I don't know how much more emotion could be present than there is at the birth of a baby. The aching longing for that someone, then nine months (and a week, in this case) of expecting and then the beauty of meeting a little person who has already captured her parents heart and soul. I never am good at remembering it, but I had been carrying my cell phone in my pocket for three solid weeks, ready for a call from Misty that her baby was on the way. She assured me that she'd be late...and she was right on. She was trying her hardest to go into labor but it's always out of our control, isn't it?
I got the call from David on Friday night that they were at the birth center and things were starting to roll. I packed some snacks, grabbed my bags, and headed out, very excited.
When I arrived it was so peaceful. It was cozy and soft music was playing. The room was beautiful and smelled wonderful. Misty was in the tub with candles on. I unpacked my camera and our friend, Kellie, arrived, ready to be a support to Misty and David. Donna, Misty's sweethearted mom, was beaming and excited and David gave us a hug as we all got settled in.
Now I am all about women doing whatever they need to do to get through a birth...whatever comfort measures, whatever support. I know that birth and the whole process can make one feel as completely out of control and undone as imaginable.
Misty, unbelievably, made it look amazingly beautiful. She was so focused and peaceful as she breathed deeply. She accepted iced drinks, had cold washcloths on her neck and quietly breathed through contraction after contraction. We prayed for her quietly, sat beside the tub, and noticed that though the contractions seemed long and hard, she was composed.
I was a noisy, overwhelmed, pleading-for-someone-to-tell-me-when-it-would-end sort of woman in labor...so I was impressed :) .
She was no complaining mama but just around this time, she whispered sweetly to David, "Please don't breathe on me." He grinned at us and moved back a little. I have to say, he was incredibly supportive and in tune with his wife.
About two hours after we arrived, her midwife was going to check Misty's progress. Kellie and I were quietly saying we hoped she wouldn't be too disappointed at having a ways to go because she was still so calm. Less than two minutes later, Savannah Grace was born. What do we know?
I still cry every time I look at Misty's and her mom's faces.
I adore the way her mom is cradling her head.
Tearful, happy bliss. Misty was overjoyed. "I have a girl! I have a girl!!"
It feels like such a miracle to watch a little soul connect with the ones who love her the most. What a precious gift from God.
She was weighed and measured and proclaimed to look like a girl version of her brother, Hayden.
There was so much love in that room.
Nancy, Misty's midwife, was skilled and knowlegdeable. She has assisted thousands of women to have their babies. After the birth she smiled and said, "Wasn't that fun??"
Misty's dad, Gary, arrived for a cuddle with his granddaughter. He couldn't stop grinning.
Hayden gave his mama a great big hug.
Here is Savannah with two special ladies, Nancy, and Kellie.
Savannah Grace, you are a gift from God's heart in every way. You are wanted. You are loved. You are beautiful.
Misty and David, I cannot express how thankful I am that you allowed me to share in this amazing time of welcoming your daughter. It was a very personal and intimate time and I do not take lightly the privilege of being a part of it. I hope these photographs will always remind you of the miracle of your girl. Misty, you were made to birth babies, my friend. You were incredible.
Savannah, I will see you tomorrow for your newborn pictures, dear girl.
***A few notes on the photography for this special event for any of my photography loving friends who may be interested. The lighting was very, very dim which always makes a photographer a bit nervous. I was wanting to avoid my flash for a more organic feel and for the practical purposes of not disrupting this beautiful time. I had my camera at a high ISO using my 50 mm 1.4. I shot wide open for most of the birth which is why there is a lot of bokeh (blur) with a tight focal point. Because of the high ISO there is a bit of noise but I feel like it also adds something to the raw experience of the moment. I learned a lot doing it....mostly that I LOVE photographing births. I am not quite sure how much I can fit into my schedule but I am definitely excited to do more of it.