This is a post that I have been meaning to blog for a few months, but the subject of today’s blog has made life a little more complicated. It’s not often I post about my own life, but I thought it was only fitting to share this momentous occasion in my life. The birth of my second son, Kale. As a photographer, it is my job to educate my clients on the importance of beautiful photography to capture their once in a lifetime events, their children as they grow and change, and the beautiful things that surround us. I would be a fool not to live by my own advice. I went back and forth on hiring a birth photographer. After Haven was born, I knew what kind of a birther I was and I was not sure if I wanted anyone else to see that. When my amazing and talented friend, Erin, from Photos Edge, offered to shoot a few maternity pictures for me I jumped at the chance. When she offered to shoot my birth, I sheepishly agreed, but I can tell you now that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I look back through her photos and I remember everything like it was yesterday. She captured moments that I had completely forgotten about, emotions I didn’t realize I was having, and the love that two people have for each other and the smallest ray of sunshine to enter the world. I have never been able to look through the photographs that Erin gave me without tearing up. I only pray that my wedding clients feel the same exhilaration and excitement over the memories of their beautiful wedding day.
If you are at all interested in the birth story, keep reading. If not skip to the pictures and enjoy (but please forgive my obvious lack of make-up. I had something more important on my mind).
Kale was due April 1. My midwife, Rachel, (who was amazing!!) told me that he looked like he was growing perfectly and that we would be able to induce a week early. This was fantastic news considering that Kendall was due to start finals on the original due date. Well, Kale had completely different plans. On the beautiful and clear morning of St. Patrick’s Day, I woke up in a panic. It felt as though I had peed the bed, but I realized that my water had likely broken. Of course, I was trying to wrap up a few things before the due date so I had a family session and an invitation consolation scheduled for that afternoon. I googled the symptoms of broken water and realized it was definitely what was going on. Then I laid on the couch for an hour praying I was just overreacting. Since the flow wasn’t stopping or slowing down, I finally called to have the midwife paged. While I was waiting to hear back from Rachel, I called my mother sobbing. She had already moved her plane ticket up a week to accommodate our intended induction, and I felt terrible asking her to come sooner. Lucky for me, my mother is amazing and was on a plane that afternoon. When Rachel called me back, she said that since I hadn’t started contracting I could choose to stay home until the contractions started. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to go straight to the hospital only to sit and wait. But I was so antsy knowing that the baby was coming that day that I had to keep myself busy. Needless to say, my house ended up spotless and the laundry miraculously was completely done. When I finally let Kendall come home from school (I made him stay to study with the promise that if he came home too soon he would be helping me clean) the contractions started coming. We decided to go for a walk down to Power and Light and let Haven check out the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Of course my pregnant brain couldn’t resist a street vendor hot dog and we got to enjoy a beautiful spring day. The whole time we were walking I kept timing the contractions, but to me they were still pretty far apart at about 6 minutes in between each one. I prefer to labor at home as long as safely possible, but after our walk Kendall insisted we take Haven to the sitter and head to the hospital. I am so grateful for his cool head, because as soon as we got driving the contractions got stronger. Not closer. Just stronger. Of course with all of the excitement we missed the freeway exit for St. Luke’s and had to drive through Westport on St. Patrick’s Day at 5:00pm. For anyone that doesn’t know what that means, think lots of people moving slowly in a very small area and one very pregnant woman screaming in the car. By the time we got to the hospital the attendant didn’t even have to ask to know exactly what department we needed. We were admitted quickly and got right into the delivery room. When it comes to birthing, I am kind of a hippie. I need to be able to move to deal with the pain and discomfort of labor, and that is not something that is possible when you get anesthesia. So I am a screaming and cussing, all natural crazy lady waddling around the room. This was not going to jive with the nurse that was originally assigned to me. She kindly (in the rudest way possible) informed me that I would need to lay down for 30 minutes so they could keep the fetal monitor on me to make sure the baby was ok. I am all about making sure that my baby is doing perfectly, but there is no way I was lying on my back for that long. It hurt to even think about. I begrudgingly complied for about 5 minutes, but begged to be let up to walk and move with the pain. Finally, the nurse (whom I didn’t realize was not the original nice/mean nurse until after Kale was delivered) said that I could get up. Instead of making me lay down, this new angel nurse knelt next to me wherever I moved to and held the monitor in place. She never complained about her aching knees or the inconvenience of following the crazy lady, she just did it. Finally the urge to push took over and I climbed on the bed to push on my hands and knees. With Haven I pushed for a solid hour, so I didn’t believe Kendall when he told me after about 5 pushes that he could already see a flock of black hair. The contractions still seemed so far apart and we had only been at the hospital for an hour. Luckily Erin (my photographer) walked in just then and with only two pushes to go, Kale was born. It was as though my entire being was flooded with emotion and pain indescribable to anyone. I have no idea where the strength came from, but it was truly out of body. And then it was over. I turned around and there was my precious little boy. It’s amazing how quickly you can fall in love with something, but he was perfect from the moment I laid eyes on him. He was born a healthy 7 lbs 2 oz and thankfully had a much smaller head than Haven did. We spend two nights in the hospital and then Kendall dropped me off at home and ran to school to take another test. Never a dull moment. I promise to post his newborn photos soon. Enjoy.
A few Maternity pictures that I snapped at home with a trigger. To see the amazing ones that Erin took look here.
No painful labor pictures for me. Erin walked in just in time to capture this.
Kale’s first picture taken by me (at 5 am:)