Madelyn's Birth

  • "It's like a storm - that cuts a path -
  • it breaks your will - it feels like that
  • you think you're lost - but you're not lost
  • out on your own---you're not alone."

Every birth seems to have a theme song. This one was definitely "I won't let go" by Rascal Flatts. In particular a cover sang by two Norwegian sisters. So if you are wanting to get into my head and heart behind this post--listen to this while you read and take in Madelyn's birth story.

Sweet baby Madelyn's birth was a journey of perseverance. Kimberly, her mama is a doula and after having her first child by cesarean, wanted to have a vbac with her second. As the days got closer to the due date I got frequent texts from Kimberly about being in prodomal (early) labor. These texts continued and we ended up at baptist for a warm-up round a few days before the delivery. At this point Kimberly hadn't had good rest in I don't know how many days, and had been up with early labor pains for several nights. Through all of this, she kept smiling and maintained a truly serene presence while persevering. Labor truly is that--labor. And this one was not quick--or easy. Thankfully she had an amazing support team through her husband Dan and amazing doula, Mekelle. Labor it was, yet not in vain as long hours later this sweet mother reached down to help birth her darling daughter in a successful vbac. Tears came as I was capturing those first few moments. With her hands still wearing the red stains of birth, Kimberly clung to the precious fruit of her labor.

This, is birth.

Triumphant, hope-filled.

A sweet picture of redemption. And I couldn't have been more proud of her.

Congratulations, mama. You deserve it.  <3 

Birth of Benjamin

Jessica and I became cyber friends about 3 years ago. We actually had never met in person until last year, but we instantly hit it off as well in person as we had online. She is an amazing mom, a fantastic photographer (she photographed my last birth!), and a homesteader along with her awesome husband, Jeremiah. She captures life beautifully, whether through words or photographs, and is a joy and encouragement to everyone she knows. You can follow her journey here. So when I had the chance to photograph her fifth and final birth, naturally I was overjoyed! 

I got a text around 10 p.m. on March 5th, which was the day after the last giant ice storm hit the central arkansas area. I was super stressed at this point because I was on call for TWO births, one mama was 42 weeks and Jessica was about a week early! And to top it off I had to be in Dallas the next day for a wedding! I had two backups ready and waiting for the births in case they happened while I was out of town, but needless to say I was super relieved to get the first text from Jessica that night. They were headed to Baptist because the roads were getting bad and they wanted to go ahead and be there in case it was the real deal. So I loaded the car and waited for the call to head out. It came and Elvis (blessed man that he is) drove me in his truck through the frozen roads to Baptist hospital in downtown LR. 

I arrived right before midnight to a smiling Jessica, who was definitely in labor but astounding the staff with her easy going attitude. I was pretty surprised myself and they laughingly told me that it was always like this. And Jessica had been praying for a pain free childbirth and was getting just that!  

 At 2:30 a.m. I got a text from my other mama that she was in labor! It was a home birth and the midwife had just left her house from conway, but it was in Benton--about 25 minutes from the hospital where I was. Jessica got checked again and had not progressed, so I called my backup to come to the hospital. Elvis drove me to Benton where I walked in the house and a baby was born 15 minutes later. I was SO thankful that Jessica had called me and I was already in LR, otherwise I would have missed the other birth! I got back to the hospital around 8:30 am and Jessica was still laboring. Shortly after I arrived they did a check and then an ultrasound to confirm what the doctor suspected was a breech baby boy. They did 3 versions in an attempt to change baby Benjamin's position, but he was definitely comfortable as he was! This was an emotional time for everyone except Jessica, who had a supernatural peace about the entire situation. Their doctor (who is now my absolute favorite OBGYN in Arkansas) was ok with my photographing the section, so Miah and I scrubbed in and I witnessed my first Caesarean birth. It was amazing. I am all for vaginal deliveries, but this was such an amazing thing to see. Birth is amazing, period. And they got to do skin to skin right there in OR and Benjamin latched on like a champ almost right away. Even now, words cannot do the entire day justice. I hope you enjoy sweet baby Benjamin's story. 

Congratulations, sweet friend. The way you do life never ceases to inspire me. Congratulations on your full quiver of young men, may they grow tall and be blessed in the Lord, for they shall surely rise to call you blessed. <3