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.
Tara and I met for coffee and croissants at the Source in Denver. We talked about her first birth and what she wanted differently for her second. Tara had a cesarean delivery with her son, and had decided that she wanted a VBAC. She choose the University of Colorado and their wonderful team of midwives to guide her through her pregnancy and birth. I was honored to join her birth team, and we chatted about the many things she could do to prepare her mind and her body for her VBAC. We expected her to go past her due date, like many VBAC mamas, but instead, I got a text message letting me know that Tara had been in a serious car-accident. She'd been rear ended and although she and baby were okay...the team at University wasn't going to let her leave labor and delivery without a baby. They couldn't tell with complete confidence that her placenta had been unaffected from the accident, and so she and baby needed continual monitoring. After several days (yes days!) induction became necessary...and Tara worked through her contractions beautifully, despite the car accident and all the soreness that results. She labored and rested and labored and rested...and finally reached 10 centimeters in the morning. Tara pushed for several hours with a great team surrounding and encouraging her. Eventually, Tara and her team decided that a cesarean birth was going to be the safest and best option for her and baby. We went back into the OR, and beautiful Olivia Jane was born twenty minutes later. She was placed skin-to-skin on her mom, as her dad and I stood close by. So often birth stories go differently than we plan or imagine. Despite the obstacles that were thrown Tara's way, she labored and birthed her baby with such strength, such grace, and such beauty.
I met Karen almost two years ago. Karen had plans to open a free-standing birth center in Denver, and was looking to find a birth photographer to work with. Karen wanted to offer birth photography to all of her clients - such an amazing gift - and I was thrilled when she asked me if I wanted to work on her team. Over the next several months, the center slowly came together. Through a lot of hard work and dedication, Karen created a beautiful and safe space for Denver women to have their babies. And did I mention that she was in fact pregnant herself? She worked tirelessly through her pregnancy...FINALLY got licensed in April...and then had her baby just a few days later...in the center she had created from the ground-up. How incredible that the very first baby born at the Denver Center for Birth and Wellness was her own!? Karen, like many 2nd time moms, had a quick labor. Her colleagues supported her beautifully, just like they would later support all the other women who walked through the center's doors. As soon as I walked in, I knew baby was almost here, and sure enough Sean was born within 30 minutes of my arrival. I love this birth, this family, this birth center.
When I began talking to Susan, I was blown away by her story. After years of infertility treatment...Susan and her husband decided that adoption might be the best option to start their family. They were matched with a birth mother in Denver, and began to prepare their hearts and their home for the arrival of their daughter. In June, they received the heartbreaking news that the adoption had fallen through. What they didn't expect was that four days later, Susan would find out that she was finally and unexpectedly pregnant. CUE ALL THE TEARS. I was already excited to work with them, but once I heard their story...WOW. Susan and Jason walked such a long and hard road to get to this point, which made their birth story even more beautiful.They worked together through an intense labor to bring their little guy earthside. I'm so honored that they asked me to play a small part in their birth story. This birth took place at Banner Hospital in Fort, Collins. Susan was supported by Treanna Wade, an incredible doula and one of my former birth photography clients!