It was my pleasure and honor to be there to witness and document such a wonderful birthday, these photos, as well as all births that I have had the privilege to document, will always make my heart skip a beat the way it does every time a new life is brought into the world.