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the birth of Iliana


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A St. Rose San Martin Hospital Birth

This birth of Iliana is a beautiful birth story from St. Rose San Martin Hospital here in Las Vegas.

This family has trusted me in one form or another with bringing each of their four children into this world.

It all began when Courtney inquired about maternity and newborn sessions for their oldest daughter. She has always valued images and their importance in preserving memories. With their first baby, I was able to document both their maternity and newborn sessions. Being a little uncomfortable in her post-pregnancy skin after their first, she was very hesitant about being in their newborn images. It took a little nudging on my part and she was so glad later that SHE was in them too!

By the time their third baby was on the way, she had come to see, hold, and cherish all these memories even the ones where she might not have been comfortable. I was so excited when she reached out to have me document their third birth. There is nothing more vulnerable than those moments surrounding the birth of your baby, and I loved that she was willing to embrace it all!

By the time they found out their fourth and last baby was on the way, she knew she wanted it all; maternity, birth, fresh 48, and newborn. There is something so special about those last babies. Of course, all babies are special but I remember with my last just wanting it all to move slower, to enjoy even the smallest of moments, and just wishing I could bottle it all up.

This was their second birth I documented for them at St. Rose San Martin, and the staff is always a pleasure.

nurse starting an IV on labor and delivery

being admitted into labor and delivery in active labor.

Courtney had gone super fast with her last delivery, and so we anticipated the same with this one. In fact, with baby number three we were in the hospital for less than an hour, and anesthesia didn’t even make it in time for her to get an epidural. Because I live a good distance away from St. Rose San Martin, I was on hyper-alert and just two days before she delivered we had a little false alarm. It is not uncommon at all, even with previous deliveries! I always tell my clients that I would rather have 10 false alarms than an “oh no! come now”! When it was finally time and they said they were on their way to the hospital, I booked it as quickly as I could to get there. As I was pulling into the parking lot, her husband updated me that she was 7 cms and moving fast. I had to get past the COVID protocols up front and rush up to the unit. When I arrived they were quickly admitting her and her doctor was notified. It was pretty intense at this point.

keep calm and labor on socksmother uncomfortable during transition phase of labor.Courtney was working so hard with her contractions and staying so calm in the midst of the chaos going on around her. There was COVID testing to be done, IVs to start, labs to draw, and the room to set up. Aaron stayed right by her side fanning her and maintaining a sense of calm with his reassuring words.

mother grasping side rail while in laborhusband fanning his wife while she is in labor in hospitalhusband kissing his wife before she delivers their babyWithin 20 minutes of my arrival, it was already time! I think we were all sweating at this point just so happy to have everyone made it, including her doctor. She brought their sweet girl into this world so quickly and so powerfully!

newborn making eye contact with mothermother making eye contact with her baby after delivery at San Martin hospitalmother taking in all her babys details after birthnew baby after delivery at San Martinmother bonding with new baby after a hospital deliveryproud parents with their new baby in the hospitalIliana’s birth happened so quickly it took a bit of time to take it all in! I love these sweet and tender moments in the hour or two following birth. It is so surreal to process that this tiny human that you carried for so many months is now in your arms. Aaron is such a great dad and so hands-on with his children, it is beautiful to witness.

dad holding his new daughter after deliveryhusband texting family after the birth of their babyBecause COVID hospital restrictions were still in place siblings were unable to come to meet their new baby sister for their fresh 48 session. Instead, we decided I would capture them meeting her for the first time at home. It was the sweetest. All three of Iliana’s siblings were completely enamored with her.

In-Home Fresh 48 Session

toddler excited to hold and meet her baby sister.mother introducing big sister to her new baby sister.sister taking in all her new baby sister's details.big brother holding his new baby sister together with their dad.newborn yawn while being held in her mother's arms.sister meeting her new baby sister for the first time.It is always a little bittersweet to come to newborn sessions with these families that book ‘The Whole Story’ with me. By this point, I have become so invested, and have communicated often with them.

In-Home Newborn Session

It is fun to see how everyone has settled and how much newborns have changed in those short days and weeks. There has been some rest and routines are starting to develop, but life still has that slower pace which is so nice.

newborn swaddled in yellow wrap on ivory fur.mother holding her newborn on her shoulder while swaddled.black and white image of two sisters during in home session.This sweet little one is already so loved and I don’t think between mom, dad, and her three siblings, she is loved on and held often.

proud parents with their new daughter during newborn session.dad holding his newborn nose to nose.newborn girl in pink swaddle and cream fur.mom, dad, and newborn during in-home newborn session.Their birth story wouldn’t be complete without their beautiful film. There is something special about seeing all these tender moments on film, even more so than a still image can capture.

The Birth of Iliana

Friday, February 3rd, 2023

mother at home with support from family


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Love Never Fails

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.

laboring on the toilet during home birth

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.

including family in home birth including children
husband and midwife supporting a mother as she labors at home in the water
physical support in labor from midwife and husband
midwife providing oral hydration in labor

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.

husband delivering baby at home with support of midwife
sister and children present at home birth in las vegas

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.

moral support in labor from midwife at home birth
father delivering baby at home with support from midwife

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.

mother at home with support from family
family centered birth at home
mother emotional after delivery of baby at home
mother's joy after home birth
little loo photography las vegas
skin to skin dad and baby after birth
one on one time with older siblings after birth
family together on bed after home birth
father holding son at home after birth
newborn exam by Sarah Slobody in Las Vegas

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.

newborn exam after home birth
midwife evaluating tongue tie after birth
 a supportive birth team after home birth
mother holding her new son after home birth
father and son at home after beautiful home birth

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!

mother holding her son in rocker newborn session
in-home newborn session Las Vegas
mother with her children on bed during newborn session
including siblings in newborn session
big sister with her new baby brother
sister snuggling her new baby brother

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.

mother and her son nose to nose
father with his daughter and son newborn session
father holding his son newborn session
in home newborn session green wrap
sweet baby expressions newborn session
beautiful image of mom and newborn
alert newborn during newborn session
las vegas in home newborn
mom and dad with newborn in home session

A Beautiful Las Vegas Home Birth

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

mother holding her new baby after a beautiful home birth


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By Her Side

‘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!

Las Vegas birth photographer for home births
home birth with family by her side in Las Vegas

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.

Emily Escinosa certified doula in Las Vegas
husband and daughter holding mother's hands during a contraction
view of doula care during water birth
daughter holding mother's hands during a contraction in birth tub

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.

controlled during home birth with intense contractions
support team at home birth of midwife, doula, and family
mother turning inward during a contraction during a home birth in Las Vegas
sweet daughter supporting her mother during a water birth at home.
mother connecting with her daughter while in labor at home
surrounding yourself with love and support while in labor at home
midwife checking fetal heart tones during home birth
husband supporting his wife during labor at home.

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.

daughter touching her moth's arms during a contraction
using breathing techniques during labor at home

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.

side lying in labor to help in rotation of your baby
birth team checking fetal heart tones during a Las Vegas home birth
intense contractions in the birth tub at home
laboring in the birth tub during a Las Vegas homebirth

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.

mother holding her new baby after a beautiful home birth

At 0318 with her family by her side, Brianne delivered this sweet boy.

daughter and husband observing their new baby after delivery.
sherry hopkins checking a baby's heart rate after a Las Vegas homebirth.
proud dad and daughter seeing their new baby brother
beautiful Las Vegas homebirth
sister admiring her new baby brother in a birth tub
dad taking picture of new baby after delivery
dad holding new son for the first time after a home birth

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.

moments at home with baby immediately after delivery
daughter feeding mother while she breastfeeds after delivery
that first hour of skin to skin at home
those beautiful newborn details
comfortable at home after a home birth
mother admiring her new baby while breastfeeding
sherry hopkins performing a newborn exam
newborn exam after home birth in Las Vegas
newborn measurements including head, chest, and abdomen
measuring a newborns head circumfrence
dad holding the scale while weighting a baby during a home birth
sweet newborn details at home
baby holding his dads fingers after birth
family together after a home birth on the bed

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!

The Birth of Emerson Rey

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

friends supporting each other in labor in a hospital in southern nevada

fresh 48

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How to Stay Supported

Giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic has left many families struggling to stay supported during life’s most important and intimate moment.

I cannot think of an industry or group of people not affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, and there is no doubt that the ripple effects will continue into the weeks and months ahead.

As a birth photographer, it has affected my business, and while I am fearful for my future, my biggest fears are for the families I serve. My current clients won’t have their births documented during the pandemic due to hospital restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

I completely understand the necessity of restricting visitors, and even immediate family members to ensure the safety of patients and staff within the hospitals, and to slow the spread of the virus.

friends supporting each other in labor in a hospital in southern nevada

Yet, my heart hurts that women will be without the support teams they had planned for. At such a vulnerable time in life, being isolated from family, children, and your support team can have strong effects on women and how they process their birth, including the emotions, physical changes, and challenges they face not only during birth but in the weeks and months that follow.

grandparents meeting the baby after a c-section

Most families hire me early on in their pregnancies, seeing the emotional impact that documenting their birth holds. I believe that value to my core; I have seen how important it is for so many women and families in processing their birth stories.

Rather than focus on the loss of not being able to be there physically for my clients, I hope that this post will bring real tips and advice on how to navigate this period despite the obstacles, and hopefully help you to feel supported even though it may look different.

With some changes to your birth plan and hopefully with some tips here, you can be prepared!

mother hugging her daughter after the decision for a cesarean section was made

Talk To Your Support Team

Talk to your spouse, partner, or whoever will be your support person. Have conversations about what your anticipated needs are. Of course, birth is completely unpredictable; even having given birth before, each can look so different. Talking about ways language and touch normally bring you comfort can really help. Don’t assume that your support person will know exactly what you need. Offering each other grace throughout will go a long way. I have had families come up with code words for when they need introspective time with no touch or verbal cues, and vice versa; code words for when they are needing that extra verbal, moral, and physical support.


Talk to your extended support team as well. Even though they can’t physically be present for you, their words of encouragement and support can go a long way. Coming up with a plan of when and how you will communicate with each other will help; that way, there are no hurt feelings—perhaps deciding on whether they should reach out to you at set intervals or whether to wait for you to reach out when you are ready. Decide if you prefer phone calls, FaceTime, or texts. Sometimes, seeing your children’s faces via FaceTime can breathe life back into you.

laboring mother being supported while giving birth during COVID-19

This can be so vital for your support person as well, who often needs those words of encouragement. Remind your extended birth team to check on him or her as well.

mother supporting her son while his wife labors at Henderson Hospital in Las Vegas

Birth can be long and drawn out and just hearing that you are doing a good job and are loved and supported can go a long way for both of you!

Consider Hiring a Doula

You may not have even considered hiring a doula with the restrictions in place because of COVID-19. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Why would I hire a doula that can’t even be there in person?” I would argue the opposite, doulas are such a great resource and support for women and their families, and their roles can be even more vital during this time! Many doulas are currently offering virtual services that will benefit you not only during your labor, delivery, and postpartum period but through those first weeks at home navigating breastfeeding and all that goes into caring for a newborn without the physical support of family and friends.

Cherish Your Doula at work during a home birth in Henderson, Nevada

The role of the doula is to provide continuous emotional and physical support and information before birth with information on research and choices.

They can help with comfort measures like massage, suggesting different positions, and helping with relaxation breathing. They encourage communication with doctors and nursing staff  (a doula does not give medical advice or interfere with the doctor/mother relationship).

Brynn Klein providing doula support to a laboring mother at Henderson Hospital in Las Vegas

Supporting the father or birth partner is the best way to support the mother. A doula never replaces the very important role of the birth partner, and a good doula will help the birth partner by offering suggestions and tips on ways to be supportive. Providing real-time feedback and suggestions to assist you physically and emotionally during all phases of labor and delivery can be vital.

doula supporting a mother after delivery helping her to stay hydrated at home

Doula support is helpful not only during labor but also during the postpartum period.

During the postpartum period, when women are even more isolated during stay-at-home orders and social distancing recommendations, this support is even more vital. Needing help with breastfeeding and general questions about newborn care can be even more challenging with mothers more isolated than ever. With the increased risk of postpartum depression, having that support to encourage you and provide real feedback on how you are doing is vital. Although they can’t be there physically, being able to let you know you are not alone in your feelings and fears can, on its own, provide so much comfort.

I will link to some of these resources at the end of this post.

virtual support of a doula during the postpartum period with the struggles of breastfeeding during the COVID pandemic

Communicate with your nurse and obstetrician/midwife.

As a retired labor and delivery nurse of 19 years here in the Las Vegas valley (2000-2019), I can tell you that keeping an open line of communication with your nurse and obstetrician or midwife can be so important in ensuring there is no miscommunication. Communication helps in keeping your wishes honored and information about procedures clear.

Las Vegas birth story documented at Centennial Hills hospital in Las Vegas

Their hearts hurt for you during this period. They understand how scary it can be to be in the hospital away from your family, friends, and children during this pandemic.

Your labor nurse is by far the person you will spend the most time within the hospital setting. With 12-hour shifts, she will spend long periods with you and is there to care for you and your baby. She is also a great resource for your support person to ensure they are supported, encouraged, and held. Lean on her and the support she can provide.

labor nurse being supportive

Talk to your obstetrician or midwife ahead of time about the current hospital restrictions and what you can expect. Talk about your fears and wishes. I believe miscommunication is the most common cause of hurt and pain in the birth setting.

Dr Christina Nguyen Las Vegas OB


And lastly, I highly suggest doing your best to still document your birth. Documenting your birth can be so important in healing and processing birth’s emotions. Your birth may be long and drawn out, with so much of it becoming a blur, or it may be so fast and intense that just laboring on its takes every ounce of your concentration. Your baby may go to the warmer, and while you are being cleaned up and monitored after delivery, not seeing those moments up close can be hard.

Sarah Slobody assisting a mother after delivery in Las Vegas

My clients hold, look at, and watch many moments over and over in the periods following their births. I have clients who watch their birth films over and over that first year and again each birthday.

creative ways to document the story of birth

Don’t be afraid to ask your nurse and staff to help capture images of you together, your support partner, etc., when they can. Often, you need to ask; they are almost always happy to oblige!

I created a guide for my upcoming birth clients with suggestions on how to document your own birth in hopes that it will help them with real tips and guidance. I am happy to share it, contact me here and I will send it to you when you sign up for my newsletter.

Although one of many reasons I am passionate about documenting birth is that it allows your support and birth team to be present IN the images and footage. Things may not be as you envisioned them during this time, but they can still be wonderful!

seeing baby for the first time after cesarean section at Henderson hospital in Las Vegas

Supported Birth During COVID-19

Friday, April 17th, 2020

As long as I can remember I have been drawn to stories and the people, like you, that make them worthwhile.

It’s an honor that you let me capture yours.

let's capture the beginning of it all. 

Big feelings, big changes, and big experiences are on the horizon