Jess Hogan, a mother of five from Manhattan, Kansas, was set to deliver baby number six in July 2017. However, her journey to welcoming her sixth child was nothing short of extraordinary. It all began when Hogan’s water broke in the middle of the night. Her husband rushed her to the hospital, and they just barely made it into the ER before the baby started to arrive.
While Hogan was still standing, Maxwell Alexander was born on the ER floor, less than five minutes after her water broke at home. What makes this story even more incredible is that a photographer was there to document the entire experience. Tammy Karen of Little Leaping Photography captured every moment, from the point Hogan took her pants off because she felt the baby crowning to when the baby first entered the world. Karen recently shared these photos on Facebook with Hogan’s permission, demonstrating the beauty of birth even when things don’t go as planned.
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Baby Maxwell was perfectly healthy, weighing in at six pounds seven ounces. “It was my craziest birth, but also the most perfect,” Hogan told Scary Mommy. “It was not at all what I had planned, but it ended without any intervention, with a healthy baby and amazing support from people by our sides. It was beautiful, and I’ll forever love every memory of it.”
Maxwell’s pregnancy was much like his delivery, unpredictable. Jessica wrote in a blog post on Tammy’s website, “It was not at all what I thought it would be from the very beginning. It was unpredictable, to say the least.” Jessica had been feeling contractions for days with no sign of the baby prior to Maxwell’s speedy birth. But with her unborn son, her sixth child, Jessica was sure she would know when it was time for him to arrive. “I should know these things, right?” she wrote.
The pain wasn’t troubling her too badly, and she kept telling herself she would just know when it was the real thing. Then, Jessica woke at night to a strange, long contraction. It wasn’t incredibly painful, but it caused enough discomfort that she felt around in the dark for her husband and said, “Travis, I think this is it,” she recalled.
Then, she felt her water break. “I scurried off the edge of the bed, hurried to the bathroom in shock, and said, ‘Oh God, we’re not going to make it. We’re going to have this baby at home,’” Jessica wrote. The contraction went from uncomfortable to painful in a blink. “I had somehow managed to make it to the bathroom before my ruptured waters made any mess, something I’m admittedly still pretty proud of and mystified by. But standing in the bathroom, it felt like that contraction that woke me was never going to end.”
Her husband assured her they would make it to the hospital. She cried that there was no way she could move, but he said he would get her to the car. He disappeared for what felt like an eternity but, in reality, was maybe three to five minutes. In that time, her contractions were on top of each other, and she was certain things were moving fast. She wasn’t sure just how fast, but she knew they did not have long.
With her husband extremely calm, the pair drove to the hospital, with Jessica on her knees in the car. “I could feel the baby moving down quickly with each contraction,” she explained. Luckily for them, it was 3 A.M., and the roads were empty for their entire drive. As the couple neared the last turn, Jessica knew the baby was coming.
Our son took a moment to cry, then he went very calm,” Jessica wrote. “As it turns out, this is just his demeanor so far. It was a bit scary, only because he was so incredibly bruised from his entrance. But then he let out several more cries, they rubbed his back, and it was only then that I was taken to the delivery ward.