I think this might be the most pictures I’ve posted in a blog entry, ever. Even though this particular birth was a “fast” one, I could fill pages and pages with words and images and still fail to describe the love, trust, joy and peace that filled the room that morning.
Let me back up a bit. Allison and her family are friends of mine who used to live nearby, but moved away a year ago. When her doula for her first two births wasn’t able to travel last month, Allison called me. She wanted both a doula to support her through the birth and a photographer for birth and newborn photos. And it had to be a close friend. Well, I could do that!
Coincidentally, there was quite a ruckus in the media that week over the emerging trend of birth photography. Coverage was, eh, not so great, and really missed the entire point of the photographer’s role in the delivery room: to quietly and accurately document one of the most important, powerful and life-changing events in a woman’s life. Now, birth photography is not for everyone. I get that. Is birth always pretty? No. Is it always quick? No. Will you look your best? Probably not. But birth is ALWAYS amazing and ALWAYS beautiful. And for moms who want to remember just how powerful and exciting that day is, birth photography can help them document the details and events that filled that day.
As a doula, I believe that birth can be a normal process, and that with the right support team, a mother can feel safe, loved, and cared for while she brings her baby into the world. Birth photography (and doulas!) can do much to relieve the fear surrounding birth in our contemporary American culture. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it seems impossible to do. But that’s what makes it birth: God designed this incredible process to bring human beings into the world, and we get to participate in it — as mothers, husbands, grandmas, friends, doulas and yes, photographers.
Allison’s birth was a dream birth, her husband the perfect support — best friend, lover, encourager and protector. Her mom massaged her feet, her best friend prayed her through the birth, and her doctor trusted Allison enough to let her labor in her own way. This is how birth should be: mom feeling loved and safe, and the room filled with joy and peace. Allison has an amazing array of friends from all over the world, and many of them have sent her a symbolic bead to represent their prayers and hopes for her during the birth process. At each delivery (this is her third!), Allison’s birth team strings the beads into a necklace or bracelet so that she can be continually reminded of how many people love her and are praying for her and her family as she brings new life into the world. And she brings new life in FAST (5 centimeters to birth in 1 hours and 15 minutes!).
(The link to the full slideshow is at the end of the post. And in a few days, I’ll be blogging the newborn portraits and family pictures from the first few days of little Mr. Blaise’s life.)
And now, THE BIRTH OF BLAISE
Full blog post, more pictures, and yes, a slideshow, are coming soon. Birth perfection: peace, joy and LOVE.
It really should be illegal to be this beautiful when you’re just a few weeks away from your due date. Autumn was another portfolio-building session, and I have to share the story of her maternity portraits.
I met Autumn and her husband Todd in downtown Rochester a few weeks ago to do an urban-themed maternity session. Todd had been paged by his employer right before the session started, so we were only able to quickly snap a few images with him and Autumn together, then I finished the session with solo portraits of Autumn and her gorgeous belly. Well, later that night, Todd borrowed Autumn’s phone, found my number, and called me, explaining that he wanted to surprise Autumn with a *second* maternity session a few days later, and this time, he’d be there the whole time, just like she wanted. How romantic is that? Of course, I couldn’t say no, so we met up again a few days later at the History Center to complete the session.
The light was beautiful, and Autumn and Todd were amazing. Their little one is already so loved, and Autumn has spent hours and hours preparing her home and heart for their transition to parenthood. I am so excited to see this little family grow, grow, grow!
“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.” (Lewis Hine)
This is just the beginning of their story … the start of a new life not yet born.
More pictures are coming, and I can’t wait to tell you more of their story!
An assignment a day for 28 days. The Joy of Love, from Willette Designs.
Day 24 assignment: where.
Where I met my first two children. A study in contrasts.
#1: in an operating room, unfortunately. He was breech, but healthy.
#2: at home, in a planned waterbirth with a midwife, my husband, a doula, my parents and my son. No, it wasn’t weird; it was wonderful. Yes, it hurt. And yes, I would do it again.