The Birth of Lillian

Upstate Birth Network is to thank for me meeting Ally.
I was tagged in a post looking for a doula to help a local military mama, whose husband was deployed and would not be able to attend the birth of his daughter. I immediately knew I wanted to offer my services to help capture the day, so that dad could experience her birth through photos.
I set up a meeting with Ally a few days later. I knew from the moment I met her that documenting Lillian’s birth was going to be so much fun.
On December 16th I received a message that things seemed to be progressing, but I had time. So I got my daughter ready and took her to her grandparents. Once I got back to Greenville I started to text with her doula to see where things were.
She seemed to be progressing fairly quick and I worried I wouldn’t make it in time.
Luckily, I got there in plenty of time to meet and get to know her wonderful mother-in-law and her energetic aunt. Her doula had been at the last birth I photographed, so I was excited to work by her side again.
We all spent the day laughing and getting to know everyone as Ally rested, waiting patiently for Lillian to make her appearance. Sometime later that night, the midwife came in and made the call that it was time to try to push.
Ally pushed for a few hours, taking a couple breaks in between, Lillian did not want to come.
Luckily Ally had an open mind and was prepared to have a c-section if it was needed. And in the end that is what was needed.
Thankfully they allowed me to come into the OR and photograph Lillian’s entrance into the world.
I felt so honored to be a part of her birth-day and to be able to help document the day, so dad could see how his daughter came into the world. And of course both Dad and Grandma were ecstatic to meet Lillian!

The Home Birth of Janie

Katelyn contacted me when she was only a few weeks pregnant and was sure she wanted someone to capture her daughter’s entrance into the world. I was more than excited that she chose me.
On December 9th, I received the call at 2am. Labor had started. I rushed my daughter to her grandparents and headed her way.
When I arrived Katelyn and her husband were in their bedroom working through contractions. So not to bother them, I only snuck in when the midwife went to check on her to snap a couple photos.
The midwives, doula, and her friends sat patiently at her kitchen table and waited. I enjoyed getting to know the lovely ladies she had chosen to be a part of her birth space.
Katelyn eventually made her way out of the bedroom to give everyone a Christmas present, shirts that said “Home is Where the Birth is”.
Afterwards she retreated to the birth tub to ease contractions. We all decided to let her rest and go grab breakfast at Denny’s.
Once we finished eating and made our way back to her house, she was in her bedroom, bouncing on the birth ball. Her midwife decided to help her baby’s position and used the rebozo. Shortly after, we all went back to the living room and rest ourselves.
We all napped a couple hours when the midwife made the decision that we should all go home for the day and let Katelyn visit her chiropractor.
I waited patiently all day by the phone hoping to get the call.
I decided to get some rest and went to bed at 9pm.
Around 9:30, Thomas, Katelyn’s husband sent me a text telling me things were picking back up, but to wait. The midwives joked that she had a “shy uterus” so having so many people around slowed her labor. So I went back to sleep, waking up every hour or so to check my phone. Again, at 2am on December 10th, I received a call. Her water had finally broke. I jumped in my car and headed back her way.
To my surprise, the door was answered with a “she’s here”.
I was so bummed I missed her entrance into the world, but once her water broke, Janie came barreling into their arms 15 minutes later. Luckily I was still able to get some beautiful photos of mom & dad loving on their new bundle of joy and of the very intimate cord burning ceremony. I also was able to capture Janie doing the “breast crawl”.
Even though I missed the actual birth, I loved being a part of Katelyn’s birth team. There was so much love in the air and I think this birth was the one that brought me further into our wonderful birth community.
Janie Lark made her mama work for it, but she, of course, was more than worth it!

The Birth of Annika

I’ve know Erin for a long time. She has always been a woman of determination. She has the most contagious laugh and I always felt honored to be her friend.
On November 27th, 2016 I got the call that Erin thought labor had started.
Since it had been a while since we had seen each other, we spent time in between contractions joking about old times, and catching up. With every contraction, Erin would get quiet, not a sound made, and work through it like a champ.
At the time, there was another baby being seen at the birth center, and it seemed that every time they would cry, Erin’s body would respond with a contraction, so she decided to turn on some music. Erin, being the eccentric woman she is, didn’t pick your typical soothing music station, instead she turned on a crunk station. She said she wanted to feel “gangster”. Not too long after turning music on she calmly told someone to grab the midwife. She knew she was ready to meet Annika.
Once the midwife came in the room, Erin told her that she was starting to “freak out a little” so she knew the time to push was close. The midwife got her comfortable in the bed and proceeded to get everything set up. Erin grabbed daddy’s hand and got ready to push.
Still, with very little sound, Erin pushed.
Not many pushes later, Annika Rain made her entrance into the world.
Big brother had been waiting patiently in the other room, with his grandma, for the arrival of baby sister.
He was so excited to finally meet her.
Welcome to the world Annika Rain! We are so glad to meet you and watch you grow!

The Birth of Sawyer

On October 21st I got the call.
“She’s pushing and has been pushing for a bit!”
In a panic I woke my sleeping 1.5 year old and grabbed my Ergo. (I hoped she would go back to sleep, but was excited to see her reaction since she will be a part of her baby brothers birth in January/February 2017.) We flew to Robyn’s house to find her already in the tub, surrounded by her beautiful support team of women.
Sadly, Robyn’s husband was out of town on business, but was on his way home. This made me photographing this birth all the more special. It was my goal to make sure he felt every amazing emotion when he saw the photos.
With my toddler on my back (who did not go back to sleep, and was so excited to see a baby be born), I photographed Robyn push for about an hour or so. She pushed with such ease, and was even able to hold small conversations and smile in-between contractions. She encouraged baby to come and listened to her Hypnobabies tracks. At the time, we didn’t know what the gender was unknown. How exciting?!
Once Sawyer arrived, new Mom, Robyn called her husband, Michael, to announce their little one had arrived. Daddy insisted on not knowing the gender yet, but said baby sounded like a Sawyer to him. Little did he know, he was right!
Robyn chatted with Dad for a bit while snuggling her sweet little man. Admiring the beautiful boy she just peacefully brought into the world. Once she was comfortable on the couch, big sister Honey and Bella were more than excited to meet their new addition.

The Birth of Madeline

I fell in love with Marla & Stuart as soon as I met them for their maternity session.
They were full of energy, knowledge and so much love. I looked forward to documenting the arrival of their sweet baby girl.
On Thursday, September 22nd, I got a text from Marla saying there might be a slight change of plans from her original plans to birth at home. Her blood pressure was elevated so they wanted to keep her over night and keep an eye on things. She said she planned to take her headphones and listen to some relaxing music. I told her to keep me updated with everything and I would be ready to come to her.
Friday, they decided that an induction was the best move. The doctors & nurses at Greenville Memorial were amazing at helping Marla still be able to stick to some of her original birth plan of keeping things as natural as possible. They tried a mechanical induction to get her started.
They let her rest Friday night and decided to start Pitocin on Saturday the 24th. We kept in touch all day, as things slowly progressed. The night came, and they let Marla get a little more rest.
Sunday the 25th she started having more intense waves, so I decided to stay in touch with her friend/doula so she could focus more. Later that day I got the call that I should head that way.
When I arrived Marla was in definite labor. I loved watching her friend soothe and talk her through her contractions, as her husband, Stuart, wrapped his arms around her to let her rest her head, or simply placed a hand on her chest to help keep her grounded. The love in this room was felt by everyone who entered.
Marla labored for quite a while naturally, until she decided she needed the rest and got the epidural. We all took a little nap while she used the peanut ball. It wasn’t long before baby was ready and Marla started to push.
She pushed with such strength and determination, but after a while of pushing, the doctor was afraid baby’s head was stuck behind the pelvic bone. At this time, talk of a cesarean began. It was obviously not Marla & Stuarts ideal way to bring their sweet baby into the world, but at this time they decided it was the best choice for baby & mama.
We all got our scrubs on, and headed to the OR.
Early Monday morning, on September 26th, baby Madeline Lindsey made her arrival. Mom & dad were over the moon to meet their little girl, and it felt like the world stood still still as Dad held her for the first time and Mom put her cheek to hers.


The VBAC Birth of Zaylee

This birth was such an empowering experience.

My dear friend dreamed of having her VBAC with her sweet little girl, and she did absolutely everything she could to make it possible. With her son, she was induced. On top of that, she was unable to progress, so they decided a c-section was the best option.

BirthofZaylee (11 of 110)

On August 11th, I got the call that labor had start naturally, which she was ecstatic to experience this time around. She was determined to labor naturally, and she did for 12 hours before getting an epidural. She needed some rest.

BirthofZaylee (14 of 110)

Unfortunately, despite the epidural, she continued to feel almost every contraction. It took special doses of medicine to help her get an hour or so of rest, here and there. She struggled through the night to get at least a few hours of sleep.

BirthofZaylee (40 of 110)

Finally, after a total of 36 hours of labor, on August 12th, she received the news she had been waiting for.

She was a 10, and baby girl’s head was engaged. I have never seen a mama so eager to push! Within 3 pushes, baby Zaylee made her appearance.

BirthofZaylee (74 of 110) copy

I have never seen someone so in love, so proud, & so excited. She had such a determined mind, & such an amazing support team, I knew she would be able to do it!!

BirthofZaylee (75 of 110)

Congratulations mama!! You are amazing!

The Birth of Foster

I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the birth of little Foster on July 7th, 2016.
Boy, did his mom make giving birth look easy!
I got the call around 7am that Thursday morning that things were starting up.
Foster (27 of 168)
Once I arrived at Greenville Memorial, Lindsey was already at 8cm. She had only arrived a few hours before so she was moving along quickly.
Despite being in active labor, she continued to do what Mom’s do best by keeping up with her older three, along with video taping them as they waited patiently to meet baby brother. Fosters big brothers and sister ran around the room playing hide and seek behind the curtains, cuddling with Grandma and Grandpa, and loving on Mom as she labored. They kept everyone well entertained as we waited.
It wasn’t long before her doctor came in and told her she was a 10 and ready to push.
Foster (77 of 168)
A few pushes later, at 11:22am, a sweet little boy entered the world.
Foster (104 of 168)
At that time, his name remained a mystery. Mom and Dad invited his older siblings in the room to finally meet the little boy they had been waiting on for nine months.
Once everyone had the chance to see this new bundle of joy, Mom and Dad introduced…
Foster (161 of 168)

Foster Stone.