This birth holds a special place in my heart. It was the 20th birth I photographed, but even more importantly, it was my first repeat client. Karen was my second portfolio client back in 2012. Her first birth was a planned home birth turned hospital transfer after 24 hours of hard labor with not a lot of progress. It was another 12 hours in the hospital before Kimbel Aaron was born. I was with her for more than 24 hours, and as only my second birth photography experience, it might have been enough to scare me away. Yet it had the opposite effect: I didn’t just document this family’s journey, I journeyed with them. I felt their fears and cried their tears, and discovered in the process that the ability to experience what your client experiences is how emotional, evocative imagery is made. I also learned the importance of telling the whole story, even when (or especially when) things don’t go as planned.
This, Karen’s second birth, was so very very different than her first. (I am SO glad that we mothers only have to do a “first birth” once!) Despite a sprained hip and limited mobility, thanks to a morning chiropractic adjustment by the wonderful Dr. Andrino of Chiropractic Associates, Karen went into labor that night and had a fast 8 hour labor. I know that it felt fast and furious to her, but to the outside observer it was quick and peaceful. Junah was born into daddy’s hands in the water after just a few pushes. I was so blessed to be able to be present for this experience.