I knew this little guy's entrance into this world was going to be special. I went to bed on Sunday night with a feeling stirring in my soul...I knew I wouldn't get much sleep. I made double sure my gear was packed, charged, and ready to go. I texted my best friend and told her I had a funny feeling and I may be dropping the kids by sometime soon! At 3:22am I woke up from an apparently light sleep and decided to get a drink of water. At 3:27am, my phone rang and there was a laboring mama on the other end.
There's something very surreal about arriving to a home at 4:29 in the morning. It's that time of night where it's darkest before dawn, you know? Dew is on the ground, the porch light glowing like a beacon signaling the birth team and I can just make out the sheets hanging on the clothesline. Everything is perfectly quiet and completely still. Inside, even the house is silent except for classical piano concertos playing softly beside her. It was so quiet, I was convinced my sandals were a distraction and I proceeded barefoot for a few hours. Arriving at such an emotionally intimate scene, I almost felt like I was intruding. And so, it began. I watched her labor. I watched her be supported by an ever present husband. It was like they were the only two beings that existed in that time and space- together working so hard to bring baby into this world. I watched her belly move and change with each contraction. As the sun began to rise on Independence Day, filling this sacred birthing space with creamy morning light, I watched as mama continued to work to get her sweet baby earthside.
Brother and sisters began to wake up, the scent of coffee and bacon wafted in and out of the rooms through the open doors. It was like smelling pure comfort.
Midwives watched over mama protectively, but from a distance, allowing her the space and freedom to work with her baby and her body. The pool was filled while a festive parade was organized outside with the neighborhood children.
Rain began to fall softly and the minutes ticked by as mama eased into the water. Every second we were getting closer to watching a miracle happen. And soon, he took my breath away as he made his way into this world.
Greeted by his mommy, daddy, a team of midwives, myself, and a little later- his sweet siblings.
What a lucky little boy! His birthday celebration will always end with magical displays of fireworks high in the sky.
Here are a few shots from his beautiful birth, shared with permission. Please visit www.sevencitiesmidwifery.com (Seven Cities Midwifery) for more information on their services- they were amazing. And if you'd like to discuss me attending your birth and documenting your birth story, use the contact feature above and we will start planning for the big day!
Mondays aren't so bad, even in Norfolk, Virginia on a hot, humid, and overcast day. Sometimes miracles happen on Mondays. And this image- this is the culmination of 9 long months of waiting for 3 little boys, 2 special friends, a pair of grandparents, and a mom and dad. Can you see her little head there resting peacefully on Nana's shoulders while the little ones eagerly climb up to greet her? And proud Poppa standing by getting even more pictures. Pure. Bliss. Everyone's birth story is different. Each little miracle makes its way into the world in a unique way. And she is no exception. For me, this single image brought the story full circle.
Can't believe you're here now
Tiny dream come true
The answer to a prayer now
I'm so in love with you
Couldn't wait to meet you
Hope you like your name
I get the funny feeling
Life will never be the same -- Matthew West
I began telling their story from the moment they walked out of their home. They shouted, "Today is the day! We get to see our sister!" I even got a high five. From walking into the hospital and going into the waiting room, to listening to a prayer said by the biggest brother for the safety of their brave and courageous Mommy, Daddy, baby sister, and even the doctors... the Lord hears and honors your prayers big guy. To watching them press their ears up against the door, breathlessly waiting to hear the sweet sound of a screaming baby. I was so caught up in the moment, I thought my heart would explode. When that faint cry was heard, the feeling was indescribable. Joy, tears, relief, excitement, wonder, anticipation, happiness... Biggest brother was like a new Daddy, walking around the room hugging, smiling ear to ear, and shaking hands. And then returning to his post at the door to hear her again. It was a moment I'll never forget.
This is why birth photography matters. Moments like this will not go unseen or be forgotten. The story will be forever recorded. The big brother's stories are eternally and intrinsically intertwined with hers.
Now, the new chapter has begun. Where will her story go? Who will she grow up to be?
Here's just a little peek into her story. Which one speaks to you?
Mommy has been outnumbered for a long time. The only female to commiserate with under their roof is their dog. Life with three boys is always busy, usually loud, and 99% of the time there is an element of dirt involved. But, oh! What a good life it is to live!
There's something about being a boy mom, raising those little boys to be honorable men in this great big world. All that is about to change...but it isn't a bad thing. It's going to be an amazing and wonderful thing! Daddy is about to have a little girl to love. Soon, he will be painting nails and having tea parties. He'll even dress her in ruffles.
And those sweet little boys will have a sister to play with. They'll teach her all about the Avengers and Star Wars. They will groom her to be a fearless defender of the galaxy. They'll teach her to talk and count, they'll teach her to jump off things, and they'll teach her to pray. They will teach her about kindness and giving. One day, they will go outside with Daddy teach her how to change a flat tire and how to do a burnout in the Mustang. And Mommy will always be her best friend, because, that's just the way it is.
But for right now, we will wait on her precious arrival. The last weeks seem to go on forever. That last week is approximately 847 days long. I know moms out there can sympathize with that, right? Right? Final preparations are being made. The house is cleaned, diapers are prepped, clothes are washed and put away, hospital bag is packed, car seats are arranged, Mommy got that one last pedicure, and everyone is waiting on family to arrive from out of town. There's not much left to do but wait.
The family invited me into their home to document this bittersweet time of waiting. That precious time between tired of being pregnant and her long awaited arrival...the last addition to the family. That bittersweet waiting period knowing that a chapter of your life is about to end, but a new and exciting one is beginning.
So, of course I came to document. And it was so sweet. I know this family personally and I feel fairly certain all of their personalities were captured perfectly. They read together, baked cookies, Daddy and the littlest picked their daily vegetable harvest, they wrestled, there was crying, there was quiet time, there was cuddle time, they were barefoot, there was dinner prep time, and there was play time. And all around there was hints of the sweet new life about to be welcomed into the family. It was just a normal Sunday morning in their household. But, the story is there and it's always a beautiful one.
Here's a few from my day with them.
If you'd like me to come to your home and document your family for you, then let's chat. Contact me using the contact tab above or on Facebook . I'm on Instagram @jess.nicole.photography too!
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.