Olivia was due on the 17th and we all know how due dates go, but this Mama knew her baby girl would be early and she was right! I got the call around midnight. Jen was in labor, around 7 cm and they were ready for me to meet them at the hospital. I walked into their room not sure what to expect, but found Jen smiling and laughing, eating potato chips and joking with her husband and sister. For a second I thought maybe she had gotten an epidural, but then a contraction came and my question was immediately answered. She had not and she was powering through. This strong Mama delivered her baby girl late in the afternoon. It was unpredictable as most labors are and incredibly emotional. I cried, as I usually do, but tried really hard to keep it in. Births and Father/Daughter dances get me every time these days. Thank you to this lovely couple for inviting me back (you can see the birth of their son here) and trusting me to capture Olivia's arrival into this big world. I can’t wait to see these kids grow up! I also agree with their midwife, McCoy baby number three in 2018. No pressure, but you sure make adorable babies. ;-)
Here are some of my favorites from this birth story, which Pat & Jen have graciously allowed me to share. You can see more in the video at the bottom of this blog post. As always, the video does document a birth, but is not graphic and is modest.
I feel like this post could be incredibly long, so I will try to be mindful of my words and let you get to the photos (unless you skip ahead, which is totally fine too!).
Birth is powerful. No matter how a child is born, it’s a powerful moment, full of emotion and love. I had the honor of documenting Gavin’s birth story this week. It was, without a doubt, the best thing I have ever professionally photographed (sorry, Brides!). It was a few days past their due date when I got the call from Jen. Things were in motion and it looked like labor was on! I was nearly as excited as when I first realized that I, myself, was in labor. My camera bag had been packed for days, but I double checked that everything was in working order, called Norah’s grandmother to see if she could possibly watch her later that day, and went on with my business, waiting for additional information. Around 7 p.m. I was told that things were a go and that they were ready for me to meet them at Babymoon Inn. Once I arrived at the birth center, I checked in with Pat & Jen and quietly began documenting their birth story. Jen labored long and hard and Pat’s support was constant. They both also had the support of the staff at Babymoon Inn and their families. After laboring all night long, in the bath, shower, using helpful birth tools, walking around the neighborhood, they were eventually transferred to St. Joe’s hospital where labor progressed and, after days/hours of intense labor, Gavin was born. His arrival was incredibly special. I held it together until the moment that Jen realized how close she was to the end; finally meeting her son face to face. Her expression changed and it was just too much to witness without shedding a tear of joy. She was almost done! It was time. Pat was able to assist and eventually deliver his son and place him on Jen’s chest. Everyone was elated. We had just witnessed these two become parents. Jen was instantly loving on her son and Pat quickly switched over from supportive husband/labor coach to enamored Daddy. It was an amazing experience to be present for this birth and I am forever grateful that they trusted me to capture it.
Please enjoy the following images that Pat & Jen have graciously given permission for me to share.
The video slideshow is modest.
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Thank you to Jen & Pat, their families, the staff at both medical facilities and my Mother-In-Law and Husband, for caring for our baby into the night and being "on call". :)