Updated: Aug 10, 2018
Your biggest fear is that your birth photographer won't make it in time right? Average labours are 6-12hours, yes some are shorter and some are a lot longer, but just because you know there is time doesn't mean you leave contact to the last minute.
I use a number of tools to know when it's time to leave. Yes cm checks are a big one but some people it may take hours to gain a cm some people may take 20 minutes for progress 5cm, so cm aren't completely reliable. I will give you a list during your consultation about signs that you need to make contact about, I would rather be notified in the middle of the night of a false alarm than to miss your birth!
I was contacted by my on-call couple just after 8am that they were in labour, at the hospital and already at 8cm. I knew I was going to be rushing against the clock to make the hospital in time. Not only due to distance but also due to the fact it was smack bang in peak hour. I was about 15 minutes away from the hospital when I received the text that they were pushing. I was devastated that I was likely to miss a clients birth, arriving at the hospital room to find I missed the birth by 13 minutes. A measly 13 minutes!
I went about taking all those fresh moments for the couple while going over and over in my head what could I have changed to make sure I don't ever miss a birth again. It's at that moment that I spoke up and asked when did labour start.
To my surprise she was at the hospital and confirmed in active labour since 1am!
While I understand dad's want to not wake me in the middle of the night, that is my job, being woken in the middle of the night is one of the main parts of this job, as is running out on my family at our own important events. I don't take my job lightly and these are the commitments that I will go above and beyond for every client I booked.
While unfortately I missed this birth, this client's balance was transferred to a fresh 48 session and they still have the beautiful memories of the day their baby was born to cherish forever.