November 26, 2013
I am struggling to find words to describe the incredibly beautiful home birth I was privileged to witness this past Friday evening. In my 15 months as a birth photographer, I have seen the highs and the lows. I have seen births that were beautiful and “easy,” and births that were hard and did not go as planned. But this particular birth story was one of surrender and ecstasy.
Yes, I just used the words “ecstasy” and “birth” in the same sentence.
I recently told a friend that one thing I have learned while being witness to so many birth stories is that birth goes better when you surrender to the process and don’t resist it. Bonnie was the prime example of that kind of surrender. She ran straight forward into it and held nothing back. She coached herself – “This is okay, I can do this, I’ve got this.” She reminded her body to “open” and “stretch”. She had beautiful and loving conversations with her toddler son, who was so excited to see his baby sister that he started looking for her in the water before she was born. And she received her daughter into her own hands.
The high emotion in the room had me bawling as little Magnolia May entered the world. I’m not really sure how any of my photos from that moment are in focus because I sure couldn’t see through the viewfinder very clearly!
Two things to note:
– Bonnie had a 2.5 hour active labor that was facilitated, in part, by excellent chiropractic care throughout her pregnancy. In fact, she had a chiropractic appointment earlier in the afternoon and it was as she was leaving that appointment that active labor kicked in and moved swiftly. If you are planning a natural birth, I cannot more strongly recommend excellent chiropractic care to help baby get in the optimal position for an easy delivery and to help your body alignment for the birth process as well.
– This slideshow is a bit more graphic than what I normally post. Not overly so or inappropriately so, but in my opinion the photographs I have chosen to include are incredibly powerful and necessary. Part of why I do what I do is to present publicly a *different* view of birth than what you may see in the media. These images portray the ecstasy, the gentleness, the intimacy, the incredibly beautiful REALITY of birth in a way that simply wouldn’t be as evident in this story if I had only chosen the more modest images. Please proceed at your own discretion.
Many thanks to Aimee and Desiree of Ten Moons Midwifery, who did an excellent job trusting Bonnie to birth her baby and served her in exactly the way she needed. It is *wonderful* to work with care providers who trust birth.
Music credit: “Charity Instrumental” by The Likes of Us, licensed through The Music Bed