Bringing a baby into this world is usually a special moment for a parent. But while giving birth in a hospital hallway doesn’t seem like it would be as magical, that’s exactly what Jes Hogan did when she was in labor with her sixth child. What’s more, she has the incredible photos to prove it.
At some point, most moms-to-be will have visualized exactly how they’d like to give birth – whether that’s at home, in a hospital or even in water. Even the best-laid plans can go awry, however. And that idea of the perfect delivery in the perfect setting may not become the reality when labor kicks in.
And Jes likely didn’t anticipate giving birth to baby number six on a hospital floor. That said, the build-up to the new arrival wasn’t quite what the Manhattan, Kansas, mom had expected, either. Indeed, in a 2017 blog for Little Leapling Photography, Jes explained, “[My] pregnancy was much like [my son’s] delivery – not at all what I thought it would be. From the very beginning, it was unpredictable to say the least.”
This time, however, it was good that Jes’ expectations had been dashed. The mother of six continued in her blog, “After pregnancies in which I had been hospitalized for preterm labor and complications from hyperemesis gravidarum, I was happy and astonished that I had very little to report in the way of labor progress up until 37 weeks.” She added, “It wasn’t entirely smooth – but much more so than my previous pregnancies.”
On the night of July 18, 2017, though, Jes began to feel contractions strong enough to warrant taking notice. So in the early hours of the next day, both her and her husband, Travis, went to hospital believing that they were witnessing the beginning of labor. As it happens, though, the pair would have a lot longer to wait before they saw their new son.
And after spending four hours in the hospital with no sign of their baby moving, the couple decided to head home. Jes had wished for an delivery free from intervention, and at this point she and Travis hoped that that would indeed turn out to be the case.
In the days that followed, Jes continued to have contractions. Nevertheless, she convinced herself that she would know for certain when labor was imminent. She’d had plenty of previous experience, after all. Then, at 3:00 a.m. one morning, during one particularly long contraction, Jes’ waters broke.
With that, the Hogans rushed to get to the hospital before their baby son arrived. And there was a real fear that the pair might not make it in time, too, since, as Jes later wrote, she “could feel the baby moving down quickly with each contraction.” On the journey, though, there was still room to put in a phone call to a very important person.
That individual was Tammy Karin, and she had managed to arrive at the hospital at the nick of time. Jes had requested the services of Tammy’s company Little Leapling Photography prior to the birth; the snapper was subsequently hired to capture the baby’s arrival on film.
Despite any plans the Hogans may have made for the arrival of their sixth child, though, their baby boy had other ideas. Jes had only made it into the hospital hallway, in fact, before their son decided that it was time to be born.
Of that moment, Jes said in her blog, “I reached down and could feel his head crowning with my hand. 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.”
Jes added, “Then the nurses came rushing down the hall. It was a blur at this point. They reached us [and] helped me lay down just as my body began to push again.” It was too late, then, for the mom to be moved to a more comfortable location. As a result, Jes gave birth to her son – later named Maxwell – at 3:38 a.m. in the hospital hallway.
Throughout the birth, though, Tammy took pictures of the whole process – just as she had been tasked to do. And the images she captured are stunning. The raw, unposed shots show Maxwell’s arrival in its full glory, up to the moment that Jes was finally able to hold her son in her arms.
And the new mom herself certainly appreciated Tammy’s presence at the hospital. Indeed, she would later write, “Without [Tammy], I don’t think we would have gotten help from the nurses just in the nick of time.” Jes added, “And we most certainly wouldn’t have any of the treasured photos of our last baby’s incredible birth.”
Jes went on, “[Tammy’s] presence at this birth is something I’ll always be thankful for. Between she, Travis, and our nurses, we were so taken care of. If not for her, I’m certain it wouldn’t have ended as seamlessly. And we definitely wouldn’t have any documentation of this whirlwind birth.”
Then, after Maxwell’s arrival, Tammy created a slideshow using the images and videos that she had taken. She subsequently uploaded the clip onto YouTube. And there, viewers can see not only the photographs of Maxwell’s birth in progress, but also some adorable snaps of Jes and Travis’ five daughters visiting the latest addition to the family.
However, given that the birth took place less than 25 minutes after Jes’ waters had broken, it’s impressive that Tammy was able to capture it at all. Fortunately, though, the snapper did just that. And Tammy paid tribute to the Hogans themselves at the end of her YouTube video, writing, “Thank you to this incredible family for sharing their story and demonstrating how beautiful birth is.”
What’s more, even though Jes gave birth to a baby in less than perfect surroundings, she’s humble about her achievement. In a February 2018 interview with BuzzFeed, she said, “I know that nothing I did was inherently special – moms do this every day. But it’s magical. Each and every birth.”
And since Jes made her birth story public, other moms have come forward to tell their own tales of labor. The mother of six feels that this is a positive thing, saying to BuzzFeed, “I believe our birth experiences are defining moments in our lives that help us women feel connected and empowered.”
In her blog post, though, Hogan concluded, “[Maxwell’s birth] 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.”