I opened the door to soothing music and a delicate floral scent. It was a dramatic transition from the sterile hospital corridor with buzzing overhead lights. I arrived in the middle of a dance. Mike and Amanda gently swayed back and forth as she worked through a contraction while their doula flitted about adjusting and comforting. None of us knew it at the time, but we had a long journey ahead.
Amanda reached out early in her pregnancy in search of a birth photographer because she knew she wanted photos to capture the birth of their first child. The baby’s very first moments in the world. The look on Mike’s face seeing the baby for the first time and proudly declaring if it was a boy or girl. After years in the military, Amanda was a strong, independent woman with a clear vision and she was ready.
Fourteen hours after her water broke, I was called to Tripler Hospital. Assessing her progress adds an element of risk so the procedure was postponed until it seemed we were close. As contractions intensified and became more frequent over the next 10 hours, we thought we were close. The nurses, the doula, everyone thought she was far along – 7cm? perhaps 8cm? Finally, it was time to check. Sadly, deep moans and intense pain belied her progress. We were all heartbroken to learn she was at 1 cm.
Their exhausted faces crumpled in disappointment and I was sent home for the night. However, sleeping proved difficult as I kept dreaming I missed their call to return to the hospital. Morning came and went, but still no news. I checked my phone obsessively and paced through the house until I finally received an update some 40 hours after labor began. They were heading to the OR for an emergency C-section and photographers aren’t allowed in the room. My heart sank for them. It may not have been the experience they hoped for, but the end result was a beautiful, healthy 10-pound(!) baby girl and they were delighted.
Click the play button to watch a video of their birth story.
And see a sample of their photos here –
To document a bit more of baby Arlo’s first days of life, we met again at their home for a fresh-48 session.
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Reach out to me here and we can talk about capturing your own birth story through photos and film.