hello bianca + a birth story
DISCLAIMER – The following sequence of images documents a live birth.
If you continue to view this post you will inevitably see some photographs of a baby being born.
When I mentioned that I was planning on documenting my friend Lindsay’s birth, I had quite a few reactions, most positive, some raised eyebrows, many questions as to why. Being a photographer, I am always drawn to the beauty of life and love in this world, and now even more towards a documentary and photojournalism style. What is “the” most remarkable moment? Throughout my life, that remarkable moment changed from tying my shoelaces by myself, to graduating each educational milestone, to jumping off of the rickety wooden diving board into the mountain lake, to kissing my husband after our vows… and then it became clear to me that meeting our son was the single most amazing moment of my life (the funny thing, is that I wasn’t exactly present and can barely remember any details, just foggy memories). Other people will have different WOW moments, but mine will always be the miracle of life. I am so incredibly honored that I was able photograph Bianca’s birth! Witnessing this baby girl’s first breaths has forever changed everything that I am.
This was my first time photographing a birth and the anticipation was unreal! Everything unfolded so quickly and I feel that I am still recovering from the adrenaline. A baby girl was born and it was the most phenomenal experience.
I received a text on my phone from Lindsay at 11:19pm saying that she woke up with some “fairly strong ones”. Took my camera bag to the door along with my keys. My phone rang at 11:28pm and I literally jumped off of the couch (I had my phone turned up full blast)… it was time to go to the hospital! I contemplated brushing my teeth (wasn’t sure when the next time I’d be able to do that was) so 10 seconds of brushing and I drove as conservatively fast as I could to the hospital. I parked, the clock on my dashboard said 11:38pm. I entered the room at 11:50pm to see Lindsay going through a fairly strong contraction. She was in total control. Introductions, hi to everyone, quick hugs. More intense labor. Doctor arrived between 12:20-12:25. Bianca was born at 12:35. So fast!
My beautiful friend and her husband trusted me to capture the empowerment of labor, the first breaths of their baby, and the amazing joy of meeting their 3rd daughter. I will be connected to this baby girl and her family in my heart for all of time. You can see Lindsay’s spontaneous 4 minute maternity session here.
Thank-you so much to the Doctor and Nurses for allowing me to be there. Thank-you to Lindsay and Kirk, words cannot express how grateful I am for this truly amazing experience, xoxoxoxo.
This is Bianca’s birth story:
Bianca’s Birth Story as told by her Momma:
It all started at about 3pm… I’d had a few contractions that felt more than uncomfortable. Thinking that this could be the day, I made arrangements for my 2 daughters to go stay with my parents.
At 5pm, contractions continued to be mildly painful and about 5-7 minutes apart, so I paced the house, walked the neighborhood, watched a show, ate cereal… waiting for things to progress. By 9pm I was totally discouraged, having told family and friends that I thought I was in labour I was feeling like I may have spoke too soon… I was suddenly completely exhausted and decided to go to bed; perhaps if this is labour, a bit of sleep will do me some good.
At 11:15pm I awoke suddenly, for some reason I was literally throwing myself around in bed. It took me a moment to know what was wrong… pain, real labour pain. I stood up, went downstairs waited for 2 more contractions; they were hard, strong and about 1 minute apart. Time to go. Nycky-Jay was called to meet us at the hospital, texts went out to parents. We drove to the hospital like we had just robbed a bank, I held on for dear life – not because of painful contractions, because my husbands driving was scary (being that we live about 2 minutes from the hospital, I assured him this was not necessary – we’ll make it).
Once we had arrived at the hospital it was about 11:45 before we were settled in a room. I walked and labored around the room while the nurse and my husband frantically filled out paperwork, with each contraction things were getting increasingly more intense. Every so often the nurse or Kirk would look over their shoulder and throw me a “you’re doing great!” or “keep breathing, that’s it.”
Once the paperwork was finished Kirk helped me into a gown and the nurse was able to check my dilation… I was expecting to be about 5-6 cm and thought I had a few hours to go… not so much, 8 cm. I was told at this stage that my doctor was paged and should arrive soon.
Things quickly became immensely painful and I gave myself a quick peptalk “you have to get through this, you have no choice, so just breathe and everything will be fine”. I felt at this point like I was no longer controlling my body, my body just took over and did what it was meant to do. A few more strong contractions and an unbearable urge to bear down and push…
My doctor arrived just in time. I felt overwhelming relief to see his face when he walked through the door and very calmly and cooly put a gown on and assisted in coaching me for the third time through the pushing stage of the delivery.
8 minutes and about 5 pushes later… My third baby girl was placed in my arms. You would think at 3 that the miracle of a baby would be less awe inspiring. But no, it is just as amazing and just as incredible the third time. Her cry, her face, her fingers and toes, her resilience and strength all so wondrous and astounding.