This birth was special in so many ways.
1) Erika and I met in the fall of last year, connecting over a cup of coffee and both of our passion – birth work (she is a local birth doula and childbirth educator over at Thrive Mama Doula). She is such a kind soul and beautiful mama and I was hoping we would be working together in the future. After chatting for a few hours we parted ways with the promise to keep in touch. Well to say I was excited when she reached out in February and asked me to document her August 2020 home birth would be an understatement.
2) Little did I know, with a global pandemic approaching, this would be the first birth I had the honor of documenting since the beginning of the lockdown in March.
OK, OK, here comes the actual birth story…
Well… Kinda… Another Little Prefix…
With all my birth clients I ask them to fill out a birth questionnaire which helps me get to know my client, their family. their birth intentions, etc. a bit better. And one thing that came up in her responses a lot was the desire for me to capture the bond between her, her husband and her sister who would be supporting her during labor. Her sister was there for the birth of her first daughter and Erika often mentioned how she wished that she would have images to see the immense support she had from her birth team then. So I knew, this is definitely something that is important to her and I wanted to give her these memories.
Erika messaged me Saturday morning saying her contractions, while still far apart, were starting to pick up. We all knew it was baby time! I checked in with her 2h later and we decided I would start heading her way. At her home I was greeted by the her sister-in-law and mama who were there to support Erika’s older daughter throughout the day. Things were moving fairly quickly, but Erika worked so effortlessly through her contractions, always supported by her husband and sister, as they were getting closer together and more intense.
Guys, I Am Not Lying When I’m Telling You That This Trio Was In Tune Like Nothing I Had Ever Seen Before!
Beautiful words of affirmation were softly whispered in mama’s ear, hips were squeezed, a few tears (and laughs) exchanged and hands were held. It was such an honor to witness this kind of labor support – not only from her immediate family, but also from her midwife Kelly Jenkins of Blue Ridge Birth and birth assistant.
Mama was leaning over the bed when transition contraction intensified and we knew that baby was almost here. After a few intense pushes Kelly caught baby girl and handed her through mama’s legs into her arms. While mama and baby got settled in bed, Erika’s sister went to get the big sister to meet her new sibling.