This birth was…. something else <3
My sister in law. Someone so very near and dear to me and yet…. originally when I’d offered up my services, she passed.
I get it. I so get it.
Birth is an inner thing. It’s a piece of yourself that you aren’t even in touch with in the day to day movement of life. You don’t really know what to expect… of yourself, your partner. It’s hard enough to watch the comings and goings of the L & D staff and know they see this. All day. Every day…. and yet, I remember feeling so exposed, at least at first. So allowing anyone at all to witness yourself in that unknown primal territory is something that takes a bit to wrap your head around. Many people never quite can.
But when when the family cleared to grab coats and hit the bathrooms all at once, and just her and I remained randomly alone in a restaurant with her 30-something week belly not able to be hidden by the table any longer, she asked me if I’d be there.
My heart soared. Into my throat, through my veins. To know that I would be able to help her remember what I so desperately wish I had for my firstborn. And I know she’s a woman who feels deeply, and I wanted her to be able to not have to reach quite so far back to dredge up the feelings of seeing this precious face for the first time. I can close my eyes and feel it for my own, I really can. But I want to make it less work – to lift the hormone-thick veil from the birth experience and allow mamas to reach back and touch it with a clarity they may have lacked while it was happening….
A so-very-sad pregnancy loss. Months of grief. A complicated pregnancy. . . and then this <3
I have never seen a mama work so hard and with such conviction, or have been so proud to know someone so strong. Little buddy was “OP” (occiput posterior or “sunnyside up”) meaning he was facing the wrong way, thus the bubble on his head from being jammed up against her pelvis. Kate pushed for nearly FOUR hours. She didn’t whine, didn’t need consoling, didn’t even radiate the exhaustion we knew she felt. It was humbling and amazing to watch her work, and work, and work…. from just after midnight til sunrise when he decided to make his appearance.
He came out so beautifully calm and observant and from the ‘short list’ of names, we all instantly knew who he was. I said “I don’t want to be the one to say it, but I do feel strongly I know what it is” Kate whispered she felt the same thing to me and we accosted Joe as he came out of the bathroom… He said “I feel like I know but I don’t want to be the one to say it…”
And of course, we all agreed, instantly <3
Kingston James he is <3
Karie McKean says
Such a beautiful and inspirational story. Birth photography is something I wish I had the opportunity to have when my daughter was born- those first moments are so precious. Such a wonderful gift for mommy and baby =)
Meghan Rickard says
So very precious!
Megan Smith says
This brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful gift, what a beautiful thing to have to look back on years from now as we all know how fast they grow. Im a Canadian Photographer and Mom, and unfortunately where I live we are not allowed to do this. My husband was allowed to take a camera in but I wanted him to be in the photos not behind the lens watching this unfold. Hopefully the rules change here , I would just love to get into this type of photography and give women this gift that I was not able to have myself on either of my babies. Great job as always Erin, you are a beautiful person and photographer.
Ann Long says
Elisa Johnson says
So Perfect!! So Precious!
Rachel Walters says
Sobbing. I love this so much. I wish I had these moments captured with my babies. ?