Monday, December 13, 2010

A Child is Born {New Braunfels Birth Photography}

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
One of my most exciting sessions ever played out early in the wee hours of the morning Saturday. One of my former students from the New Braunfels Community Education classes asked me to shoot her maternity session and then her birth when the time came. She was having a home waterbirth with a midwife present, although her husband would actually catch the baby, just as he'd done with their first child. Amazing!

I have been considering offering birth photography for a while now so I jumped at the chance. I knew that it would involve basically being on call the days around her due date. I didn't have any weddings on the calendar around that time -- the only thing that may have prevented my being able to arrive when I'm needed. What could possibly stress me out?

I got the first text from this mom early Friday morning, her labor had begun while I was in the midst of setting up a massive photo shoot with Santa and hundreds of pre-schoolers, kindergarteners and first graders at the elementary school near my home. My mind immediately started swimming with the stress of the moment. Oh my gosh! She's having her baby! It's happening! What do I do! Imagine the sitcoms that play out when one of the characters goes into labor and all the other characters run around, boiling water, getting suitcases, creating havoc. That was me. Santa Claus sat in front me along with a line of children waiting patiently to have their portrait made with him.

So I did the best I could to pull myself together, made a few calls, arranged for childcare, arranged for Jayme to take my place at the school if I needed to run. And then I began shooting and waiting. Shooting and waiting. The shooting ended after a few hours and then it was just waiting. And waiting. At the end of the day she texted me to tell me it probably won't happen. Labor had stalled out. Nothing happening.

I made the mistake that night of staying up late to read. I regret those precious few moments I missed when I got a text at 2:45 a.m. telling me her water broke and the baby's coming. How do the midwives handle it? All I wanted to do was close my eyes again and go back to sleep! I pulled myself together and ventured out into the cold night, where the fog made driving difficult and I had a seriously hard time reading the road signs to her home.

Once I got there I was impressed by the peaceful environment of her home. Mom is surrounded by her family and her doting husband, the lights are down low (thank goodness for the high ISO capabilities on my 5D), soft music plays. The moment of birth came soon after my arrival. I had a pool-side seat to one of the most peaceful entrances into this world any baby could hope for.

Today I'm sharing an image I captured during that golden moment. You moms can relate. The pain is over, replaced by the realization that your baby is here as he's placed on your belly. The joy at his birth coupled with the end of the pain, the sweet sounds of his first cries and the end of the long months of waiting -- not to mention the heartburn.

This baby boy was welcomed into this world by his father's hands, his mom so joyful as well as his grandmother and grandfather, his great grandmother and his big brother. All surrounding him and celebrating his arrival. This photo captures that moment I was so honored to be a part of. Silent Night soon plays through the speakers. An appropriate song, for this peaceful night.

I left the home a few hours later after photographing those first kisses, those first cuddles, that first exam, the first nursing and the first dressing of this sweet little boy. His mommy drifts off to sleep with a smile on her face, cuddling her new baby when I slip out the door as the sun comes up on another beautiful December day.

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