Almost 7 years ago, at 21 years old, I walked into a birth center not knowing what to expect. I knew I wanted to have an experience that left me feeling like I did it right. That I did whatever I could to bring my baby in the world as safely as I could and I found comfort in the option of a birth center. At that time, I had no idea that my birth experience would forever change the way I looked at birth and pregnancy. I saw a new light to pregnancy and birth. I was shown how a group of women could become not only my care givers during my pregnancy but could become people who truly cared for me, and people I would keep in contact with years after my birth. From my very first appointment, to the day I gave birth to my daughter, Vaeh I was treated like nothing mattered except my feelings and my desires. Instead of making sure I was just ok physically, the midwives mended my heart and soul during my pregnancy as well, and for that I am forever thankful.
When I was given the opportunity to go back to the birthing center 7 years later to photograph a birth story, I was filled with joy and knew this would be special to me. From the moment I met Laura and her family, I was completely comfortable with them. We chatted about how she was feeling, and how amazing she looked for being dilated 8 cm. We weren't at the birth center too long before Laura was ready to get into the tub for her water birth. After a short time (and I mean short, she was a rockstar!) sweet Charlotte emerged from the water and a new life was introduced to us all! Surrounded by Laura's family and friends the room was filled with love and calmness. You can see how happy Laura and Steve were just by looking at a few of the photos following her arrival. Charlotte was so content and gently laid on her Mama's chest for skin to skin contact. This birth was something magical, the atmosphere was beautiful, the parents, were happy, and the birth center exceeded expectations as always. For me it was a very bittersweet moment. As I stood in the very same spot I labored and delivered Vaeh in, I was overcome with emotion and thankfulness. I couldn't have had a better experience during Laura's birth, and I am so happy that she allowed me to share such an important moment in her family’s life with them!
Laura you are stronger than you think, and more beautiful than you know <3