The birth of Adeline is a belly-to-home birth story that captures so much more than the birth of their sweet girl. It captures this family’s love for each other and this mom’s determination and strength.
Kaitlyn found me when searching for a birth photographer here in Las Vegas. Her goals were to capture everything about this stage of their lives, from the anticipation of awaiting their little girl to their birth at our local birth center, Serenity Birth Center, to bringing her home with an in-home newborn session. More and more families have chosen this birth package over the last few years. The Whole Story birth package includes maternity, birth, and newborn sessions. It captures so much more than just the day your baby arrives. After all, there is so much more to birth stories than the day you deliver!
Be sure also to check out their beautiful birth film at the end. It perfectly demonstrates the beauty and grace she brought their sweet baby into this world.
Getting to know clients is vital in being prepared to capture the moments most important to you, so face-to-face meetings are always included in my birth packages. It is the perfect time to hear your wishes and hopes and get a feel for your personalities and family dynamics. It also helps to make the day of delivery more comfortable for everyone. Working alongside families during maternity sessions also helps as I get to see their dynamics in action, and it adds a layer of trust before delivery day. I left this maternity session even more excited to document their birth because their love for each other was tender and sweet. Their laid-back personalities and the way they interacted made it evident that their connection would be a highlight of their birth story.
Kaitlyn had an estimated due date of December 29th, which added an exciting layer of anticipation of whether she would deliver in 2022 or 2023 or even on New Year’s Eve. She is a registered nurse who has not only worked as a travel nurse but now works for a travel nurse company. She worked hard both in a staff position on the floor and as a coordinator until the week before her due date and was ready to meet her baby girl. But, their sweet girl was nice and cozy on the inside and waited until 41 weeks and three days to make her grand appearance.
Kaitlyn labored for days before finally bringing their sweet girl earthside. Contractions began after an exam in the office with their midwife and were consistently off and on and uncomfortable, but not enough to be admitted into the birth center. Finally, two days later, they changed and became consistent and intense. She was admitted to the birth center, and I was called in the early morning hours to head their way.
Their amazing doula Regina Roy, was with them, and I was so excited to finally meet her in person.
Kaitlyn was most comfortable in the water, and their birth space was quiet and serene, with Jason and Regina diligently by her side, very in tune with what she needed and when she needed it. She was tired after contracting as long as she had and rested as much as possible between contractions.
After a few hours, her contractions became a bit irregular again, and so an exam was done. She had made minimal change, and so the decision was made for her to go back home and hopefully get some rest while her body continued to work. They were, of course, disappointed.
There was little rest at home, and Kaitlyn remained uncomfortable but determined. Finally, two days later, things changed, and the intensity and frequency finally increased, and they returned to the birth center, this time with significant cervical change.
Kaitlyn’s demeanor had also changed. Her determination was awe-inspiring. She remained turned inward where she needed to be to stay focused, and Regina was consistently by her side. Their trust was evident, which helped Kaitlyn’s trust in her direction and suggestions for labor positions. Although exhausted, Jason remained by her side and calm and grounded throughout the process. I was impressed with how calm and supportive he stayed throughout, always trusting Kaitlyn’s body and the process. This is a perfect case of how important it is that your birth team believes in you and supports you. That energy becomes palpable and, I believe, can sway outcomes.
The last stages of labor required Kaitlyn to dig deep and allow her body the rest it needed between contractions. Although she was fully dilated for hours, the urge to push and fetal descent was a slow process, just like the rest of her labor, but she remained determined and committed. Finally, at one point, her amazing midwife, April Clyde, and student midwife, Alexyis Bonilla, encouraged her to sit on the toilet in hopes it would aid in fetal descent. There is a reason they call the toilet the “dilation station.” It is often the key to opening the pelvis up to allow for fetal rotation and descent, and it finally did the trick. Kaitlyn went from working so hard to her baby’s head right there! They quickly assisted her into the tub (where she wanted to deliver) just in time for her to deliver her sweet baby girl.
The pride on pure joy on Jason’s face and the pure love and joy of Kaitlyn as she finally held her sweet girl in her arms pretty much had us all in tears.
As Kaitlyn was showered and assisted back to bed, dad had some precious skin-to-skin time with his new baby girl; it was so tender and beautiful. He just soaked it all up.
And this beautiful soul, Regina. I had heard so many things about her, and I could 1000% see why her clients and the birth community love her. She is a blessing and holds such a special gift. She was so patient and connected with Kaitlyn, and so knowledgeable of the labor process.
Newborn sessions with The Whole Package clients are always a little bittersweet. We’ve communicated so often in the weeks leading up to their birth, and to be a part of such an intimate and important time in their lives always leaves a lasting connection. To see that sweet reward in their arms is the best. These two were utterly smitten with their sweet Adeline, and I loved that they included their fur babies.
And finally, their birth story in motion. The emotions and beauty of this period always carry over much better in film.
Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
The benefits of family-centered birth care began to emerge over the last decades. Initially, this model of care started in the fields of pediatrics and geriatrics. The importance of keeping children with their family members and including families as a whole in their care plan positively impacted physical and emotional outcomes. However, over time it has grown into many other areas of medicine and brought much-needed changes to how we approach and view care and the active roles patients play in their care.
Patient- and family-centered care is working “with” patients and families, rather than just doing “to” or “for” them.Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care
I’d love to share how this approach benefits birth experiences both at home and in the hospital setting. This post will focus on home births. This beautiful birth is a prime example of how it can look in the home setting.
Home birth provides the perfect setting for emphasizing family-centered birth care, after all, it is the birth of not just your baby, but your family as a whole, however it may look!
Of course, not everyone is a candidate for home birth, and delivering safely is always the best option. Always follow the advice of your care provider and be sure to explore and examine if home birth is a safe option for you.
As a labor and delivery nurse from 2000-2019, I enjoyed seeing many benefits of family-centered birth care emerge in my field. Patients and their families were empowered to participate actively in their care. The evolving emphasis on keeping moms and babies together, especially in those vital first hours, changed over my career for the better. Birth spaces became more family-friendly and much more comfortable and relaxed spaces. I learned firsthand how vital including family is in helping patients feel supported physically and emotionally.
During the pandemic, when families were separated from each other, and birth spaces became more and more restrictive, it felt like we had taken ten steps backward. Mothers were away from their children at home for more extended periods. Mothers weren’t allowed to have more than one support person present. It felt like a big gap had formed in the model of family-centered birth care.
I have loved being present in more and more home births in my role as a birth photographer, and I would have to say that this is part of the home and birth center births that has had the most significant impact on me; the stress on the family as the center. Also, during the pandemic, I saw more and more women turn to options outside of the hospitals, and this type of care was often the driving force.
As a labor and delivery nurse from 2000-2019, I enjoyed seeing many benefits of family-centered birth care emerge in my field. Patients and their families were empowered to participate actively in their care. The evolving emphasis on keeping moms and babies together, especially in those vital first hours, changed over my career for the better. Birth spaces became more family-friendly and much more comfortable and relaxed spaces. I learned firsthand how essential including family is in helping. One of the primary benefits of family-centered birth is the empowerment it gives families as they play an active role in their plan of care. With communication between patients and their midwives, a safe care plan can be arrived upon. It is a team approach, with families actively choosing who is present in their birth space between midwives, doulas, and ancillary staff versus being cared for by strangers. With active planning with their birth team, decisions can be made on spaces utilized, water birth versus land birth, and family members’ roles.
I have found in my experience that family members play a much more active role in this setting. It makes sense as these are the spaces they are most comfortable in, and family members and friends know you the best.
Patients can more easily change positions in this setting, often utilizing the comfortable spaces in their homes, such as showers and bathtubs, to living spaces, such as bedrooms. I’ve even followed some of my clients on walks in the neighborhood to keep things moving along. The patient’s birth team most often tends to follow the mom’s directions on what feels comfortable versus directing it.
This family is a perfect example of family-centered care at home. This mother had given birth to two of her children in the hospital setting, and although she had good experiences, the idea of not being able to have her family around her swayed her decisions. She delivered mid-Covid and wouldn’t have been able to have her husband, children, parents, and aunts present. Family is very important to her and affected her decision on where she believed it was best for her to give birth. Well-Rounded Mama helped this family create their perfect birth story.
Because families have actively chosen their birth team, their wishes and fears are well-known before the day they give birth. This adds layers of personalized care and adds dignity for families. Although I believe this type of care is achievable in all birth settings, a home birth adds the history of already knowing families and developing relationships with them. Their chances of everyone present in their birth space knowing them adds an extra layer of trust.
Although her family wasn’t always in the space she labored in, they were continually close by. Her children were asleep just on the other side of this wall, and her aunts and mother spoke encouraging words over her from the same area.
One of the most significant changes I witnessed in my nursing career was the shift towards uninterrupted bonding between mom and baby during the first hour. Things that parents had long advocated for, like the baby remaining with mom that first hour, delayed cord clamping, waiting on medications, and measurements were done on mom’s chest, finally had come to fruition. But, of course, this has been standard in home births all along.
It is one of my favorite aspects to witness in home births. Midwives are hands-off (unless interventions are needed) and sit by for those first essential moments of skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, and bonding. Then, when the parents are ready, they step in for newborn assessments. It doesn’t feel rushed, and it is beautiful to see. Instead, they spend that time feeding and hydrating mom as needed, getting her to the shower (if she wants), and providing a pleasant environment for mom, baby, and the entire family.
Because families are in a familiar environment, they feel comfortable in their beds, their children feel comfortable interacting and meeting their new baby, and all comfort items are close by.
The Empowered Start names some of the many benefits to mom and baby for skin-to-skin including:
-Mothers are more likely to breastfeed during the first four months of life.
-Studies that followed moms and babies for one year found that mothers were also more likely to bond with their newborns.
-Mothers are less likely to have anxiety and experience more satisfaction with their birth experience as a whole.
-Newborns are more likely to have stable heart rates, breathing, blood sugars, and oxygen levels.
There are many resources and evidence-based studies to support this practice.
Her sons were able to come in and out of the space as they felt comfortable meeting their new baby brother. They were all immediately smitten, of course!
Women have given birth with women present much of history. Having the wisdom and support of those that have gone before you is not only helpful, but also adds an additional layer of trust, and improved experience for mothers.
I hope you enjoy their beautiful birth film. It is full of support and care from her beautiful birth team and family.
Stay tuned for my post about how to have a family-centered birth experience in the hospital setting and how you can advocate for it.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2023
2022 has been a wonderful year for me personally and as a business! After two years of the pandemic, my heart and soul needed it. For me, 2021 was just about as disappointing and confusing as 2020.
After deciding to rebrand and specialize in births in 2018, I had just gotten my groove going and hit my happy place before the pandemic hit. I was blessed to have plenty of work throughout the pandemic, but I often took on more than I should have and ended 2021 completely exhausted.
After being unable to attend so many births for two years, I had come to question my future path. The frustration of not being allowed into hospital birth spaces and the often unwelcoming atmosphere when I was added stress for myself and my clients.
I’m still not back to the number of births I was booking pre-pandemic, but I have hope. Believing wholeheartedly in this work and its importance for families has kept me focused. Birth is the most life-changing moment we experience. Whether it is a joyous birth (which I hope and wish for all families) or a traumatic one documenting your birth is important. Documenting your birth can be incredibly healing for past and current traumas. In fact, studies show that families who document their births report better birth experiences.
Showing you how beautiful and strong you are, and how many beautiful layers there are to your birth story is what drives me. Many clients have shared how their images and films have helped them through postpartum depression and anxiety. They’ve shared how valuable their images and film footage are to them in being able to look back on those powerful moments.
I believe I have been called to birth work and have immensely enjoyed this new phase of that work; the role of documenting birth stories for families. I’ve been in it for 22 years (19 as a L&D nurse, and 5 of my 11 years in business as a birth photographer), and can’t imagine ever growing weary of it!
Being allowed into these sacred spaces and being trusted in them means so much to me. It is a responsibility I don’t take lightly!
Without further ado, on to my favorites!
I pick a session favorite from each session I document each year. It is fun to look back on the year by picking an image from each session that has inspired or impacted me. My favorites even change throughout the year, and often choose one that reminds me of how that session and time felt. (Clients who have requested their images remain private are not included in this post).
5 hospital births, 6 home births, and 1 birth center birth.
I donated two birth stories for families experiencing a loss.
This special time in the lives of my clients is one of my favorites. It is such a special phase of life, and the anticipation always feels palpable to me. I love showing mamas how beautiful they are carrying their babies. They will have these images to share with their children as they grow. I’ve also added to my client closet for maternity sessions.
Fresh 48 sessions were often the next best option for clients who could not have me attend their hospital births. I love these early days of the newborn period and all the special little details it holds. It is such a fleeting stage of life, and for that reason, I believe it is so important!
This number of family clients worked well this year. It is much less than I normally take on, but one of the areas of my business I’ve had to restrict because of the call time for birth clients. Thank you so much to all the families that have continued to trust me with their families and this time in your lives. I am so grateful to you!
For 2023, I have again limited the number of family sessions in my schedule.
I have transitioned into more lifestyle-type work when photographing families over the years. My goal is always to capture how this time in your life feels. I want to capture those silly little laughs and personalities and your loving on each other! My clients showed up this year ready to play and be fully present in their sessions and images; it was so wonderful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Yes, that’s my beautiful daughter and her sweet and handsome boyfriend. I don’t photograph couples anymore, but it’s a special occasion when she asks!
For the last four years, I have done a giveaway telling the story of one individual, organization, or cause. I have loved offering this and have been able to tell the most amazing stories! This is an area I also had to pull in 2023 to allow the space to manage my schedule best for myself and my clients. Amazing stories seem to find me, so I will continue to tell them on a case-by-case basis. So, if you feel inspired to tell yours, please reach out! If my schedule allows, I would love to share it.
Ashley is an amazing and beautiful human being. I have known her for many years as we worked together in labor and delivery. Her transformation story is inspiring on so many levels, and she inspires me daily. Ashely’s story is important, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
This is another type of session I’ve pulled from my offerings. This beautiful client is my sister, so special circumstances as well!
I adore this type of session but have had to pull from my offerings. With such limited time and space between births, I have felt referring them out has been best for both myself and my clients. I mean, look at this guy. He was a 2020 birth I could not attend because of hospital restrictions.
I’ve also created a year-in-review birth film reel, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Thank you so much for trusting me with life’s most important moments and your most valuable and important people-your families! I am grateful for every one of you, and so grateful for this life and career. Thank you for believing in me and supporting my small business; there aren’t enough words!
Sunday, January 1st, 2023
I am so excited to share this beautiful Serenity Birth Center birth from May 2021 with you all!
I am about a year behind in my blog posts, but does any of the last two years count? I don’t know about you, but it feels like two years of crazy time warps and so many unknowns, which has kept me on my toes!
Yes! Las Vegas finally has its first free-standing birth center! It has been a long time coming, and so much hard work, blood, sweat, and tears for April Clyde and her amazing birth team. She fought for years for this facility and this gift to our community. Finally, Serenity Birth Center officially opened its doors in the spring of 2021.
I was so excited when asked to document this beautiful birth story. This first-time mama was away from her home country and her partner, which made documenting it all the more important in sharing her birth story with her family. It was another birth story altered by the pandemic. Through our communications, she could share her wishes and the most important moments. Her sister would be her main support, and she also wanted that special relationship documented.
Read through to the end to see their beautiful birth film!
I got the call that it was finally time on an early morning in late May, and I quickly jumped in the car and headed to the birth center where she had just been admitted. Would you believe that in the first image in this blog post, she was in active labor and six cms?
Her partner could join via Facetime and exchange some emotional support and encouragement.
The special bond between these two sisters was so beautiful to watch.
As is common with many first-time mamas, things were moving along quite well, and labor stalled a bit. Physical position changes were made, and the baby continued to be monitored. I believe this is when mamas need that emotional support because they can start to doubt themselves and their bodies. But April’s calm presence and professional care held her during this period.
Once her little guy made that final fetal rotation, things moved pretty quickly, and she was quickly moved from the toilet to the tub, where she quickly gave birth. All with daddy on Facetime!
Look at this healthy boy! Just under 9 lbs!
Wednesday, August 24th, 2022
I am so excited to finally share this beautiful Las Vegas home birth story!
This mama found me in her online search for a birth photographer. Keline had not documented her first birth, and as with so many moms realized after that experience how much meaning having those memories captured can hold. She also had a hospital birth with her first and planned a home birth this time around, so this would be a new experience on multiple levels. She also booked ‘The Whole Story’ package with me, including maternity, birth, and newborn sessions. These are by far my favorite because I get to witness so much more than the birth of your baby, I get a deeper peek into the dynamics, love, and unique characteristics of each family. There are so many beautiful layers to birth, and I love capturing more of each family’s stories through this package.
Keline had pretty quick labor with her first so we knew when active labor kicked in it had the potential to progress quickly. Four days after her due date and after an exam in the office things really started picking up with her contractions. She had been experiencing some labor signs in the days leading up to her labor, but nothing consistent. She was great at updating me on progress and what was happening with her body. We texted back and forth as she updated me and within minutes of telling me things weren’t progressing too much yet, I got another text asking me to come now. So, I grabbed my bags and headed out.
When I arrived, things were moving really quickly. She was already feeling intense pressure and the urge to push, and her tub was still being set up even as she was getting in. Luckily, the birth team was all present including her midwife Sarah, her husband, sister, and daughter, all there to support and hold her.
The plan was for dad to catch the baby, so he got right in the tub with her coaching her through contractions with encouraging words and supporting pressure.
I have seen so often that period when moms question whether they can really do it. In fact, it is quite common in the transition stage of labor and the baby makes its way down to doubt yourself. Keline stayed so strong and committed even through the intensity of it all.
When little Angelo finally came down, he did so quickly! Both Keline and Ashton delivered him up into Keline’s arms. Their birth is one of the most beautiful and emotional births I’ve documented. Their faces totally say it all. Big sister moved in and out of the area and didn’t stay for too long each time, but when sweet Angelo made his appearance, she was right there. It was the sweetest thing ever.
One of my favorite things about homebirths is the family-centered care and vibe. It has such a natural feel and provides so much space for families to hold, bond with, and get to know their babies. Those first hours are honored and supported, which is so beautiful to witness.
It is always so fun to come back for newborn sessions, especially for my birth clients. It is also a bit bittersweet. I get to see so much of the story come full circle and get to bear witness to so much strength and beauty, and then to see families thriving after it all and so smitten by their new babies. It is seriously the best!
Be sure to follow along to the end to see their beautiful birth film. You’ll need some tissues especially with the tender moments between this big sister and her new baby brother.
Thursday, May 26th, 2022
This beautiful pandemic birth story took place at Summerlin Hospital.
One of my 2020 highlights while in the COVID-19 pandemic was documenting this beautiful family’s second birth story.
To say that the restrictions accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic have affected my ability to document life’s most important moments for families is a major understatement.
Having documented this family’s first birth, the idea of missing the opportunity with their second was stressful for all of us, and we waited on pins and needles in the weeks and months leading up to their due date, completely unsure of how things would look and whether it would even be an option. Luckily, by the time their due date came along, our cases and hospital capacity here in Nevada were looking much better and because I was certifying as a doula, I had the privilege of being able to attend while doula privileges were allowed. I will forever be grateful for that opportunity.
Be sure to read end to end to see their beautiful birth story in video!
Hannah and Christian are one of my favorite couples. They have a unique bond and a relationship that draws you in and makes you want to be in their presence. They naturally love each other and wear their emotions beautifully on the outside. They are also reserved and very private in many senses; being in their birth space both times felt almost reverent. Hannah was strong enough to set healthy boundaries and expectations around both birth experiences and voice her wishes; in both of their births, I worked my hardest to honor that space.
So many elements of Hannah’s labor were so similar to her first, from the time of day she labored to the way her labor progressed. She was fortunate enough to have the same room as her first delivery and her dear friend and fellow nurse as her labor nurse.
With both labors, they used many of the methods they had learned from the Spinning Babies techniques, and Christian was right in tune with knowing which one to help her with as she labored.
Their sweet girl did not want to rotate and come down, which prolonged her labor, even with all her dedication to position changes. Finally, she came down, and it was time!
Just like their previous birth, once she decided to come, it unraveled quickly, and they weren’t sure her doctor would make it in time, but also, just like last time, she did! And just like that- their sweet baby girl was here!
After cutting the cord and skin-to-skin, their sweet baby girl went to the radiant warmer for assessment and her newborn exam.
Quickly she was right back in her mama’s arms for more skin-to-skin and initial breastfeeding. Because their last delivery was preterm and their son transferred to the NICU, this period was both special and incredibly emotional for them.
And finally, their beautiful birth story film!
Tuesday, March 16th, 2021
‘By Her Side’ were the first words that came to mind thinking back on their birth story. There was not a moment that Brianne was not surrounded with love and support as she brought her precious Emerson earthside. You’ll see it all through her birth images and birth story film (be sure to check it out at the end of this post). I am excited to finally share this beautiful and special birth story.
This birth story is extra special because Brianne is my sweet friend and fellow birth photographer and artist behind Brianne Hidalgo Photos + Films here in Las Vegas. We have been backups for each other for the past year and have changed, and have had so many wonderful conversations and meetings of the minds on how to best serve our community and support each other. She has such a smart business sense and is community-minded, not to mention incredibly talented. I was so happy to have found her. So, when she asked me to document her own birth, I was ecstatic!
Brianne had delivered in the hospital with her daughter. She was excited about the opportunity to deliver at home with one of our local midwives Sherry Hopkins of Well Rounded Mama. Emily Espinosa a certified doula with Well Rounded Mama was her certified doula and was so in tune with Brianne and was so attentive and professional.
As it seems to happen most often, Brianne went into labor during nighttime. Right before she let me know that her water had broken and her contractions were irregular but becoming more and more consistent and would call when they became more regular and intense. Just a few hours later she called me to come on over! Since I live on the completely opposite side of town, I got ready and headed out immediately, arriving just after midnight.
Once I arrived, Brianne’s contractions intensified pretty quickly, yet she remained so focused and determined. Her husband and daughter stayed by her side, providing physical support and words of encouragement. It was so cute when her daughter even directed her to breathe through her contractions.
Brianne was so close, and to assist in the rotation of her baby, her birth team assisted her out of the tub and to her bed and side-lying. The lights were dimmed for rest.
The movement and position change was just what she needed and pretty quickly she had the urge to push. Things moved pretty quickly at this point and after just a few pushes, her sweet baby was in her arms.
At 0318 with her family by her side, Brianne delivered this sweet boy.
One of the things I love most about home births is the postpartum period after delivery. I love seeing how comfortable moms are at home in their beds, with their family members by their sides, with no rushed bonding or timelines. It feels so relaxed and natural.
And, finally, their birth story film. I love seeing birth stories through video; it adds such a beautiful element and shows emotion and moments that can’t be as fully captured in still images.
Thank you so much, Hidalgo family, for trusting me with your birth story!
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
I am so excited to share another beautiful birth story from 2019. This mama found me over the summer as she was looking for a birth photographer for her third baby. This is the second client this year that hired me for their third birth, even though they hadn’t professionally documented their previous two births. I think many families feel guilty about hiring a birth photographer for their birth if they hadn’t for previous children because it can feel a little unfair. I have a totally different perspective.
I think that it is after your first birth, and maybe even second, that you really realize that the fears of being documented begin to diminish amid the desire to have those memories to look back on. What I love about documenting births with other children is that I always involve them in the birth story somehow, whether that be during labor or when they meet for the first time. Your family and your connection are a vital part of your birth story. They are often my favorite images and footage. What I would give to have my birth stories documented with my own children!
There really is nothing like birth and the deep story woven throughout each one. It seems that there are moments that we so easily vividly recall about the births of our children, holding them for the first time, the smells, and emotions. We are often times so exhausted by the point of delivery, and in those first sleepless days, that some of those memories can also be a bit vaguer, especially with the passage of time.
You didn’t get to see your spouse’s face as they spoke to your baby in the warmer or the tender way your loved ones touched you and worried over you. My job is always to capture the most important moments to you, and we talk about this in the weeks leading up to your delivery.
We decided on meeting in their home for our client meeting before her birth so that I could see her birth space and talk comfortably there; it was a great opportunity to meet the whole family. She wanted the girls involved if they felt comfortable with it but had decided she would leave that up to them. I was so excited once I saw their gorgeous home, she has it so beautifully and thoughtfully decorated and had printed images throughout her home. It was quite evident that capturing memories and documenting her family was a priority. That always makes a photographer’s heart swell.
She had delivered at home with her previous two and at different gestational ages with them both, so it was hard to say when she would deliver. She ended up going over this one. As with all of my clients, we frequently communicated as she had a fast labor history. Finally, on an October evening, I got a text that she was contracting regularly but wasn’t ready for me to come quite yet. I made sure that her doula had my number as well so that I could respond quickly when she was ready. And shortly after that first conversation, I got a text that it was time to go ahead and come on over!
Luckily, she lives not too far from me, so I got there pretty quickly. When I arrived, I quietly entered her birth space to find that she was moving quickly and had the occasional urge to push. I was in awe of her beautifully decorated birth space (that she decorated while laboring!), it was so well thought out and so full of so many meaningful and sentimental items. Her doula and midwife both spoke words of encouragement over her and guided her through those urges. Her husband moved in and out of the room between the girls and his wife.
Jessica ended up delivering 20 minutes after I arrived! She went so fast; I was just so grateful that I made it!
It was such a beautiful delivery, and Jessica made it all look so graceful! Her girls made it into the room after their baby was born; they were so adorable!
Monday, February 3rd, 2020
I am so excited to finally share this beautiful birth story of John Tito, born at home. I adore this family. I met them in 2018 when I documented their first delivery at home. I was in awe of the love they had for each other and the strength of this incredibly powerful mama.
Jennifer delivered her first at home, in the water, and stayed strong through a long labor, delivering their baby girl into her husband’s arms. It was beautiful to witness. Both mom and dad are first responders in our community, with mom being a paramedic and Greg being a firefighter for the city of Henderson.
I was so excited when Jennifer contacted me to document this birth story! There is nothing better than documenting a family as they grow. I was so excited that big sister would be there and that she intended to deliver in the water again.
As with my birth clients, I checked in frequently with Jennifer to see how she was feeling and how things were going as her due date approached. She had gone a week over with her first but felt like she was going to deliver sooner with this one. She is an incredibly busy woman and was in her last semester earning an advanced degree while working, and taking care of a toddler, so as that due date approached, she was so tired and ready to hold her baby in her arms.
I am an early riser and don’t sleep well while on call for births. I woke up at 3 am one morning and checked my phone, as usual, to make sure I hadn’t missed anything just as she texted me to let me know she was having pretty strong contractions, but they weren’t staying too regular quite yet, and that she would keep me posted. Although I have my gear ready at all times while on call, I made sure it was at the door, and I was showered, just in case, because they live about 40 minutes from me.
She updated me again at midday to let me know she had gone to the midwife to be checked and was dilated, and her contractions were still strong but not regular yet. So, I continued to wait! Late afternoon I got the call that it was time. Dads often call me by this point when moms are in active labor, and Greg did call me to let me know they had called the midwife to come, so I headed out there. He felt like she was going fast at this point, so I didn’t waste any time heading out there.
Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable when I arrived and was just ready to move into the tub.
Little Angelina was so cute and well-behaved as Jennifer labored in the water surrounded by her midwives and husband, coming over every so often to give her mama a kiss or drink of water.
Jennifer’s labor was similar to her last at almost the same time of day, right down to the hour. Both times she trusted her body and, between gentle touch and reassurances from her midwives and husband, labored with such strength.
Finally, Jennifer felt the urge to push and work and once again delivered their baby boy into her husband’s arms. It was just beautiful.
I am continually in awe that I witness such strength and beauty in women. I have been a part of the birth industry for almost 20 years now, and the beauty of birth has never faded.
Monday, January 27th, 2020
It’s an honor that you let me capture yours.