Mom Delivers Baby Boy in Hospital Hallway After She Tells Husband to 'Catch Him'
The last-minute delivery happened hours after it appeared the mother's labor had stalled
A Kansas mother of five delivered her sixth child in the hallway just inside the emergency room entrance of her local hospital, and it was captured in stunning images by her birth photographer.
When Jes Hogan began experiencing contractions on July 18, 2017, she and her husband, Travis, drove to their local hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, to excitedly welcome their sixth child into the world. Instead, Hogan spent hours laboring in a tub, bouncing on a ball and walking through the hospital’s hallways—and with the birth seemingly nowhere in sight, the couple decided to head home to encourage her contractions and continue with their original plan of an intervention-free birth, she wrote in a blog post.
Hogan spent the next few days walking around her neighborhood pool and doing small things around the house as she grew anxious about when the “real thing” might finally come.
“The pain wasn’t troubling me too badly,” Hogan wrote. “I kept telling myself I would just ‘know’ if this was the real thing.”
After spending the following Sunday painting her nails and watching Game of Thrones with her husband and her mother-in-law, Hogan began to feel stronger contractions but wasn’t sure if it meant the baby was ready since the pain wasn’t too discomforting. Yet.
About two hours after midnight as she laid in bed, Hogan felt a contraction leading up to the moments before her water broke.
“About [an] hour later, I woke to a strange, long contraction,” she said. “It wasn’t incredibly painful, but it caused me enough discomfort that I felt around in the dark for my husband and said ‘Travis, I think this is it.’ ”
With Hogan’s contractions turning more painful, Travis rushed to gather what they needed, and when he pulled their car to the front door, Hogan hopped in so quickly she forgot to put on shoes. As Travis drove with the emergency lights flashing, the expectant mother made two phone calls: one to the hospital, and one to their birth photographer, Tammy Karin, of Little Leapling Photography.
“After listening to her work through a couple contractions over the phone, I knew this was going to be exciting,” Karin tells PEOPLE. “I had no doubt that I’d beat her to the hospital, but I wasn’t sure she wouldn’t already be holding her baby!”
Once the couple made it to the hospital, Travis ran to the ER to get help as Hogan made her way out of the car—to her surprise, Karin showed up just in time, to help her through the hospital doors.
As they made their way inside, it quickly became apparent to Hogan that her baby wasn’t going to wait any longer. As she stood just inside the emergency room entrance, she could feel the baby boy’s head coming out.
“I then started to take my pants off because I could feel my body pushing the baby’s head out. I reached down and could feel his head crowning with my hand,” Hogan wrote in the post. “I looked at my husband and said, ‘Travis catch him!’ Without any hesitation, he did just that as I felt my body involuntarily pushing his head the rest of the way out.”
At 3:38 a.m., the couple’s baby, Maxwell, was born. The whirlwind series of events — from Hogan’s water breaking to her delivery on the emergency room floor — lasted just under 25 minutes. As Hogan gave birth on that hallway floor, Karin captured Maxwell’s first moments in stunning photographs that have recently gone viral on social media.
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“People seem shocked that I was able to get these dramatic delivery pictures, but this is what Jes hired me to do. As a professional birth photographer, it is my job to be there,” Karin says. “I was on call, I was in contact with her and I was prepared. I would have been horribly upset with myself if I missed Max’s big welcome despite how quickly things progressed!”
Hogan wrote that while the delivery was not at all what she thought it would be, it was special.
“It was my craziest birth, but also, the most perfect,” she wrote. “It was not at all what I had planned, but it ended without any intervention, with a healthy baby, and amazing support people by our sides. It was beautiful and I’ll forever love every memory of it.”