This birth story is a very special one for me, mostly because of the people involved! I’ve been friends with both Scott and Irene for more than 15 years, since we were all in college – before they were married, before they were even a couple! I watched them get together, get married, start their life together – and Irene was one of my very first “models” when I was “playing around with my new camera” almost 8 years ago and then again 4 years later when I needed someone to practice on when I first started shooting film. Her 2nd birth was also one of the first home births I photographed, so you could say that Scott and Irene and their family have been a big part of my photography journey!
There’s really nothing equivalent to being invited into such amazing moments for people you care so much about. But in addition to all that, I just love watching Irene as she labors and has babies. She was incredibly “zen” during the last few weeks of this pregnancy, completely missing the angst that is so common when you are SO DONE with pregnancy and just want to meet your baby. Her due date came and went and she was totally cool with it…really an awesome example of surrendering to the process of growing and birthing a baby. Once you realize you’re not in control (and stop trying to be!) it really is so much easier. Irene carried that sense of “ease” with her into labor. When I arrived at their home at 2 pm, she was extremely relaxed and her contractions seemed relatively mild. Just three hours later, after what seemed like *maybe* fifteen minutes of transition and only a few pushes, Saoirse (seer-sha) Maeve entered the world with a nuchal hand and a sweet whimpering cry. The next few hours were like an oxytocin bath – full of so much love for this new little one, so many snuggles, so many smiles and exclamations of joy.
This is why I love birth.