Serene homebirth in the Foothills of West Denver, Birth Photography
As a friend of this couple, I don't even know where to start with this story. Laura and I have been friends for 8-9 years, and we were pregnant with our first children together in 2011, choosing the same care providers and delivering within 36 hours of each other. Our girls have grown up together and our family was thrilled when they were expecting baby #2. It took a while for them to decide on homebirth, I don't think anyone chooses it lightly, and their home could not be more perfect for a serene and peaceful birth setting. I didn't know if our friends would choose to do birth photography and I actually put it out of my mind, assuming they would not opt for it. But as I photographed other births, I could see Laura's interest in it grow, and I was thrilled that they were first entertaining the idea and then chose to do birth photos of their homebirth. The entire pregnancy, I pictured Laura laboring through the night, walking on her deck, on a warm spring evening, with a bright moon and stars. Oh, how wrong I was! We had a surprise snowstorm that dumped over a foot of snow in May, in Denver and the foothills. Laura said she felt like this baby would be a snowstorm baby, but it turns out she was a 'snow melting' baby instead. Mama went into labor after the snowstorm ended, and slowly labored all night and a full morning and afternoon before the midwife and I were called to arrive around 4pm. When I arrived the couple was in the hot tub, and Laura was working through a contraction.
Take a minute to see more about this amazing birth story, which includes laboring with deer in the background. It was picture perfect.
When I arrived, the snow was melting fast and Laura and David were making their last trip to the hot tub. Labor was getting more intense and Laura didn't think she'd be in the tub again. The tub was turned to warm, it was 50-60 degrees outside and she used the tub for early - mid labor, long before her water broke.
I got my gear out and chatted with their doula and daughter Amelia. She was very excited for the baby to come. I went outside and snapped some shots of Laura laboring in the hot tub, it was obvious the contractions were getting more intense. I started to look around on the deck, as I usually do, checking to see what wildlife I might see. And then it happened, the deer came down the mountain, went under (and over) the fence and took residence in their yard for a few hours. Laura labored, the deer ate, we all watched them and I, as the photographer, got a little giddy about how awesome these photos would be.
Can you tell Avery-dog just wants to chase the deer?!
While I pictured such beauty with this birth, I never expected this! Which is actually silly because I come to their house to take photos of deer and elk, but I just assumed she'd give birth at night, most natural births are at night. I am not complaining though, because this is just amazing.
After the midwife arrived Laura was ready to head up to her birthing room, their bedroom. She could still see the deer outside of the window and Sena their midwife had arrived, she checked Laura, who was doing well, and helped remind her how to breathe to make the most of each contraction.
Sena using the fetoscope to listen to babies (surprise gender) heartbeat. I am so in love with this image.
This bump, its so beautiful!
While mama labors, big sister waits with her doula, Jasmine, from Earth Mama Empowered Birthing, and eat mac and cheese, her favorite.
Their daughter came in to cheer on mama, she was offered the option to stay or go, as labor intensified and she wanted to stay with mama. She watched labor and delivery with her sibling doula, Jasmine, from Earth Mama Empowered Birthing. Amelia was definitely not scared, she was well prepared and happy to watch her baby sister being born!
Laura was working through very strong contractions, suddenly things got intense and it was time to get in the water.
Dad caught baby and helped baby onto mama's chest! Elation here, babies head is out, and seconds later, baby was on Laura. And its a ................................ girl! With a full head of dark brown hair and dark eyes.
Birthed into water, into her fathers arms, a baby GIRL is born! She was welcomed by her big sister, two midwives, and sibling doula.
Big sister got to meet her new baby sister and dad got to hold baby while mama got in the bath.
After birth mama did an herbal bath, a great way to bond with baby and heal after birth. A little while later Sena weighed and measured baby. She was healthy and nearly 9 lbs of perfection!
After a long night and full day of labor and birth, this mama looked amazing.
TStay tuned for her birthing day story written in her own words soon! Welcome Madeline and thank you Laura, David and Amelia for sharing this day with all of us, it shows what homebirth really can be.
Midwife, Sena Johnson, Lakewood Colorado. Assistant Midwife, Gina Gerboth, Denver, Colorado
Doula Jasmine from Earth Mama Empowered Birthing (sibling doula)
If you are interested in your own birthing day story documentation, please contact me, whether its a hospital birth or a homebirth, I am booking for 2014 due dates now! Ask about my complimentary maternity sessions when a birth is booked too!
To read another homebirth story, click here.