Yesterday I experienced the single most powerful session I’ve ever photographed.
On July 31st at 2:39AM I witnessed the birth of a beautiful little girl, Leelani.
Words cannot describe the emotions that come with photographing a journey as meaningful and intimate as bringing a child into this world. I cannot thank this family enough for welcoming me into this journey with them.
My own labor was hard and fast. I spent 5 intense hours laboring at home (in denial, because I was 11 days early), before we went to the hospital. I arrived there at 8cm dilated and my son was born about 2 hours later. I was barely present, I literally had my eyes closed for most of it. I had just enough time to get an epidural and register what was going on before it was time to push. About 30 mins later I had my son. I always looked backed wishing I was more aware and present for my own, so getting to witness this Mama’s amazing labor and delivery (18+ hours long) was literally life changing.
I arrived at the hospital around 10:30AM. Mama, Dad, and their awesome Birth Doula (Andrea from Complete Joy Birth Services) were all there. We were able to chat for a little bit as she labored through contractions before it started getting real. After that, talking was few and far between. For the next 7 hours I photographed her as contractions got more and more intense. I still am in awe at how strong she was to have powered through as long as she did. Dad and Andrea were amazing support throughout it all. After hours of pain and exhausted and still not as close to the end as she would’ve liked, an epidural was opted for. Mama was able to catch her breath and rest for just a short time. Around midnight, pushing began. For the next 2.5 hours, Mama spent trying her best to get that baby to come out – but of course her little girl was stubborn. As we were all watching the energy start to drain from her, they decided to get the doctor to help with a vacuum assisted delivery. It took Mama just a few more good pushes before her sweet little girl, Leelani, was safe in her arms. The joy that filled the room at that moment was literally overwhelming, so much so I almost photograph I was suppose to be photographing the moment!
I didn’t have time to edit all the photos, but I had to share just a few right away! I will forever remember this day.