Sunday, May 20, 2012

Welcome Little One

I think my client and friend Marianne, who is a Douala said it best-
"....there's just something about sharing space with a newborn...."

I was asked by friend and long time photo clients Melissa and husband Brian to be present to photograph the birth of their daughter and I jumped at the chance!  Not only have I always wanted to photograph a birth- but I adore this family and couldn't wait to welcome Allie.

Melissa and Brian chose to have a home birth again. 
I have only experienced hospital births and surgical interventions myself... so this was a 180* turn from what I had experienced with my own children.  And while I know that some folks would argue the laundry list of safety concerns in home vs. hospital births... I have to say- this was a pretty amazing experience....
{who am I kidding- this was hands down- aside from giving birth to my own kids- one of the coolest moments of my life!}

If you would like to see a great documentary on the homebirth process and have access to Netflix check out
or you can go to their website here:

I had the privilege of helping to support my friend  along with her husband and Douala for several hours of extremely intense back labor.  We laughed, we cried, we woo-sahhhh'd and we breathed very, very intensely in an effort to deliver in a totally safe, comfortable and drug free environment.

I'm not going to lie....In general- pregnancy and childbirth are not for the faint of heart- it's hard work.
Going into the labor and delivery part of it sans ANY medication or intervention takes an incredible will and sense of a completely centered being..... Melissa gets my ROCK STAR award for keeping her cool and being very self aware in knowing what her body needed.

As a species- women have been delivering naturally for a million years- but it's really only been in the last  century and more specifically in the last 60 years where the shift to hospital births have become the ONLY expectancy in delivering babies.

It was amazing to me as night fell and began to progress and it was officially going to get down to time to deliver,  how softly the additional bodies quietly filtered in to the house to assist in their portion of the birthing process. 

I alternated roaming with my camera in hand and periodically holding Melissa when she needed my energy. 

And then......I had a bit of an out of body experience..... I could almost see the scene as if I was looking down from the ceiling.

I stood looking around at a room full of the seven of us women- and Brian (who was a total champ by the way in just doing whatever needed to be done) and I was struck by this intense sense of tribal "knowing".

All of these women who had labored themselves- and had helped countless women deliver their babies... all knowing that our bodies know what needs to be done- we just have to be patient. 

And just when you think you can't possibly keep going.... you can- and you do.

What a force- a huge warm ball of energy- it was so intense- and yet so calm.
{Her Douala, midwife and her midwife assistant were all wonderful}

I was thrilled to be asked to be present- and with their permission I am sharing some of the photos here.

Thanks guys- love you!

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