the birth of junah jack :: northern virginia home birth photographer

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.

  1. Karen says:

    I just want to thank you so much Heidi. I’ve had a lot more mixed feelings after this birth and my reflection on it hasn’t been altogether objective nor particularly positive. However, your photos make me see it in such a different light and remember what I loved about it. Even the things I was feeling less happy about (some grief), I feel very pleased with when I see it in the photos. I think there’s more than pictures here. There’s healing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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