Happy to share with you a beautiful in-home newborn session I recently captured. This family is incredibly special to me. They are beyond friends, they’re more like family to me. We have a long history together and each new “life story” like this makes me feel grateful to get to experience it along side them. I’ve known baby William’s Mama, Sarah, since she was a baby. I’ve captured her story from high school to engagement, wedding and now a new baby. She and Scott are such a great team together. They pour their heart into everything they hope to tackle together. Just look at William’s nursery pictured below. They had a vision and worked together to make it a welcoming space for their son.
Sarah and I were talking about William’s birth story recently. She recalled how well things went and how she didn’t want to forget anything about the experience. The next day she had it all typed up in my email inbox and I wanted to share it here, alongside his images. This is my goal with photography. To create images as “story starters” for the next generation. I can imagine Sarah, Scott and William cuddling up together and recalling what “life looked like” in their home the week they brought him home from the hospital. They have images to share with him as well as memories of all those first experiences at home.
Without further adieu, here is William’s Birth Story-
“Wednesday evening, January 4th I was leaving work as snow started to fly. “Be careful on the way home,” my mom said over my Bluetooth speaker as I made the 40 minute trek home that evening.
As I was being aware of my surroundings and watching the cars around me, I kept feeling a twinge of pain right underneath my bump, almost right at my underwear line. ‘This darn weather’, I thought to myself. Driving in bad weather always makes me a little nervous, so I chalked up the twinges to that.
I get home and continue with my usual routine. My husband was back on 2nd shift after being on 1st shift for awhile, so it was back to an average evening. Get home, let the dog out, make a Jack’s frozen pizza (couldn’t get enough of those) and planned on relaxing after dinner since I was still feeling those twinges.
I relaxed on the couch and started watching Fuller House, hoping some cheesy comedy would take my mind off this annoying pain I was having. Was it Braxton Hicks? Was it actual contractions? I wasn’t sure. So I called my mom and she described what her contractions were like, and mine were nothing similar at all. “I’ll call you back in a bit,” I said.
While all this was going on, our very instinctive Belgian Malinois was acting a little strange and wouldn’t leave my side. At one point, I saw him look right past me and move his eyes down the hall. We always wonder if he senses some loved ones that we’ve lost, and that thought came to my mind at that moment.
I remember texting my husband at 6:51 that night saying, “One week from now, we will be walking into Bergan getting ready to start a new journey together.” Little did I know, at 8:21 I would be calling telling him that my water broke! So much for our scheduled induction date; our son had other ideas.
With my parents living 2 minutes away, they picked me up to take me to Bergan while my husband met us there. We got there around the same time. A smirk was shown on my husband’s face as I waddled into the lobby with a towel in between my legs. The water just wouldn’t stop!
We got settled in the labor and delivery room and I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. I believe that nothing is a coincidence and I think it was all chalked up to His perfect timing.
I labored through the contractions fairly well with the Pitocin. My contractions were the same twinges I was feeling on the way home. There was more than one time, where I would ask my mom or husband to look at the screen to see if I was having a contraction. They were not as bad as I thought, for sure!
My contractions kept coupling and little guy’s heart rate would drop a bit, so the resident doctor came in and said they would like to order the epidural for me to feel more comfortable and to get our little guy’s heart rate under control. At that point, I was probably 3-4cm and felt ready. This was the scariest part for me, though. I’ve had many surgeries in my past and this was the most ‘surgical’ portion of it for me. I started to shake as they got the epidural ready and my husband and amazing nurse, was right by my side at this point. I remember my husband asking one of the students for my phone as a small rage burst inside of me. ‘Why would he want my phone right now?’ I was thinking.
He grabbed my phone and turned on Pandora to Hillsong radio. That was one thing I wanted was Christian music playing when I felt anxious. So thankful that he remembered that, at that moment. Immediately this song started playing:
“You give life/You are love/You bring light to the darkness/You give hope/You restore/Every heart that is broken/Great are You Lord/It’s your breath in our lungs/So we pour out our praise/We pour out our praise”
I couldn’t believe how perfect that moment was. I was no longer thinking of the anxiety of the epidural, but how my ‘calming’ song came on at the most opportune time. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of that moment.
Once the epidural started, I progressed fast! I remember we used the peanut ball quite a bit, which was amazing. At one point, my husband thought he had enough time, so he went downstairs to get some breakfast. That was cut short when he gets a call from my dad saying, “You might want to get up here. Sarah’s at 9.5 cm” I went from 4 cm to 9.5 cm in an hour!
He hurried back and it was baby time. The amazing labor and delivery staff was keeping my Dr updated and what felt like forever, she was finally there. I joked that we were a little early for our 9am appointment (we had my 38 week appointment that day!) I was at a +3 when she came to check me and I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone change into scrubs that fast.
Only 15 minutes of pushing later, at 8:46am on January 5th 2017, our 6 lbs 10 oz sweet William Henry entered this world. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I’m so glad that I agreed on this journey with my husband. I would be missing out on so much, if I let my anxiety of the labor take control. I had nothing to fear. And now I get to stare at this beautiful human being that my husband and I created for the rest of my life.
I’m so thankful. Great are you Lord.”