September 10, 2019

andrea sarasin :: a birth story

When Erika first contacted me last December, she wrote the following:

“I’ve been terrified of child birth long before I even wanted children. Your photographs and videos are the first thing I’ve ever seen/heard that have made me not only not horrified, but actually EXCITED! Like, I might get to be one of those amazing, bad-ass, rockstar women! Amazing.”

Her words and her obvious passion instantly made me feel connected to her, which is why I agreed to photograph her birth story even though my own baby would be barely 2 months old (I was not planning to return to births quite so soon!)

From that first email I knew I was meant to be at Erika’s birth. She and her husband, Jaimie, have been married for ten years and trying for a baby for six. This was a very, very wanted baby and a very, very long road to get here.

When I heard from Jaimie the morning of July 13, he told me that Erika appeared to be in early labor…contractions irregular enough that he had not yet identified a pattern. I have a habit of going to births too early and then being there for lots and lots of hours, and I was hesitant to do that with my tiny baby at home, so I pressed for more information. Jaimie stayed completely calm about everything which had the effect of convincing me that she was not in active labor yet! Haha. Imagine my surprise when he told me they had gotten to the hospital and things were in full swing. I heard later from Erika that she was totally just taking her time, thinking that labor was going to last a full 24 hours or more. Unbeknownst to everybody (except maybe her awesome doula) she was being blessed with a fast birth! Once I realized this was the case I jumped in the car and got to the hospital as quickly as I could!

It wasn’t long after I arrived at the hospital that Erika started pushing. I think there was barely a dry eye in the room throughout the whole process. So thankful to the wonderful midwives at GW Hospital and also to Erika’s doula, Casey (from DC Birth Doulas.) She was so well supported in her birth, and I am thrilled to report that yes, she got to be “one of those amazing, bad-ass, rockstar women!”

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