December 8, 2016
This mama hired me in 2013 to photograph the birth of her baby. Well, he had other plans and he was the first birth I ever missed. He was born in less than 2 hours! So, I was thrilled, and a little nervous (lol) to photograph baby #4 for this family! I’m going to let mama tell her story of the day her beautiful baby girl was born in her living room ….
“At 2:24 am on November 14, I was hesitant to commit to the idea of labor, especially because the date happened to be your due date. Who’s born on their due date?! Your mama didn’t pay mind to that date her entire pregnancy because babies come when they’re ready. The night before, your daddy had rubbed my feet while your brothers and I watched Christmas movies. That evening I did the Miles Circuit to help you be in an optimal position, per my Midwife’s suggestion, which I had forgotten until that day.
I woke dad (it took some loud whispering) at 3:15 AM and then we went in the living room and I called Dawn, my midwife. Contractions were coming every 3 to 5 minutes. Dawn headed our way and dad decided to take a quick shower. At that time, I was pretty convinced this wasn’t a false alarm and everyone was headed our way.
Ben Taylor, James Taylor, Amos Lee, and a few others played softly over my phone in the background as I waited to welcome you. Tavia arrived and got her gear ready and waited as everyone else traveled our way. Everyone was there and waiting. Brandy took mommy’s vitals and listened to you-your heartbeat was great. Everyone was resting and quiet and letting me do what I needed. Contractions stayed about five minutes apart and were getting strong, but manageable because of the break in between. The contractions were worst when I would take a potty break – intense, activity stopping, toe curling tightenings. Then, five minutes of rest. The team was all working, chatting, snacking in the dining room, allowing me to labor. Dawn checked on you and me often. I remember daddy and I laughing a lot.
I took a tiny nap, maybe 10 minutes. About an hour or so later, Dawn and I talked about an exam to check how things were progressing. I don’t like to know this information mentally, but we went ahead with the exam because Dawn knew this about me and didn’t tell me my progress / dilation. I knew dad would want to know, and I also knew an exam might speed things a bit. This was about 9:30 AM, and Dawn just said “it won’t be long now, Mama. ” The team begin coming into the living room/birth space, and we all kept waiting. The pool water was added to, because it was a little cool. I had no idea if I’d even know when to get in that pool, but contractions were getting difficult to talk through. I needed daddy to lean on. I started having longer contractions and longer rest times. I remember only smiles and laughter amongst us all. I remember Dawn was just smiling and laughing and holding space-I didn’t really understand that term completely until I watched it in her. That time period from 9:30 on, and really the whole morning, was/is only a memory of joy for me. Such peace and love and support in the quiet, still, sort of slow morning.
Daddy prayed with me and sometime maybe around 1030 I had a contraction strong enough that I said ” if this one stops, I’m getting in that water. “So, I did know when to move to the tub! The water brought comfort and relief and I still remember laughing through the rest periods, and wanting to but not being able to during the tightenings.
I was leaned over on the pool wall, daddy by my face. I was on hands and knees because I guess I was most comfortable that way at that point. Dawn and Brandy checked on me and listened to your heartbeat, you were doing well. I was surrounded by candles and soft music and daddy and a team who was carefully picked by us, and who loved us so well for nine months (and before). I had prayed for a longer trial of labor and the Lord answered that request as such. Soon, it was time to meet you.
At 11:09 AM, during a push, my water broke, bringing some short relief. From that point, things were intense and communication was difficult for me. You would be here soon, but for another push or two, I could not feel you descend and I had definite doubts that I’d be able to do this. I knew there was no other option because heck if I was going to move somewhere else at that point. One more long forever push later, and I knew you were coming.
So with everything I had, I pushed as the Lord brought you from my womb to this world. Dawn helped to push you forward in the water, where daddy and I lifted you up and I exclaimed with joy and tears that you were a girl. I didn’t see any of the other faces in the room then, but your daddy was so happy and proud. You cried immediately.
You and I rested in the pool until the placenta was delivered and you had nursed a little and daddy cut your cord. Your temperature was a little low, so Dawn and Brandy gave you to daddy and you had skin to skin time with him while they cared for me and got me to bed.
Your birth, our first daughter, into our home, our way , in peace and calm and full of love and laughter, is no exception to this. I will treasure that day in my heart forever. Thank you for giving your mama the opportunity to work so hard for nine months towards a dream. When I learned of my pregnancy with you, a song was dear to me-the lyrics went “dreams that bear the mark of love are dreams that never die. “After two losses and a long pregnancy full of learning and growth and struggles- HERE YOU ARE. Welcome to this world, baby girl. You are so, so very loved.”
B & A – I am honored to have photographed 2 of your babies’ births now!! You two make a great team, and you have such a beautiful family <3
I’m now booking well into Summer 2017, so please contact me ASAP if you’re interested in a birth photographer or newborn photographer.