Baby Jack was born on a glorious Sunday morning. I say that not just because I think every Sunday is glorious, but because on this Sunday the light was entering the room perfectly & right after he made his arrival I was headed off to capture a military homecoming. That Sunday was filled with so much happiness! Here’s a glimpse 😉
Alanna contacted me when she was around 12 weeks pregnant and wanted to book her birth story. I greatly appreciated that she was “on the ball” and hired me so early. It was definitely a waiting game but it was nice to keep in touch and run into each other around our small base. Fast forward six months and we were definitely on baby watch! When we realized it was actually happening I ended up heading to the hospital three times to make sure I captured everything. Once at 2am to get laboring shots and to check in on momma (I live 5 minutes from the hospital) and then a few hours later at 7am. I left right before my son woke so I didn’t have a chance to feed him and by the time I got home I was able to pump 11 ounces! Ah the joys of a breastfeeding mother/birth photographer 😉 I stopped back by later that afternoon so Jack’s siblings could meet him.
When I arrived at the hospital that morning it was clear that baby was coming soon but of course to Alanna it wasn’t soon enough. She had pain management but it wasn’t working. Thats when I witnessed what a truly amazing birth doctor looked like. Her doctor, Capt. Q, came in and rubbed Alanna’s back, coached her, supported her, and truly care for her during those last few moments before Jack arrived. It was beautiful to witness. From laboring to skin to skin, it was all so amazing to capture.
I’m going to do things differently with this birth blog and occasionally have my sweet birth mama’s tell their story, their way. Here is Alanna’s words about her birth and why it was important for her to hire me to document her story…
“It was a Saturday morning, 3 days past my due date, when my husband took me into the hospital to get things going. This was my third baby, so I thought I knew what to expect. My midwife, the same midwife who delivered my middle child, was at the hospital and did the “sweep” for me, and sent me home to walk it out. This was a first for me, walking through labor. With my first two babies, the epidural happened sooner than the walking. So, back home we went, where I proceeded to walk all day. I did laps around the park, I cooked dinner, I bounced on the exercise ball, walked some more, all while keeping in close contact with my birth photographer, Elizabeth. It was getting later, we had put the kids to bed, made sure we had everything ready to go and that Auntie would be able to handle the kids, so I took a warm bath. After the bath, I attempted to get some sleep, but I knew by the way the contractions were happening that it was time to go to the hospital. That was around 1030pm. When I got to the hospital, I was 5 cm dilated, the most I had ever been before an epidural, and it was getting serious. But I knew I wanted the epidural, so Elizabeth came to the hospital, late at night, so she could capture those critical moments in my labor when it was still as natural as I could handle. I was so grateful for her insight and knowledge of her craft, that she knew to come take those shots then, and would come back again once active labor started. I was in too much pain to make those decisions about our photography birth story. Fast forward through the “epidural slow down”, to the moment when my epidural stopped working on one side. They called it a hot spot. The contractions were so intense and painful on one side, but because I had the epidural I was not able to move. All I could do was hold on, cry, and try to breathe through it. My midwife, her team, and my husband were able to pull me out of the depths of panic and fear, and guide me through the birth of my son. And Elizabeth was there the whole time to capture these vulnerable and precious moments. And after we bonded with our son and cleaned up a bit, my husband brought our daughter, Ella, and our middle son, Mason, up to the hospital to meet their baby brother. Again, Elizabeth was there with her camera, forever in time documenting those tender moments as a family when we welcomed baby Jack into our lives. This was the first time we had ever used a birth photographer. We had had maternity and newborn sessions, but never had a professional for Ella and Mason’s birth. My decision to seek out a birth photographer was driven by the fact that I didn’t have a single picture of Mason in my arms until the day after he was born. It was late and we didn’t have time to ask someone to come up to the hospital, so no one captured those incredible 20 minutes where he was on my chest, skin to skin, soaking in all of my love. And Mason was the only baby that was able to be immediately placed on my chest, Ella and Jack were “meconium babies” and needed immediate medical attention. And that special moment I shared with Mason can only be revisited in my mind. I did not want to have that same experience with Jack, and I also knew that our family would be complete after our third child. So I researched birth photographers, and was blessed to find that Elizabeth was moving to 29 Palms, and would be available to capture this incredibly personal, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am honored to have worked with her. She is such a genuine and caring individual, with an eye for raw and natural beauty. I couldn’t be more pleased with how she photographed our family, and grateful for her generosity during my recovery. Thank you, Elizabeth!”