A Surrogate Birth Story
I am so excited to share this beautiful birth story with permission from 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 because I am fascinated by the women willing to carry for another couple. It is a truly 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 ensure we were a good fit. I think this is such an important step in finding your birth photographer. Birth is an intimate and emotional time in your life; you want someone you feel confident in and comfortable with within your birth space. Of course, I loved her right from the beginning; she truly has a special light. 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 ensuring they were comfortable with me, my work, and documenting their birth. They shared some of their story with me, and I was completely drawn in. I could already tell just how beautiful they were inside and out.
Because of the distance between everyone, we couldn’t 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 afterward to talk more. As their due dates approach, I frequently communicate with my clients with more frequency and details, and we had spoken often before this!
Lizi went into labor on a late Friday night two days after their arrival! Because of Lizi’s history of fast labor, 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 told 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 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 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 because everything is still 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 have that one-on-one time with your baby uninterrupted. So, the next day I could 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 on a follow-up visit where I could capture some more of their story in audio to accompany their video would just re be amazing! Watch their video at the top of this post to hear it!
So while they stayed in the States for a couple of weeks to 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 could 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 is just the beginning.
I hope their story brings hope to other families and encourages them never to give up hope. No matter how birth occurs, it is always beautiful, and I truly believe each one holds so much depth and story. As I worked through their birth film, I became 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 milk supply to send home with Isla (I told you she was incredible). I was completely in awe of her when it was all said and done.