The story of Malachi Cael began a few months before he made his arrival, with the wedding of his mom and dad, Jessica and Eric. I was so privileged to photograph their wedding (Yes! Occasionally I shoot weddings as well!) on a lovely little farm in the Virginia countryside.
We met up again about a month before the Big Day for a maternity-focused session. I have to say, it really isn’t fair to other pregnant women to look this beautiful and comfortable in the final month of pregnancy!
Just a few weeks after their maternity session, I got a call at 4:30 am from Jessica. She’d been having contractions only since 1:30 am, she said, but they were getting intense. Weighing the likelihood of a first-time mom laboring fast (not super likely) against the likelihood of getting caught in rush hour traffic if I waited much longer (VERY likely), I headed out the door to Jessica and Eric’s home, where I planned to capture her laboring at home “as long as possible” before going to the hospital. I figured if I needed to I could nap on their couch if things took awhile. As it turned out, when I arrived just after 5:30, Jessica was deep in transition. I was only there about 5 minutes before we headed for the hospital. Typically a 20-25 minute drive, we made it there in about 10. (Thank goodness DC hadn’t woken up yet and the streets were pretty empty!) Jessica barely made it into triage before she had to push. Yes, first time moms can have fast and furious labors too. It was the kind of labor that catches you off guard in it’s intensity, that’s over before you have a chance to even process what was happening, the sort that has you clutching your baby to your chest awhile as your mind catches up to your body. It was intensely difficult AND intensely beautiful, and Jessica was a rockstar.
*scroll down below photos for the full birth fusion film*