Washington DC Home Birth

My journey with photographing births is just beginning and I have been so lucky to meet and photograph incredible and strong women as well as experience a range of births in differnt settings.   Being present for and documenting a birth is an incredibly profound experience and reminds me of what is right in the world. The Washington DC home birth of Clark was no exception.

Alice was pregnant with her 3rd child and planning to give birth at home supported by her doula Heidi, her midwife Tammi and her husband Kyle. Alice had given birth to all her babies a home and liked the serenity of being in her own space surrounded by the people who loved and cared for her.

I arrived at Alice’s home, and she was already experiencing¬†strong contractions. ¬†Alice was prepared, she had a tub for laboring, a big exercise ball for sitting, and an iPhone app for timing her contractions! She knew the drill and she knew what she needed. ¬†She was calm and focused. ¬†She labored for about 15 hours and by 9:37 pm Baby Clark was born all 11.8 lbs!

Washington DC Home Birth

Alicia and her family took a walk to help her labor progress. While walking, she experiences a contraction/surge.

Washington DC Home Birth

Alice leans for support on her husband Kyle through a contraction/surge while on a walk.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice tries to get some rest, knowing she has a long day ahead of her.

Washington DC Birth Photography-4

Alice’s family passing the time while she is resting.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Kyle wipes away a tear after a particularly strong contraction/surge.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Heidi – Alice’s doula and good friend arrives.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

And immediately Alice has another contraction/surge. Alice has particularly bad back labor pains and the counterpoint on her shoulders  from Heidi helped as well as Kyle pressing on her hips

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Tammi, Alice’s midwife, measuring baby’s heartbeat.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice used a tub in her previous births and thought it would provide her comfort for this one.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Part of what made this home birth so special was the ability of Alice’s daughters to come and go through her labor.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Heidi had lots of tips and tricks to help Alice get through her contractions/surges

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice’s birth team tried to keep Alice moving and walking to keep her labor progressing. She takes a moment on the hall landing during a contraction.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice calls her first Midwife who delivered her first baby. She needed the support to help her power through to the end.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Kyle was an amazing birth partner, he literally became whatever Alice needed to help her get through the pain, including a human pillow.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

A moment of levity

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice’s daughter drew her a picture to give her a focal point while she labored.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice decided to get into the shower, hoping the warm water would relax her. Alice had particularly bad back pain and needed Kyle to constantly press on her back to help ease it.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice receives a blessing while in labor

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Just before she deleivered, Alice receiving some encouraging words from her oldest daughter.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

In the final stages of her labor, Alice leans against her bed kneeling on the floor. Tammi could see the head and helps to free his shoulder

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

The final pushes

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Clark!

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice drinks some pre-prepared herbal remedy to help with bleeding.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

The first moments after delivery are always the most precious.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

The midwives weigh Clark. He was a big baby…11lbs 8oz!!!

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice calls friends and family to spread the news of his arrival, and Kyle texts.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Kyle’s first moments with his newborn son.

 

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

The midwives burning the umbilical cord instead of cutting it.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Alice’s mom came to help out and was able to meet her new grandson.

Washington DC Home Birth Photography

Welcome Clark