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 different 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.

A Washington DC Home Birth

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!

Older daughter helps mom breath through a contraction

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

Mom leans on dad while having a contraction.  Dad puts pressure on her hips to help ease the pain.

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

Mom take a moment to catch up on her rest before active labor begins

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

Dada and daughter have a moment together while waiting for mom's labor to ramp up

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

Husband wipes away a tear on his wife's face becasue her labor pains were increasing

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

Moms friend and doula arrived to help her through the home birth process

Heidi – Alice’s doula and good friend arrives to the home birth.

Mom's doula and husband help her through a contraction

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

The midwife checks baby's heartbeat

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

Mom gets into her tub to help ease labor pains while her daughter pours water on her belly

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

mom's youngest daughter has a chat with dad while mom goes through another contraction

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

The doula applies pressure to moms shoulder while her husband applies pressure to her hips during a contraction

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

mom was encouraged to walk around the hose to keep her labor progressing

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.

Mom calls a friend in between contractions for moral support

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

Momleans on her husband for support while expereincing a contraction

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

Mom tries to find some levity in the labor process

A moment of levity

The older daughter drew mom a picture while she was in labor to support her.  Mom is showing picture to her doula.

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

Mom pauses in the bathroom while waiting for the shower to get warm.

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.

The whole home birth team take a moment to pray and give blessings during labor

Alice receives a blessing while in labor

Mom leans against her bed for support while talking to her older daughter

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

the midwife can see the baby's head

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

Mom gives the last final set of pushes

The final pushes

Dad and doula look on in amazement as the baby has fianlly arrived

Clark!

Mom and baby lean back on Dad.  Mom takes a drink.  Birthing a baby is hard work

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

Dad holds a wash cloth to mom's forehead as ash rests with her new baby

The first moments after delivery are always the most precious.

The midwives wegh the new baby while mom and her older girls look on

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

Mom starts calling friends and family to announce her baby has been born

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

Dad has a tender moment with his new son

Kyle’s first moments with his newborn son.

 

the midwives burning the umbilical cord with a candle

The midwives burning the umbilical cord instead of cutting it.

Grandma hold the her newest grandson

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

A portrait of a brand new baby born at home

Welcome Clark