10-Year-Old Catches Newborn Baby Sister In Viral Birth Photos

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A powerful series of birth photos is highlighting the beauty of sibling love.

Paulina Splechta has been documenting childbirth as an on-call photographer for four and a half years. Last month, she had the opportunity to capture a very special moment for the Cook family in Boca Raton, Florida.

When Catherine Cook prepared to deliver her third child, she invited her 10-year-old daughter, Kayla, to be present at the birth and catch the baby. The big sister happily agreed, leading to an emotional experience that Splechta photographed.

Ten-year-old Kayla caught her newborn sister, Everly.  (Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
Ten-year-old Kayla caught her newborn sister, Everly.  (Photo: Paulina Splechta)

“In the first moments when Kayla caught her baby sister ― while the midwife, Laurie Gibbons, was making sure the baby was handed safely from big sister Kayla’s hands to mom’s hands ― everyone’s hearts were very full,” Splechta told HuffPost. “It was the sweetest moment that took my breath away, seeing such pure love between sisters meeting for the first time.”

The photographer shared a selection of snaps from baby Everly’s birth in a Facebook post that has received nearly 20,000 likes and reached over 2 million users.

Kayla's dad and midwife Laurie Gibbons assisted. (Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
Kayla's dad and midwife Laurie Gibbons assisted. (Photo: Paulina Splechta)

“I think this birth resonated with so many people because it is rare to see a child at a birth, especially actively participating in catching the baby,” Splechta said, adding that Kayla’s unguarded emotional response was incredibly moving. “[Her reaction] was so profound ― a wide scale of emotions, and I believe it was very touching for people to see such authenticity and vulnerability.”

The photographer emphasized that no one ever pressured Kayla into participating in the experience and that she was “very excited” about catching her baby sister. The mother had chosen to have an unmedicated birth, and when hard labor started, the 10-year-old stepped out of the room for one minute.

The photographer described the experience as incredibly emotional.  (Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
The photographer described the experience as incredibly emotional.  (Photo: Paulina Splechta)

“Being a very empathetic young girl, Kayla became concerned with how her mom was doing,” Splechta explained.

As she approached the moment of birth, Kayla got a minor case of cold feet and questioned if she would be able to catch the baby, so her dad offered to do it with her, the photographer noted. The 10-year-old got a boost of confidence from this plan.

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Kayla was excited to be present for her baby sister's birth.  (Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
Kayla was excited to be present for her baby sister's birth.  (Photo: Paulina Splechta)

“Just as baby Everly’s head started crowning, and it was time to catch her baby sister, Kayla looked several times back and forth between her baby sister’s head and her mom’s powerful face ― at times with an inquisitive expression almost as if to ensure her mom was OK and other times in total amazement, as if she was thinking what a strong woman her mom was,” Splechta recalled. “Ultimately, her various expressions turned into huge smiles and finally after her sister was on mom’s chest, she let out a cry of joyful relief.”

For Splechta, this birth experience was incredibly powerful because she had wanted her daughter to be present at the birth of her last child but couldn’t see this plan through due to an unexpected cesarean section.

Kayla went through a range of emotions.  (Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
Kayla went through a range of emotions.  (Photo: Paulina Splechta)

“Ever since that experience, it was my hope to one day capture a birth story for a family who wanted their older child present at the birth of a new baby coming into their lives,” she said. “I wanted to contribute to showing that birth is not something to be feared and hidden behind closed doors, but that birth is a beautiful celebration of meeting a new life and that it can be a family-centered experience.”

The photographer added, “Although I didn’t get to see my firstborn meeting her baby sister at my second birth, I put all of my passion into my work because I want to give other moms the gift of having these unrepeatable memories to cherish forever.”

Keep scrolling and visit Splechta’s website and Facebook page for more emotional birth photos.

(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)
(Photo: <a href="http://www.paulinasplechta.com/" target="_blank">Paulina Splechta</a>)

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Pink

“We watched Ricki Lake‘s documentary 'The Business of Being Born' early on. It was so enlightening and empowering. We took all kinds of classes and decided to work with midwives at The Sanctuary ... I was really looking forward to the whole rite of passage — giving birth perfectly present, unmedicated, in the way nature intended ... <a href="https://people.com/parents/pink-was-looking-forward-to-a-natural-birth/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">She was in the frank breech position</a>, which is head up with her legs up by her head in a pike position. We tried <i>everything</i> to turn her around. Turns out this little girl had other plans — she is <i>my</i> daughter, after all.”
“We watched Ricki Lake‘s documentary 'The Business of Being Born' early on. It was so enlightening and empowering. We took all kinds of classes and decided to work with midwives at The Sanctuary ... I was really looking forward to the whole rite of passage — giving birth perfectly present, unmedicated, in the way nature intended ... She was in the frank breech position, which is head up with her legs up by her head in a pike position. We tried everything to turn her around. Turns out this little girl had other plans — she is my daughter, after all.”

Alicia Keys

"I like to speak about it very positively because <a href="https://www.express.co.uk/celebrity-news/360127/Alicia-Keys-I-really-enjoyed-painful-childbirth" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I don't like to scare people</a>. I mean it was painful, hell yeah. You have to scream, unless you're totally drugged and, hell, I screamed. But I followed this particular technique which banishes negative thoughts. So instead of calling it a contraction, it’s a surge. And I think words like that are pretty powerful. ... So it hurt, but I think I received it a little better and I can say I really enjoyed it. It’s not like anything I’ve ever done and I think it’ll be better the second time. It must be. But as everyone says, it was worth it. It was bliss and a real miracle to be part of... And I really believe that (a) new day started the day Egypt came into this world.”
"I like to speak about it very positively because I don't like to scare people. I mean it was painful, hell yeah. You have to scream, unless you're totally drugged and, hell, I screamed. But I followed this particular technique which banishes negative thoughts. So instead of calling it a contraction, it’s a surge. And I think words like that are pretty powerful. ... So it hurt, but I think I received it a little better and I can say I really enjoyed it. It’s not like anything I’ve ever done and I think it’ll be better the second time. It must be. But as everyone says, it was worth it. It was bliss and a real miracle to be part of... And I really believe that (a) new day started the day Egypt came into this world.”

Kristen Bell

“My perspective was — as someone who has never experimented with drugs — I really enjoyed it. It was kind of a wonderful experience for me. While they were doing it, I actually thought, like, ‘What else could we get done down there?’ ... <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYYyCGKtKX4&t=1s" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Just anything to keep the epidural flowing</a>! ... About six or seven hours later, I’m sitting in my hospital bed, and I say to Dax, ‘Well, I think the epidural has finally worn off.’ And he looks over, and I am scratching holes in my face like a meth addict.”
“My perspective was — as someone who has never experimented with drugs — I really enjoyed it. It was kind of a wonderful experience for me. While they were doing it, I actually thought, like, ‘What else could we get done down there?’ ... Just anything to keep the epidural flowing! ... About six or seven hours later, I’m sitting in my hospital bed, and I say to Dax, ‘Well, I think the epidural has finally worn off.’ And he looks over, and I am scratching holes in my face like a meth addict.”

Tilda Swinton

“In the movies where people have babies, they are sitting in a hospital bed with flowers everywhere, beautifully made-up, with a baby in their arms and it is all very lovely. Anyone who has been in that zone will know it’s total fiction. It’s a truly, truly murderous business. Giving birth is a violent thing to go through. <a href="https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/childbirth-in-the-movies-makes-real-women-feel-like-failures-211151" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">It’s a bloody business</a> having a family.”
“In the movies where people have babies, they are sitting in a hospital bed with flowers everywhere, beautifully made-up, with a baby in their arms and it is all very lovely. Anyone who has been in that zone will know it’s total fiction. It’s a truly, truly murderous business. Giving birth is a violent thing to go through. It’s a bloody business having a family.”

Ali Wong

“Nobody told me about all of the crazy shit that comes out of your pussy after you give birth. You know what happens after the baby comes out? <a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80186940" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">You know what else exits?</a> Her house. Her living room, her pillows, the Bob Marley poster. All the food that went bad in her refrigerator.” 
“Nobody told me about all of the crazy shit that comes out of your pussy after you give birth. You know what happens after the baby comes out? You know what else exits? Her house. Her living room, her pillows, the Bob Marley poster. All the food that went bad in her refrigerator.” 

Kate Winslet

"I've never talked about this — I've gone to great pains to cover it up. But Mia was an emergency C-section. I just said that I had a natural birth because I was so completely traumatized by the fact that I hadn't given birth. <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-300032/Why-Kate-lied-Mias-birth.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I felt like a complete failure</a>. My whole life, I'd been told I had great child-bearing hips ... There's this thing amongst women that if you can handle childbirth you can handle anything. I had never handled childbirth-and I felt like in some way I couldn't enter the 'powerful women's club' ... It was an amazing feeling having Joe naturally. Fourteen hours with no drugs at all, but then I had to have an epidural because I was so tired. It was an incredible birth. It was really triumphant."
"I've never talked about this — I've gone to great pains to cover it up. But Mia was an emergency C-section. I just said that I had a natural birth because I was so completely traumatized by the fact that I hadn't given birth. I felt like a complete failure. My whole life, I'd been told I had great child-bearing hips ... There's this thing amongst women that if you can handle childbirth you can handle anything. I had never handled childbirth-and I felt like in some way I couldn't enter the 'powerful women's club' ... It was an amazing feeling having Joe naturally. Fourteen hours with no drugs at all, but then I had to have an epidural because I was so tired. It was an incredible birth. It was really triumphant."

Maya Rudolph

"[A homebirth] was not my plan, but that’s what happened ... because the baby <a href="https://people.com/parents/maya-rudolph-i-think-im-25-months-pregnant/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">came out really fast</a>. Luckily, she just kind of glided into her father’s arms .... It was scary, but it was kind of awesome. Hospitals make me nervous because I feel like hospital equals death, like it smells like dead people and weird fluids that pickle people ... You have to put the placenta somewhere and I didn’t know it at the time, but someone put it in my freezer. Then a couple of weeks later I opened the freezer and was like, ‘What is that weird meat?’"
"[A homebirth] was not my plan, but that’s what happened ... because the baby came out really fast. Luckily, she just kind of glided into her father’s arms .... It was scary, but it was kind of awesome. Hospitals make me nervous because I feel like hospital equals death, like it smells like dead people and weird fluids that pickle people ... You have to put the placenta somewhere and I didn’t know it at the time, but someone put it in my freezer. Then a couple of weeks later I opened the freezer and was like, ‘What is that weird meat?’"

Jennifer Lopez

"I had a C-section, but my sister gave birth six months later -- we got pregnant around the same time -- and she asked me to be in the delivery room with her, and I was, like, 'Wow!' Because I had twins and that was recommended for me to have a C-section, and there was a part of me [that] had thought, 'I didn't get to do it the way that everybody else does.' But when I saw my sister pushing that baby out, I was like, '<a href="https://www.wonderwall.com/entertainment/jlo-and-cameron-diaz-talk-c-sections-and-prosthetic-breasts-1682608.article" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Maybe this was all right!</a> Maybe this was a better out.' So that was an experience."
"I had a C-section, but my sister gave birth six months later -- we got pregnant around the same time -- and she asked me to be in the delivery room with her, and I was, like, 'Wow!' Because I had twins and that was recommended for me to have a C-section, and there was a part of me [that] had thought, 'I didn't get to do it the way that everybody else does.' But when I saw my sister pushing that baby out, I was like, 'Maybe this was all right! Maybe this was a better out.' So that was an experience."

Miranda Kerr

“I actually thought I was going to die at one point and left my body. I was looking down on myself — <a href="https://www.inquisitr.com/125601/miranda-kerr-on-childbirth-i-thought-i-was-going-to-die/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the pain was so intense</a>. I kept thinking, ‘How do women do this?’ But if other women have done this, I can do it too. I was determined.”
“I actually thought I was going to die at one point and left my body. I was looking down on myself — the pain was so intense. I kept thinking, ‘How do women do this?’ But if other women have done this, I can do it too. I was determined.”

Megan Fox

"<a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/megan-fox-on-giving-birth-i-was-screaming-for-an-epidural-20121112/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I was screaming for an epidural</a> when Brian was driving me to the hospital because my water broke on its own. It was level orange alert pain. It hurts so bad. It was so intense. And I thought I was gonna be really tough and make it, I was gonna labor to like 8 cm ... but the first contraction that I got was horrific!"
"I was screaming for an epidural when Brian was driving me to the hospital because my water broke on its own. It was level orange alert pain. It hurts so bad. It was so intense. And I thought I was gonna be really tough and make it, I was gonna labor to like 8 cm ... but the first contraction that I got was horrific!"

Keira Knightley

"To my girl:<i> </i>My vagina split. You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming. They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming. You were pushing yourself up with your arms, furious at your frailty. Wanting to see. Wanting to know … I remember the shit, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D6BCXFM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I remember my battleground</a>. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?”
"To my girl: My vagina split. You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming. They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming. You were pushing yourself up with your arms, furious at your frailty. Wanting to see. Wanting to know … I remember the shit, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?”

Cardi B

“It was totally harder. <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cardi-b-baby-baby-broke-vagina_us_5bc8585ee4b055bc947dc169">She broke my vagina</a>. Why nobody tells you about those things? Nobody told me they was gonna stitch my vagina. People just be like, 'Oh, you know, when you give birth it's gonna hurt.' But nobody tells you, like, your vagina."
“It was totally harder. She broke my vagina. Why nobody tells you about those things? Nobody told me they was gonna stitch my vagina. People just be like, 'Oh, you know, when you give birth it's gonna hurt.' But nobody tells you, like, your vagina."

Tina Fey

“I ended up <a href="https://people.com/parents/tina_fey_talks_/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">on all fours in the back of a taxi</a> ... I had a very lucky and good experience. Once I got in the hospital, I very quickly accepted Stadol, which is a narcotic. A lot of women would say it’s bad to do that because you are giving your baby a narcotic. But she’s fine. She’s really, really fine. When I woke up, somehow I was almost completely dilated and the nurses were congratulating me. Then I had an epidural, and I was lucky that it was a good one and effective. I always knew I wanted an epidural. I am not a daredevil. I had lived a drug-free life until that moment. I had never done any recreational drugs, and I felt like I had saved them all up for the moment when that baby was coming."
“I ended up on all fours in the back of a taxi ... I had a very lucky and good experience. Once I got in the hospital, I very quickly accepted Stadol, which is a narcotic. A lot of women would say it’s bad to do that because you are giving your baby a narcotic. But she’s fine. She’s really, really fine. When I woke up, somehow I was almost completely dilated and the nurses were congratulating me. Then I had an epidural, and I was lucky that it was a good one and effective. I always knew I wanted an epidural. I am not a daredevil. I had lived a drug-free life until that moment. I had never done any recreational drugs, and I felt like I had saved them all up for the moment when that baby was coming."

Zoe Saldana

"In some cases more than others, your body experiences <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ZoeSaldana/photos/a.10150171334449150/10152837773834150/?type=1&theater" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a kind of trauma through childbirth</a> that is difficult to explain unless you've had that experience. My case was like that, everything from my thyroid to my platelets crashed. Thank God, we are all doing great now, but my body was really bent out of shape after the boys were born. Bouncing back feels impossible, but I know it is important as a woman, and now a mommy, to not give up. I am determined to get my energy back and find balance for my body before these little guys start walking, and before I go back to work. ... My clock is ticking!"
"In some cases more than others, your body experiences a kind of trauma through childbirth that is difficult to explain unless you've had that experience. My case was like that, everything from my thyroid to my platelets crashed. Thank God, we are all doing great now, but my body was really bent out of shape after the boys were born. Bouncing back feels impossible, but I know it is important as a woman, and now a mommy, to not give up. I am determined to get my energy back and find balance for my body before these little guys start walking, and before I go back to work. ... My clock is ticking!"

Busy Philipps

“<a href="https://people.com/parents/busy-philipps-says-birdie-made-my-career/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I don’t know what I thought</a> was going to happen beforehand, but I was completely squatting and after my doctor got [Birdie’s] head and shoulders out, she asked, ‘Do you want to pull your baby out? Give me your hands,' I didn’t even know my midwife took this picture of me with my hands pulling my daughter out and then right onto my chest ... [Natural childbirth] is not for everyone. I totally respect that. The best thing for your baby is the best thing for you. I have some friends who feel really strongly about an epidural and I’m 100 percent behind that, but that was not my plan.”
I don’t know what I thought was going to happen beforehand, but I was completely squatting and after my doctor got [Birdie’s] head and shoulders out, she asked, ‘Do you want to pull your baby out? Give me your hands,' I didn’t even know my midwife took this picture of me with my hands pulling my daughter out and then right onto my chest ... [Natural childbirth] is not for everyone. I totally respect that. The best thing for your baby is the best thing for you. I have some friends who feel really strongly about an epidural and I’m 100 percent behind that, but that was not my plan.”

Thandie Newton

"He was born on the bathroom floor ... I had just associated hospital with being ill, and I felt beautiful and healthy and wonderful when I was pregnant, and being at home is the place I felt most relaxed and comfortable. <a href="https://www.today.com/parents/thandie-newton-giving-birth-home-3-times-feels-normal-2D79699274" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">So for me, it feels normal</a>, but there was a time when everybody had their babies at home and it wasn’t such a big deal."
"He was born on the bathroom floor ... I had just associated hospital with being ill, and I felt beautiful and healthy and wonderful when I was pregnant, and being at home is the place I felt most relaxed and comfortable. So for me, it feels normal, but there was a time when everybody had their babies at home and it wasn’t such a big deal."

Chrissy Teigen

"<a href="https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a8301264/chrissy-teigens-cosmo-december-issue-birthing-interview/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I was so hungry</a>, but you can only have soup in case you have to go into surgery. So I texted John while he was performing and was like, 'Please bring me something!' He said all they have is rack of lamb. I was like, 'Bring it to me!' My doctors are gonna hate me but I was eating lamb chops, popsicles and watching Bravo. Then I woke up and they were like, it's time."
"I was so hungry, but you can only have soup in case you have to go into surgery. So I texted John while he was performing and was like, 'Please bring me something!' He said all they have is rack of lamb. I was like, 'Bring it to me!' My doctors are gonna hate me but I was eating lamb chops, popsicles and watching Bravo. Then I woke up and they were like, it's time."

Snooki

“Thank God I got to the doctors at that time because it was the perfect time for me to get the epidural so I won’t feel her come out. Everything worked out, but the fact that I felt the contractions up to almost seven centimeters — holy crap! … [Moms who give birth without an epidural] are my hero. You are amazing. You are freakin’ awesome. I don’t know how you do it, but you do and you survive and you’re stronger because of it. Dude, I give you all the props in the world, because me, I cannot take that pain. I was literally dying. I was trying to breathe and, you know, be calm, but it just feels like <a href="http://popcrush.com/snooki-labor-childbirth-details/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">there’s a million knives stabbing you</a> in the uterus and you can’t do it.”
“Thank God I got to the doctors at that time because it was the perfect time for me to get the epidural so I won’t feel her come out. Everything worked out, but the fact that I felt the contractions up to almost seven centimeters — holy crap! … [Moms who give birth without an epidural] are my hero. You are amazing. You are freakin’ awesome. I don’t know how you do it, but you do and you survive and you’re stronger because of it. Dude, I give you all the props in the world, because me, I cannot take that pain. I was literally dying. I was trying to breathe and, you know, be calm, but it just feels like there’s a million knives stabbing you in the uterus and you can’t do it.”

Serena Williams

"While I had a pretty easy pregnancy, my daughter was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped dramatically during contractions. The surgery went smoothly. Before I knew it, Olympia was in my arms. It was the most amazing feeling I've ever experienced in my life. But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty. It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot ... This sparked a slew of health complications that <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/20/opinions/protect-mother-pregnancy-williams-opinion/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I am lucky to have survived</a>."
"While I had a pretty easy pregnancy, my daughter was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped dramatically during contractions. The surgery went smoothly. Before I knew it, Olympia was in my arms. It was the most amazing feeling I've ever experienced in my life. But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty. It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot ... This sparked a slew of health complications that I am lucky to have survived."

Linda Cardellini

"When I was nine months pregnant, I got sick with this super-infection, which included double pneumonia. Both my eardrums blew. My face was paralyzed. And then, when I had the baby, there were a few things that happened that were also very scary: I was in labor and they were losing her heart rate, and mine was going down too, so I had to have an emergency C-section. And I had an epidural that went too far, so my breathing was compromised — and then my daughter was stuck and had the cord around her neck, which is a common complication by itself, but <a href="https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/interviews/a27591/linda-cardellini-bloodline-interview/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I had several complications at once</a>. But now she’s here, and she’s amazing, so there’s no complaining about any of it. I’m very lucky that we’re fine."
"When I was nine months pregnant, I got sick with this super-infection, which included double pneumonia. Both my eardrums blew. My face was paralyzed. And then, when I had the baby, there were a few things that happened that were also very scary: I was in labor and they were losing her heart rate, and mine was going down too, so I had to have an emergency C-section. And I had an epidural that went too far, so my breathing was compromised — and then my daughter was stuck and had the cord around her neck, which is a common complication by itself, but I had several complications at once. But now she’s here, and she’s amazing, so there’s no complaining about any of it. I’m very lucky that we’re fine."

Beyoncé

“I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir. I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month. My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so <a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/beyonce-september-issue-2018" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I had an emergency C-section</a>. We spent many weeks in the NICU. My husband was a soldier and such a strong support system for me. I am proud to have been a witness to his strength and evolution as a man, a best friend, and a father. I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later. Today I have a connection to any parent who has been through such an experience. After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery. Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover."
“I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir. I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month. My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section. We spent many weeks in the NICU. My husband was a soldier and such a strong support system for me. I am proud to have been a witness to his strength and evolution as a man, a best friend, and a father. I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later. Today I have a connection to any parent who has been through such an experience. After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery. Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover."

Nora Ephron

“Speaking of the pain of labor, which I seem to be, I would like to interject a small and irrelevant note: Why do people always say you forget the pain of labor? <a href="http://www.oprah.com/spirit/nora-ephron-on-maintenance-remembering-nora-ephron/all" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I haven’t forgotten the pain of labor.</a> Labor hurt. It hurt a lot. The fact that I am not currently in pain and cannot simulate the pain of labor doesn’t mean I don’t remember it. I am currently not eating a wonderful piece of grilled chicken I once had in Asolo, Italy, in 1982, but I remember it well. It was delicious. I can tell you exactly what it tasted like, and except for the time when I returned to the restaurant six years later and ordered it again (and it turned out, amazingly, to be exactly as wonderful as I remembered), I have never tasted chicken that was crisper, tastier, or juicier. The song has ended, but the melody lingers on, and that goes for the pain of labor, only not in a good way.”
“Speaking of the pain of labor, which I seem to be, I would like to interject a small and irrelevant note: Why do people always say you forget the pain of labor? I haven’t forgotten the pain of labor. Labor hurt. It hurt a lot. The fact that I am not currently in pain and cannot simulate the pain of labor doesn’t mean I don’t remember it. I am currently not eating a wonderful piece of grilled chicken I once had in Asolo, Italy, in 1982, but I remember it well. It was delicious. I can tell you exactly what it tasted like, and except for the time when I returned to the restaurant six years later and ordered it again (and it turned out, amazingly, to be exactly as wonderful as I remembered), I have never tasted chicken that was crisper, tastier, or juicier. The song has ended, but the melody lingers on, and that goes for the pain of labor, only not in a good way.”

Jennifer Hudson

“Everybody told me how much it was going to hurt afterwards, but I think I have a different tolerance for pain than others. By that night after I had the baby, I’m like, ‘<a href="https://people.com/parents/meet-jennifer-hudsons-newborn-son/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Look, I can’t sit in this bed anymore</a>. I’ve got to get up!’ I’ve been up and about since he was born. To me, the pain is no different than when you work out a muscle you’ve never worked out before and it’s sore.”
“Everybody told me how much it was going to hurt afterwards, but I think I have a different tolerance for pain than others. By that night after I had the baby, I’m like, ‘Look, I can’t sit in this bed anymore. I’ve got to get up!’ I’ve been up and about since he was born. To me, the pain is no different than when you work out a muscle you’ve never worked out before and it’s sore.”

Kate Hudson

“I was going to get induced because the baby was so big. Then my hips weren’t opening and <a href="https://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/family/orl-celebrities-csections-moms-photos-photogallery.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I wasn’t dilating</a>. I was in labor. My contractions were two to five minutes apart and I couldn’t feel anything. The doctor said I could go home, but it was such a pain in the butt to get to hospital because we were being stalked by photographers. We went in at midnight and I was like: ‘I am not going home. I just don’t want to do this again. Let’s just have a C-section.’ And so I got drugged up.”
“I was going to get induced because the baby was so big. Then my hips weren’t opening and I wasn’t dilating. I was in labor. My contractions were two to five minutes apart and I couldn’t feel anything. The doctor said I could go home, but it was such a pain in the butt to get to hospital because we were being stalked by photographers. We went in at midnight and I was like: ‘I am not going home. I just don’t want to do this again. Let’s just have a C-section.’ And so I got drugged up.”

Kim Kardashian

“<a href="https://www.instyle.com/news/kim-kardashian-surrogate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">We induced my labor</a>, and I had North soon after. Right after delivery, the placenta usually then comes out. Mine did not. My placenta stayed attached inside my uterus, which is a condition called placenta accreta. This is a high-risk condition that happens when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall .... My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails. How disgusting and painful!!! My mom was crying; she had never seen anything like this before. My delivery was fairly easy, but then going through that ― it was the most painful experience of my life! They gave me a second epidural but we were racing against time, so I just had to deal .... I’m so thankful that my doctor was able to catch this and address the issue immediately.”
We induced my labor, and I had North soon after. Right after delivery, the placenta usually then comes out. Mine did not. My placenta stayed attached inside my uterus, which is a condition called placenta accreta. This is a high-risk condition that happens when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall .... My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails. How disgusting and painful!!! My mom was crying; she had never seen anything like this before. My delivery was fairly easy, but then going through that ― it was the most painful experience of my life! They gave me a second epidural but we were racing against time, so I just had to deal .... I’m so thankful that my doctor was able to catch this and address the issue immediately.”

Alanis Morissette

“The experience was <a href="https://www.today.com/parents/alanis-morissette-home-birth-was-beyond-pain-4B11216386" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">beyond pain</a>. It was a transcendental experience. I just went to this whole other world. I basically had to be the little soldier that I am and really focus on this new beautiful creature coming out of me.”
“The experience was beyond pain. It was a transcendental experience. I just went to this whole other world. I basically had to be the little soldier that I am and really focus on this new beautiful creature coming out of me.”

Christina Aguilera

“<a href="https://people.com/parents/introducing-max-3/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">I didn’t want any surprises</a>. Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway]. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early!”
I didn’t want any surprises. Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway]. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early!”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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