This has been a year of repeat clients, and a year of curveball births. It's also been a year of growth for me. Even after years of doing this and over a hundred births, I'm still learning how to better love my clients. I shot Hannah's first birth two years ago, for her son Moses, it couldn't have been more ideal. Epidural, laughing through contractions, happily present in the moment. Fast forward to this birth with Elle, and on the surface as a birth worker it also seemed ideal. From my perspective she got the birth she had fought for.... she labored unmedicated, it was quicker, it was more intense, but it was more vulnerable. What I didn't know, was that it was taking Hannah more time to process this birth. It was so different from her first... not better, not worse, just DIFFERENT. And with that comes a mixed bag of healing, accepting, and eventually loving this experience as well. I think it's impossible to go into your subsequent births without some level of expectations. I did the same thing with Alden's birth. I wanted immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping, but he had a double nuchal cord and came out purple and slow to respond. In that moment my expectations for "that moment" were gone, and it took time to process that, and admittedly grieve the loss of my ideal birth, specially since he was our last. I say all this because what may seem ideal to us as birth workers on the surface, our clients may need more time and space to process the experience.
Over time, and many conversations, Hannah and I navigated this 4th trimester of emotions and processing together. And for that I am so grateful. With a few tweaks, we got the story to a place that they now LOVE. And I couldn't be happier. Because ultimately, that is my goal, not just to give you photos, but to make you feel loved. To make you feel supported. To make you feel heard.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I have fallen in love with this birth story.
Hannah and Luke, I love you both... thank you for the gift of such biblical friendship. Filled with grace and understanding!