Those who know me, know how passionate I am about birth, and about Birth photography. The birth of your child is one of the most defining moments of your life, how could you not have a professional photographer capture those memories! As a birth photographer living in Moncton, NB, I usually won’t accept to shoot any labours that are too far away.
Ten years ago I traveled to Chicago to shoot this dynamic couple’s wedding. So when Beth told me that they were expecting again, I joked “Want me to photograph the birth?” to which she immediately replied “YES!”. Later, when they approached me to ask what it would take to have me travel to Seattle to shoot this birth, my initial reaction was “I can’t do that”, followed immediately by “Can I do that? Why can’t I do that?”. And so a plan was set in place, and dates were chosen, and we crossed our fingers that baby would decide to arrive during the days allotted to my visit.
My excitement for travel was hampered by my falling ill with influenza just before my departure. And then early labour and some contractions started while I was en route, and we were scared that I might miss the birth by mere hours! Cross your legs Beth! Thankfully, I arrived before baby did. And so the birth story commences: My first day in Seattle we took a hike – literally – in hopes of encouraging those irregular contractions into something more. We drove into the city centre to give me a taste of the town. Then we went home and called the midwife. She came over with a bag of goodies and some encouraging words to help labour along. The other kids dropped in to say hello (they were staying with grandparents nearby). And we waited.
2:30am – I receive word that it’s go time. Midwives are on their way and daddy is filling up the birthing tub. There’s a lot of excitement in the air. Unfortunately, all that excitement cause the labour to stall. Beth and Joey tried a sunrise walk with some coffee to get things going again, but soon it was obvious that we baby had taken a break. The midwives headed out (to another birth, coincidentally) and momma and dad went for a small rest.
Later that morning – Contractions hit in full force. Then disappear without warning. This is becoming a pattern. Weird.
Lunch Time – Momma decides to just enjoy the day as though nothing is happening. (Good idea, in my opinion). So we head out to one of dad’s favourite bakeries. It’s apparent to me before we even leave that active labour has begun now for good, but since no one wants to get their hopes up we head out, and try to act as non-chalant as possible as contraction after contraction leaves Beth speechless in the middle of the cafe. It’s time to head home and call those midwives back.
(Now, secretly I am hoping that the midwives won’t arrive on time, and that I’ll have to deliver the baby myself. Because that would be a great story! Unfortunately, or fortunately, that did not happen. )