I’ve been there for all FOUR of this momma’s babies. And this was her 3rd successful VBAC. Watching Marlia through each of these births was like watching iron sharpen iron. She grew stronger and more confident in what her body could do, and more comfortable in her own skin. In a word, confidence.
She stands a lone in a category all on her own, my only 4-peat client. I’m beyond grateful for the friendship that blossomed through this work, and I can’t wait to see who these sweet blessings grow up to be. Not too fast of course.
I wasn’t supposed to be able to shoot this birth. I already had THREE clients that month. But somehow, timing all worked out, and sweet Hudson was to be number FOUR. FOUR babies born within 7 days. Hudson, was one of two born within hours of each other. By the grace of God, both at the same hospital, mere rooms apart. One mom was 6 cm, when I was called into the OR with Tyson and Bekah. I managed to capture the entire birth, in what felt like a whirlwind. Upon returning to the recovering room, my other client was now 8cm and I waited anxiously for Bekah to get back into the room so I could at least grab some of her truly holding her son for the first time. They wheeled her in, handed her son to her and she and Tyson were one. All together, in one room, in one embrace. About that time I got the text that my other client was complete, so I rushed down the hallway for baby number two of the morning. In the organized chaos that was that morning, magic happened. Two different births, two different ways of coming into the world within minutes of each other, but at the heart of it all the same. Unconditional love. Families being made, and families growing.
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!