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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bethany, Blake, Barak, and now Brooke! This is a Birth Story.

You might remember my sadness when I missed the birth of Baby Jax.  Jax's mother is a good friend of mine who lives in Texas.  She had always expressed her desire to have me photograph her birth, but unfortunately, it's quite difficult to be on hand the day baby decides to arrive when you live 1000 miles away.  She ended up hiring a quite gifted birth photographer who took some really touching, lovely photos of her birth back in March.
Joy and I have a mutual friend named Bethany.  Bethany and her husband, Blake, attended our church in San Antonio.  Bethany had her first child at the same birth center that I used for Schroeder (see her first birth photos here).  Blake recently took a job in Chicago which is a long way away from both Texas (where his family lives) and California (where her family lives).  And SO they contacted me to ask if I would be interested in photographing the birth of their second child.  YES!  Absolutely!  Please!  So for the past few weeks I've been on alert, waiting for Bethany to call and say she is in labor.  Some nights I went to bed thinking that if she were to call, I wouldn't be able to make it because I was so exhausted.  But she went into labor on the perfect day and at the perfect hour (for me at least :)) and I was able to make the 3.5 hour drive in plenty of time to see baby born.
I'm a huge advocate for home births for women experiencing normal, healthy pregnancies.  This birth was so beautiful.  Bethany labored with such grace and she progressed easily.  There little boy, Barak, toddled around the house until the last hour when things got more intense.  But he came back soon after she arrived to meet his little sister.  Bethany delivered sweet Brooke Michell without any complications.  Here is her birth story in pictures. 

Bethany and Blake are discussing whether they want to have her water broken.  She was at 8cm and the midwives felt that breaking her strong bag would help her move through labor much quicker.  They were right.

After her water was broken, Bethany got in the tub and after a few minutes really began to work.  One long moan and all of a sudden every body was up around the tub.

Blake was working too.  He helped push her hips together to give her some relief.
After only 1.5 hrs of strong labor and a few pushes, Brooke Michelle came into the world!  I love to hear what comes out of mom's mouth at the moment after birth.  It's a cry that just wells up inside.  I think I said this after Maggie was born (14 days after my due date), "Thank you for coming out.  I'm so glad you finally came out."  Bethany said this, "I had my baby!  I had my baby, and I love her.  I love her so much.  I had my baby, but I didn't do a good job."  All was true besides the last part.

The midwives took baby aside to check her out and get her to cry a bit to work out some of the wetness in her lungs.

Joyce, Blake's mom had been in Chicago for almost two weeks waiting for baby.  Everyone was so thankful that baby decided to come on one of the last days of her trip.

Barak getting to meet his sweet sister.  He wasn't 100% sure what to think.

Notice big brother in the background checking out the scene as baby gets weighed for the first time.   7lbs 4oz!
Here she is in all her cuteness!  Thanks to Bethany and Blake for allowing me to be there.  

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