Summer’s birth started slowly and ended quickly, despite how mama felt at the time. Jordan arrived at Eastside Birth Center around 10pm in full blown active labor, though early labor began more than 24 hours before. Baby Summer was born in the water at 12:45am. You can read Jordan’s very real account of Summer’s birth here. For today, I’m going to let the photographs (and some video!) speak for me. But of course I’ll share a few things I loved about this birth:
Repeat clients. Not even two years ago, I photographed Jordan as she gave birth to her first child, Wyatt. I first met with Jordan and Ty when she was 20 weeks pregnant with Wyatt and had just found out that he was a boy. Watching a family go from a couple to parents of two children is such an honor, and I am so happy that they have these important life transitions forever documented in images. I’ve said this before, but as a birth photographer, I get so attached to my clients. My job is to unobtrusively document their story, but I am sending them as much positive energy as they can handle from behind the camera. And my repeat clients, well, they get an extra dose.
Respect for baby’s timing. I am saying that Jordan is one of those rare exceptions that proves my rule that siblings, if left to their own devices, want to gestate for approximately the same amount of time. Wyatt was born a few days early, so we all thought Summer would do the same. Not this girl! She decided she would hang out in mama’s belly for right around two weeks longer than her brother. Those of you who have had your babies after your due date know how emotionally challenging that can be. In our society, we frequently evict babies from the womb just because they have stayed inside past their “due” date. But Jordan knew that Summer would choose the right birth day for her, and as hard as it was to wait, SHE DID. Bravo!
Incredible Support. Present at this birth: husband, midwife Christine Thain, midwife student, doula (the lovely Kristin Dibeh of Kind Birth), mother/grandmother, best friend Annie, and her two week old son, father/grandfather (who joined us toward the end and whose presence allowed Jordan to relax and let her baby come). Oh, and me, the birth photographer. Jordan was surrounded by love, and by people who KNEW without a doubt that she could do this.
A different experience. This birth happened in the same birth center with the same midwife, the same support people (except for her father), and in the same tub as Jordan’s first birth experience. But Jordan will be the first person to tell you that this birth experience was VERY different for her. And different is ok. It’s good! We need that reminder as our children are born that they are their own person. Not a second edition of the first child. Someone completely new. Someone who will make her own path and her own choices starting with that first entrance into the world. Births that defy our expectations teach us about ourselves. And it can be hard, but nothing good ever came easy.
Jordan requested that I try my hand at shooting some video at this birth. I made absolutely no promises, but I did give it a shot. And I’m kind of hooked now. You’ll see snippets of video throughout this slideshow. Let me know what you think. And if you might like video of your birth, let’s talk.
Here you have the whole story: The birth of Summer.
For more information on Seattle birth photography, click here.