My dear friend and long-time client, Christina, contacted me a week or so before she was due with their third child, interested in having me document her birth story. She was curious as to what exactly in entailed and rightly so, its not for everyone! She was planning a natural birth, epidural on the side just in case :) I explained everything to her, and why having me there would be such an awesome experience.
When you are in bed laboring, you basically see and hear nothing around you besides the immediate family’s touches and soft words in your ears. You don’t realize whats going on behind the scenes, the preparations taking place, the looks on loved ones faces as they sympathize with your pain and strength. You don’t always see husbands hands clasped so tightly as he wishes you through the contraction quickly, moms and sisters excited faces as they know that with more pain comes more movement towards that baby being in their arms! Once the baby is here, you have one focus, hold her and relax as much as you can, your eyes are either on her or closed, and you don’t see the tears of joy and smiles a mile wide absorbing every detail from afar. When they move the baby to her warmer for measuring, weighing, bathing, swaddling, you don’t get to move with her, hold her tiny hands like daddy does, watch her stretch her sweet toes, struggle to open her eyes in the bright light and peek at who and what is going on around her. You don’t see her yawns or smiles or little wrinkled knees as she learns to kick them and flail her arms open wide. And this is what I am here for, to document every move, every little breath and blink you might not get to see from bed. It all comes together as a story, and one you don’t want to quickly forget.
She decided YES, she wanted me there and I became a slave to my cell phone, on call every second of the day. I LOVE it, its like waiting for something even better than the surprises that wait on Christmas morning! And not too many days later, on her due date to be exact, I got the call.
As I walked into the room, momma laboring at a 7, so dark and quiet, so peaceful with a soft beep of the monitors, and even softer sound of Christinas voice as she lifted her hands and sang and praised the Lord through each contraction. “I give this contraction to you Lord” she would whisper. When I was at a seven in my last childs birth, I was on my hands and knees screaming into a pillow and ripping IV cords and monitors out of my arms and hands. Oh the difference a little Pitocin can make ;) THIS was different. It was amazing and breathtaking. It gave me the chills to feel such a powerful presence in the room. She did awesome. She breathed through it steady and sure. She felt the urge to push, and asked for her epidural. It was given, and lessened the pain but didn’t take it away entirely, which I think is good, because you can feel your bodys needs and strength. We were created for this, and it is a feeling that cannot be described. I think it took two whole pushes to deliver baby Kate into this world, screaming for all she was worth, and once placed on Christinas bosom, she quieted and almost smiled. It was her place. It was beautiful. I cannot get enough of this miracle called birth. The gift we are bestowed upon, of life and love and tiny baby breath. I am honored each time I am allowed to document this day, and if you have never thought about having a birth documented, its something worth investing in. Every time. I hear the words out of a mothers mouth, “I wish I had done this with my other children”. And its so true. Having been in this spot myself, its so worth it. Those memories fade so quickly and time passes in a blink.
This is the story of Kate, her first breath, her first touches, and the love you cannot imagine to know until you become a parent. You may ask yourself, what was life like before Kate? And you will never know the answer to that, because its as if she has always been.
View her birth story slide show HERE. I love the words to the songs Christina chose, without knowing how perfectly they would fit with her images.