*MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN OR THE WEAK AT HEART*
a few weeks ago I got to experience an awesome birth story. It was actually a HVBAC- Home Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, which is not very common, at least in my world!
Beth had an amazing birth team of her Doula, midwife apprentice and business partner at Integrated Massage, Jennifer; her midwife Barbara, and another apprentice midwife.
Watching these women work together, along with Beth’s husband, to bring sweet baby into the world at home was just breathtaking. Here is a look from my view of the whole experience
When I arrived at 4:40 am Beth’s water had broken a few hours prior. We learned she was about 4 cm dilated. I captured a few images of that early labor, then headed home to nap for a bit as she continued to rest in between contractions.
When I came back that afternoon, she had walked, showered and changed. Still working on bringing her baby into the world as naturally as possible. these moments of intense connection..
40.6 weeks. This is what full term pregnancy looks like. What a BEAUTIFUL thing! The couple opted for full surprise of the baby’s gender, which I’m sure helped get her through moments of intensity in labor.
So, a little story about the bracelets Alex and Beth are wearing: During her pregnancy her friend Jen (also her midwife and doula as mentioned above) threw Beth a Blessing Way. It’s a Native American tradition that honors the divine feminine as a nurturer. The bracelets were part of what’s called “the web of life”. It started as a ball of yarn, the first piece wrapped around Beth’s wrist and as she wrapped it around she said “My name is Beth, daughter of Maureen, granddaughter of Rose and Dorothy”, and then it was passed to another person in the circle, and they wrapped it around their wrist stating the same of their family heritage, and so on, until everyone was connected. Once connected the strings were cut and symbolized life to come. Once the baby was born, they were able to be cut off. as moments of baby’s arrival got closer the water was heated and preparation to bring baby earthside was getting more intense.
Every possible position was used to help baby come down into teh birth canal. They knew she would be quite a bit bigger than her 19 month old sister as sister was born via emergency C at just 34 weeks. This whole labor and pain thing was new to Beth and she handled it like a champ.
Midwife Barbara decided to get the birthing chair out and THAT was just the angle Beth needed to bring her baby into the world!
I have photographed dozens of births over the last 12 years and though this was my first home birth, EVERY birth is a miracle! I am always in so much awe watching LIFE. and … IT”S A GIRL!!!!!
Penny Rose was born at 4:24 amthat moment when you hold your baby for the first time. When you realize every ounce of everything you just went for was for THIS. THIS moment.
I mean, come on!! Most adorable “scale” ever!
and.. at 11.5 pounds… So, I was able to go back a couple days later for some more images. I mean, a 27 hour labor left everyone pretty tired so, a couple days to rest was in order!
I just love FRESH BABY sessions, at the hospital or at home within 48 hours or so of birth. They change so much in the first wee or two, these first hours are most precious to preserve.
sweet baby toes.. OH MY… I just can’t!! Alex and Beth, thank you both so much for allowing me to be there to witness your miracle, and to share it here.