When Lia called me, I was enjoying a cappuccino at the Source with my husband working beside me. She said, "I know this is a long shot, but are you available for a birth session...today?" Lia was carrying twins and her water had broke at 32 weeks. She and her husband, Ben, decided that they wanted their birth story captured, and I'm so glad that I had the availability to join them on such a monumental day. Although they were from Boulder, they were giving birth here in Denver. Lia's hopes had been for a vaginal birth, but due to babies positioning, it became evident that a cesarean would be in the best interest for both mom and babies. The staff at Swedish Hospital generously allowed both me and Lia's doula back in the Operating Room for the birth of the babies. Despite the surprise of an early delivery and an unexpected cesarean, Lia and Ben welcomed their babies with an abundance of gratefulness and joy. They didn't know the sex of their babies, so it was incredibly exciting when Ben announced, "A GIRL and BOY!" Because the babies were premature, they were only able to see Lia briefly before they left for the NICU. After Lia recovered, she was able to go and see them...and hold them for the very first time. Over the next few weeks, the babies grew and developed...and finally it was time to go home. Right before I had my own baby, I went back to visit Lia, Ben, and the twins at their home in Boulder. They were just as beautiful and vibrant as they were the very first day I met them. It was SO good to see them settled and happy at home.
You know you're behind in blogging when you're sitting down to write down one of your favorite birth stories...and your incredible client is already pregnant with her next baby! I loved capturing Everlee's birth story last year, and I'm already counting down the days until I get to document her little brother or sister's birth story this fall. Ashlee is one of those women that blows you away with her strength, her humor, and her beauty. She's one of those people that I connected with instantly (even though when she first reached out...we were newly pregnant and I was sick as sick can be!) Ashlee and Dan and I met at Huckleberry Roasters a couple of months before she was due. We sat down and talked about birth, marveling at it's power and unpredictability. We talked about her first two birth stories, and we eagerly anticipated her third. When Ashlee went into labor, I drove up to their home and spent the afternoon in the beautiful haze that is so common at homebirths. Ashlee labored so peacefully, so calmly,and both her midwife and I thought her birth would stretch well into the night. But suddenly, her contractions seemed to shift. She told Dan she needed to go to the bathroom, and so he gently took her hand and supported her as she walked those ten to fifteen feet. Her midwife and I were sitting together in the bedroom, chatting casually, when we heard that tell-tale grunt. We both looked at each other, I grabbed my camera and by the time we made it those fifteen feet, we saw Everlee's head being gently born into her father's hands. I dove on the floor and managed to capture her first incredible moments in this world. They're still some of my favorite birth photography images ever. We were all in shock but also so very happy at how quickly and peacefully Everlee had made her arrival. Ashlee and Dan, thank you for letting me capture your birth story. I can't wait to see what happens next time!
Amber's birth story is one of strength, or perseverance, and courage. I fell in love with Amber and her family from the moment I met them. There was so much joy, and hope, and laughter in their home. When Amber reached out to me about documenting their birth story, I was truly honored. Honored that she would invite me into such a sacred space...a space that had been full of both joy and sorrow for this family.
After a beautiful vaginal birth with her first, Amber experienced a stillbirth with her second baby and then an emergency c-section with her third. To say the least, Amber is one of the strongest women I know. With her fourth baby, she planned on giving birth at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital - a wonderful and supportive hospital here on the Front Range (with AMAZING hospital food...I'm not kidding...it's REALLY good). Amber spent so much time and energy researching, planning, and centering for this baby's birth. We expected that her labor would progress quickly, and we were hopeful she'd achieve her goal of a VBAC. Amber's oldest daughter wanted to be part of her baby brother's birth story and so she joined us when Amber went into labor, along with Amber's mother-in-law (who had never seen a birth before!) Amber worked through her contractions with such strength. Hour after hour, she moved around her hospital room, using the birth sling and the birth tub. Despite the intensity of her contractions, Amber's cervix dilated slowly. She decided an epidural would be ideal - it would allow her to rest and hopefully would encourage her cervix to finally completely dilate. Amber slept and her body continued to work. Finally, early the next morning, she woke up and it was time to push. Sweet baby Nash was born after just a few strong pushes. Amber's birth story still takes my breath away. Her family, her love, and her strength...there just aren't enough words.
When Sara and Kaili decided to hire me for the birth of their second baby, we didn't realize that we'd actually met three years previous...at a hypnobirthing class we all took for the births of our first babies! It was so special to be able to document their second birth story all those years later. After a hospital birth with their first, Sara decided she wanted to give birth at a birth center for her second. Mountain Midwifery happened to be less than five minutes away from where they lived, which ended up being a very good thing! When Sara went into labor, things progressed quickly. By the time we arrived at the birth center, she was already 7-8 centimeters dilated, and we knew baby was coming quickly. Sure enough, she got into the water and began working through strong, transition-like contractions. Before long, she began to push, and just seconds later...her baby was in her arms. I LOVE the expression on Sara's face when she found out that they had a baby girl. It's always so fun when families wait to find out the sex of their babies, and even more fun when they're happily surprised with the result! Sara and Kaili are some of the kindest and smartest people I know. I was so very honored to capture sweet Emilia's journey into our world. And her hair still gets me every time I look through her birth photographs!
I’ve had the honor to photograph two of Megan’s birth stories. I love repeat clients…and I love repeat clients who are also dear friends even more. Megan’s spirt and strength has long been an inspiration to me, and I loved seeing her tap into her deepest desires for this birth. Megan had her other children at the hospital, and while none of those experiences terrible, she knew she wanted something more for the birth of their 5th. She decided on a homebirth, and began to prepare her mind, body, and heart to welcome her baby boy at home. Megan went into labor on a cold and snowy night, and I nervously sped from Denver to Colorado Springs, praying that I’d make it to her house in time. I walked into the house and found her working through her contractions with such strength! They were coming quickly…and they were strong…and yet she kept on pacing around the house, saying she wanted to wait to get into the birth pool until she felt like she was on the edge of no longer coping. By the time we got into the birth pool, it was evident that baby was near. All of Megan’s other children joined us, and they eagerly watched and waited for their little brother to be born. I just love the images of her family surrounding her as she birthed baby Judah into the world! Ryan caught Judah and delivered him right into his wife’s arms. The love and joy in that room couldn’t be contained.