I am so excited to share this beautiful birth story with permission from both this beautiful family and their surrogate. I am so excited because it is such a beautiful story of hope and love all the way through.
I received an inquiry from Lizi (the surrogate} back in April as she searched for a local photographer to document this birth. I have to say that when she told me it was a surrogate birth, my heart skipped a beat. I have dreamed of documenting one of these because I am so fascinated by the women who are willing to carry for another couple. It is a true selfless act, and brings such hope and joy to the families that hire them.
We had decided to have a FaceTime to ‘meet’ each other and make sure we were a good fit. I think this is such an important step in finding your birth photographer. Birth is such an intimate and emotional time in your life, you really want someone you feel confident in and comfortable with in your birth space. Of course, I just loved her right from the beginning, she truly has a special light about her. After our conversation, she connected me with the parents who live abroad. We also arranged a phone conversation and once again, I stressed the importance of making sure they were comfortable with me, my work, and in documenting their birth. They shared some of their story with me, and I was completely drawn in. I could tell already just how beautiful they are inside and out.
Because of the distance between everyone, we weren’t able to meet in person until Jane and Tim arrived in the States two weeks before the due date. We agreed to all meet at their OB appointment and sit down and have a nice meal or cup of coffee afterwards to talk more. I do communicate frequently with my clients with more frequency and details as their due dates approach and we had spoken often before this!
Two days after their arrival, Lizi went into labor on a late Friday night! Because of Lizi’s history of fast labors, they immediately traveled across town to the hospital they would be delivering at to be safe.
Just after midnight, Lizi’s husband texted us in the waiting room to let us know they had finally moved her to a room and were finishing up her admission, and then we would be allowed back into her labor room.
Just minutes later her husband walked out to tell us that sweet little Isla had decided to come quickly, before the doctor arrived, or before we could get back into the room. Talk about fast!
As we made a mad scramble down the hall, you could just feel the excitement and anticipation from Jane and Tim.
Their long awaited dream of meeting Isla and holding her in their arms had finally arrived. It was such an emotionally charged room!
Jane and Lizi had the most incredible bond, after of all those months of walking this journey together their connection was just so evident in how they spoke to and touched each other.
For my April through August clients I offered a complimentary Fresh 48. I love these sessions so much because everything is still so new, but everyone is a bit more rested. It gives me time to document the hour to two after birth and then step away for you to really have that one on one time with your baby uninterrupted. So, the next day I was able to go back and continue more of this beautiful story!
They were truly savoring soaking in every little detail of their new baby and just getting to know each other. They were completely smitten!
Between our communication before their arrival, our time together in the waiting room, and just hearing more and more of their story the next day, I just really felt drawn into telling more of it and we decided a follow up visit where I could capture some more of their story in audio to accompany their video would just re be amazing! Be sure to watch their video at the top of this post to hear it!
So while they stayed in the States a couple of weeks to really allow Isla the time to grow with Lizi’s breast milk close by, it gave me the perfect amount of time to come back when everyone was even more settled into a routine.
I was able to go back one more time and document them saying goodbye and heading back HOME. It was the perfect way to end our time together and complete their story, although I know their story is far from over, it really is just the beginning.
I hope that their story brings hope to other families, and encouragement to never give up hope. No matter how birth occurs it is always beautiful and I truly believe that each one holds so much depth and story. As I worked through their birth film I had become so emotionally invested in their whole story, it was such an emotional experience for me. As always, I just really wanted to tell it well, and each editing session truly left me in tears every single time.
Lizi had pumped a huge supply of milk to send home with Isla (I told you she was incredible). I was completely in awe of her by the time it was all said and done.
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