If I were single and childless I would photograph births 24/7/365; I love them so much that I actually don’t advertise that I do them all the time because turning down a birth is so difficult for me! It is my very favorite life event to document, no contest. Why? First of all, because holding space for a woman in labor is a privilege and and honor. Saying that almost sounds cliche, but it is the truth. The energy in the room of a laboring woman is, well, my spirit animal. Does that make sense? In my next life (or maybe this one once my kids are older), I may become a birth doula or midwife myself (different roles, but both honorable! I know some incredible women who do this for a living if you need some referrals!). Time will tell.
How many births does a person actually get to witness if they are not a doctor, nurse, midwife or emergency personnel? I mean witness – not actually giving birth yourself. Maybe none. Maybe one, if you have a sister you are close to, or a best friend. Or, if you are in this family – or close to them – you get to bear witness to a most powerful, fierce woman giving birth. This mama had her mother, her sister, her husband and his two children, her own two older children – and a neighbor girl who is very close to the family. It was absolutely awesome to have so much love there. And they were each SO supportive, so calm, so present for her. I mean, 100 years ago women in America were giving birth at home surrounded by family and close friends, so why not now? Observing these boys and girls, coming of age, witnessing a birth – the birth of their baby sister – was moving. They will forever remember the day she was born, and birth will not be a taboo, dark, scary experience, but a vibrant, powerful, awesome one! What a gift!
Mama heard about me through a mutual friend on January 13th – only weeks before her due date, February 7th. I actually love being contacted this late in the game – if I’m not traveling or have a wedding I can usually do it and the amount of time I’m on-call is shorter (bonus!). (That being said, if you want to hire me to be on-call for your birth and be able to clear my calendar, you should definitely book me as soon as you feel comfortable sharing that you’re pregnant! That way I commit to you, don’t book weekends away or weddings and you become my #1!) This mama hadn’t given birth in 10 years, but she knew that her other births went very quickly, so when I got the text to come to Wentworth Douglass Hospital, I ran, as I always do. I entered into a full, yet quiet room. The kids were talking to each other, checking in with mom, then dad, then nana, then auntie, laughing quietly, talking, passing the time, all while mama labored. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story of Emma Elinda coming quickly into the world, ready to meet her big, beautiful family. Born February 6, 2019 at 4:28 pm. 9lbs 10.5 oz. 21 in.
Happy 1st birthday, Emma, and happy Birth Day mama! XO