my birth story
I will start with, I photographed births way before I had Leo.
When I found out that I was pregnant, it wasn't the "omg happy yay" reaction my heart wished it was. I was filled with fear, of what if I miscarry again, what if something is wrong, so many thoughts. On top of that I was going through some very dark places in life that I really wasn't sure that adding a baby into the mix of depression and life challenges was a great idea. I struggled so hard with knowing how much I wanted this baby and being so terrified about what was going to happen. Fast forward 8.5 months, we choose to not find out the gender of our baby, and I made the decision that I wanted to have a natural vaginal birth, and do my best to not have an epidural. I think this choice was heavily influenced by my mother having 5 natural births with no medication, I thought surely if she could do it, so could I.
January 29th rolled in and I started having contractions, I had a few days with on and off contractions, but nothing that had stuck, until then. I started contractions about 2pm that Tuesday and by 10pm called my dr's office to let them know I was consistently having contractions. It took us 2 hours to get our puppies semi situated and for us to leave. We live 45 minutes from the hospital I was giving birth at, and of course stopped for a snack on the way. By 12:30am we arrived at PVH in Fort Collins, got checked in. I was only 2cm dilated but they admitted me at 4am because of the drive and the strength of my contractions.
I spent the first few hours in and out of the tub, relaxing and laboring in the warm water with oxygen when I needed it. Things seemed to be moving along well. 4cm. That's it. ugh. Sometime that afternoon --- maybe around 1/2pm I was having Excruciating pain and was 7cm along. Baby had flipped sunny side up. (thanks Leo). for 9 hours he was stuck at 7cm, face up and my body was giving up on me. I was exhausted, I was in pain, and I was almost embarrassed to need an epidural. BUT DEAR GOD I NEEDED ONE. There was whispers by nurses of needing a C Section. I was writhing in pain, to the point that I felt like I was going to pass out or have a mental break down. After hours of flipping me over back and forth, I asked for an epidural... which failed...... it LITERALLY NEVER WORKED... 4/5/6 tries to re position it... nothing. They pushed more pitocin to get him to move down and engage...and I was not doing well.
I believe sometime around midnight they told me it was time to push (thank god), I had nothing left, but I pushed. . for 3 hours. With some nurse holding one leg, and Bryan holding another, I pushed...
at 3:20am on Thursday the 31st, out popped this tiny tiny human ( a boy ) who quickly turned purple as it started at me frozen up. I remember telling my DR "not breathing" they rubbed on my baby's back and still nothing. A code was called and a million humans rushed into my room... I saw tubes flying and then I froze... but again I had to push. I was bawling. Finally I heard a tiny tiny scream and then they took my baby to the nicu and I told Bryan to go with him. All of the sudden I was alone. . . for over an hour I laid in that stupid bed ( my dr, who is a god send stayed with me) waiting for news... was he okay? was he not okay? anything.
Finally a lady walked in and said "he's fine, were running one more test and ill bring him back to you" ------- Okay... I replied. I didn't know what to say, I didn't know what to feel. This baby who probably saved my life, had almost died.
by 5am they brought this tiny tiny human all wrapped up into my room and handed him to me. Oh man... he stared right into my eyes and pretty much never stopped. --- I did not put him down... I just held him. We nursed, we cuddled, and I about bit off the head of any person who tried to take him or poke him and left the hospital as soon as I could because I was over everyone else. I needed to be home with my baby boy.
I tell you this all because, EVERY BIRTH STORY is different, sometimes birth's go magically smooth, they are simple and easy, and sometimes they go completely opposite of what you thought or what you planned. AND THAT IS OKAY. The biggest thing I can say is that no matter how your birth happens, its okay, its okay to be happy, its okay to be sad, its okay to need time to heal from the process and the biggest biggest thing is: having an advocate that is 10000000% on YOUR team is essential.
I know that I felt pressure to do things my body couldn't do because of the way my birth went, I felt embarrassed asking for help, I felt alone. I wish that I had someone who was an advocate for ME when I was not physically or emotionally able to.
I take an entirely different approach to photographing births now. I WANT TO HEAR your birth plan, I want to know what YOU WANT if something goes "wrong" or if you need to change your plan. I will ask you what YOU NEED and what YOU WANT for yourself, for your baby, for your body.
I am not a licenced doula (yet), but that doesn't mean I can't be a birth support for you, even while I am photographing your birth story. I want to capture images that have emotion, that are real, and that tell your story, that capture the rawness of bringing a life into the world, the story of becoming (or continuing your journey) as a mother. To see the emotion that your partner has for your, the love that is shared, and of course that tiny tiny little human that you made in all of its beautiful squishy, tiny glory.
I have photographed births of all kinds (home, hospital, c sections - both planned and emergency) and each one is so special to me because its so much more than just an event. Its the beginning of life, of motherhood, of a new adventure, and of the most incredible thing your body can do.
working with me for your birth
I do a consult with every client I book for a birth, because I want to get to know you, to hear your plans, to hear your dreams, your concerns, to know what you want and need and how I can best support you during this journey.
I am on call typically from 38-41 weeks which means I do not book anything that cannot be moved during that time. I do check ins if I am working and let everyone know that YOU are my #1 priority and they might get rescheduled if they want to book during that time.
If you have a special case or are high risk or are planning a c section, we make adjustments to the time frame and I am always flexible for what you need! No birth story is the same, EVER.