This Is What It Looks Like to Give Birth in Just 18 Minutes

Liz Alterman | Apr 13, 2017 Pregnancy

woman has fast delivery
New Creation Photography


Most pregnant women hope for a quick labor and delivery -- but how fast is too fast? Mom Cara Hocking gave birth to her fourth child in a mere 18 minutes, which may seem seriously unbelievable to some. It takes most mothers hours to deliver and even then they are considered lucky if they can give birth without having to stay overnight at the hospital. Fortunately, birth photographer Laura Eckert of New Creation Photography was there to capture the speedy delivery. 

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Even though it was no easy task for mama or photographer, these pros were ready to go. Eckert shared with CafeMom that both of them knew so much was going to be up to chance. Would the birth go as swiftly as her previous ones? (Her first arrived after six hours of labor; her second within just an hour and 13 minutes; her third popped out in a staggering 53 minutes.) Would Cara's husband and Laura both make it to the hospital -- if the mom was even able to get there in time? 

Thankfully, everything went remarkably well, considering Cara gave birth in less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered. Take a look at these gorgeous photos that capture the miracle of one of the fastest deliveries we've ever seen! It's sure to shock and amaze even the steeliest of mothers. 

  • Ready for Baby

    1

    Cara looks cool as can be in this photo, although she knows things can change at any second.

    "With Cara's history, we knew that this birth could end up happening exactly the way it did," Eckert told CafeMom. "I photographed the birth of her third child as well, so witnessing her go from completely fine with no contractions to having a baby in her arms within 53 minutes the last time was eye-opening enough to convince me that I was definitely going to have to be on my toes for this one!"

  • The Hoped-For Hospital Birth

    2

    Because of her other quick deliveries, Cara wasn't sure what would happen with baby no. 4. Thankfully, she was admitted to the hospital so any anxiety about having unexpected delivery -- like in her home or while running an errand (can you imagine?) -- was removed. That had to be a big relief.

  • Waiting for Baby

    3

    "She was scheduled for an induction with this birth, but we had talked multiple times about the various scenarios if she went into labor before then, and had worked out a plan the best we could while knowing full well that labor can be completely unpredictable. We'd even discussed the possibility that, though we were both prepared for a very short labor and delivery, we should also be psychologically prepared in the event that this turned out to be a long, slow labor too. You just never really know," Eckert said. 

    So true! 

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  • It's Go Time

    4

    "As soon as they broke Cara's water, I was absolutely prepared for things to fly. During a slow labor, I generally switch up lenses and angles a lot, but when the docs left the room after breaking her water, I put the lens on that I knew I would want for the actual delivery and stuck with it. I also made sure that I was on the side of the bed that was more out of the way of the staff that I had a hunch would be rushing in, and it allowed me a better chance of not getting 'boxed out' by medical personnel," Eckert explained.

  • Baby's Almost Here

    5

    "The room was not as hectic as you might imagine. Cara and Jim had given staff a good idea of what to expect, and so I feel like everyone was fairly prepared for what was about to happen, even if in their heads they weren't completely convinced it would happen as quickly as Cara thought. The staff was calm. Jim was calm. I was calm. Cara? Not as calm," Eckert joked.

  • Baby's Arrival

    6

    "I've photographed about 70 births, and as you might imagine, I have been a part of many, many very long, slow births. So to witness the incredible speed and intensity of Cara's delivery was definitely an adrenaline rush," Eckert said.

  • Baby's Here

    7

    "I think the relief of Hendrix being born in the hospital actually occurred when Cara was officially admitted. The staff acknowledged that she was dilated enough that they would keep her to have the baby," the photographer explained. 

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  • Relief After Delivery

    8

    "I was really concerned that her water would break without warning at home while her husband was at work. He would have been over a half-hour away, and after witnessing her last birth, I knew that could be trouble," Eckert said. 

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  • Sweet Baby

    9

    Good thing Hendrix decided to make his entrance into the world at just the right moment for everyone. We hope for his family's sake that Hendrix always retains his excellent timing.

  • Worth All the Worry

    10

    Seeing Cara gaze down at her gorgeous new child, you know that every tense second leading up to the delivery was worth it.

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  • Baby

    11

    "Once Hendrix was actually delivered, there was a secondary sense of deep relief for Cara, who had clearly just been through one of the most intense, excruciating events of her life," Eckert noted.

    That must've been such a roller coaster of emotions for Cara and Jim!

  • Baby's First Selfie

    12

    It's so much fun to see Cara, who is also a newborn and child photographer, taking her first selfie with her new baby! She and Hendrix look awfully sweet together. We wish the growing family all the best! 

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