| Birth Center of St. Pete |
There are some photo sessions that you think, ‘oh, those are pretty pictures.’ And there are some that make you bawl your eyes out. Let me tell you, it’s been a year and a half since I shot baby Alice’s birth photography, and I still cry while viewing them. Not only was this baby long hoped for by the parents, but the mother is one of my dearest friends. This is an emotional one, guys.
Late at night on May 13th (my birthday, eyyyy!), I got the text that contractions may have started. They were sporadic, so I went to sleep with my phone by me just in case. In the morning, I took the trek from Port Orange to Tampa, where the soon to be parents were living.
It just seemed like any other day! The father’s niece and nephews were there playing in the livingroom. Some of us played card games to pass the time. However, the impending labor kept us on our toes. I kept track of the mother’s contractions on a used envelope to see how her labor was developing, because at this point, we weren’t sure it was true labor. The day continued into the night, where we all decided it was time to get some rest. I barely layed my head on my pillow when they called me into the bedroom. When it’s go time, sometimes rest is the best path forward!
Birth photography isn’t an idle task, where I’m off in some corner snapping my shutter button forever. During my down time, I try to help the mother as much as I’m able. For the next couple hours, I continued to time contractions. As the images below will show you, the father was by her side the entire time. Keeping track was the least I could do to help make sure he could tend to her every need.
Their midwife, Jessica Willoughby, let us know that it was time to head to the birthing center. Because I had previous experience with my own birthing classes, I sat behind the mother during the seemingly endless car ride and used counter pressure on mama’s hips during each contraction. We settled into the birthing room around 11 pm, which is where our photos begin.
This amazingly strong woman started pushing, completely un-medicated, around 3:30 AM.
It’s extremely important to note that yes, that’s daylight showing through the blinds now. Early labor began around 36 hours ago. Neither one of these beautiful souls had much rest for 2 nights.
We soon discovered that baby alice would not move down the birth canal. Her head was stuck above the pubic bone and unable to move with mama’s pushes. Everyone was searching for answers on how to help baby come down.
From a seperate room, I heard talks of calling for an ambulance ride to the local hospital. This was it, she HAD to get out. But then… after 6+ hours of non stop pushing, one of the senior midwives was able to move the baby’s head down. To this day, we don’t know exactly what she did. Because of her expertise, Alice instantly crowned, and the rest is history.
The midwife who delivered the baby said, “You can touch her head. It’s up to you, guide her out.” I didn’t think such a thing was possible, but a calm serenity fell upon mama.
On May 15th at 10:29 am, Alice Lake came into this world.
If you haven’t gone through it, try to imagine the mindset a mother has to be in during labor. However, it’s impossible. How does one cope with such a task? Something this mama has told me several times is that she is so thankful for these images, because she can’t remember any of it. Time goes by in such a strange way. It’s insane to me that this tiny newborn already 16 months old!
Birth photography is a strange blessing. You aren’t dolled up, looking adorable in a little dress with perfect makeup. It’s rough, deep, and primal. This is natural event is a kind of beautiful that a lot of people never get to witness. I know for sure that I will never ever forget this astounding experience.
To inquire about your birth photography session, contact me HERE. It would be my honor to capture your little one’s birth day!