Tuesday, September 9, 2014


This summer I had the opportunity to be on-call to photograph for 4 births. All 4 babies are now earth side and each are healthy, thriving and very much loved.

This blog post is on my thoughts and feelings of what being on-call meant for myself and my family. 
But first, a little overview of how those births played out....
The 1st was a planned Homebirth of dear friends of ours. She had experienced a difficult pregnancy and at 35 weeks went into the hospital due to contractions. She texted me that night around 3:00am to let me know what was going on. I told her I was there for her if she needed anything or still wanted me to photograph the birth for her. I definitely respected the fact that this was a difficult time for them and I gave them their space. Their sweet boy spent 10 days in the NICU, but is now home and healthy and so so stinkin cute!
The 2nd birth I was on call for was for a friend who was having her 4th baby. Her babies have always come very early and she too went into labor at 35 weeks. Her labor was incredibly short and fast! It lasted only an hour. She notified me that she was in labor when her contractions were only 1 minute apart and they were heading for the hospital. She had the baby 20 minutes after they had arrived.  There was no way I would have made it in time. Their baby boy spent 4 days in the NICU but is now at home, healthy and they are all doing well.
The 3rd birth was for a couple who was planning a homebirth. Her labor was very long, spanning across 4 days. When she let me know that she was in labor I made my way over to their house. At that point her contractions were 5 minutes apart and not lasting very long. I stayed available to them throughout the next couple days. Her water broke around 1am and she progressed very quickly after that. At that point they did not contact me to come. Thankfully their Midwife was able to make it with only 20 minutes to spare!
At this point in my new endeavor of birth photography I was feeling very defeated. Birth photography has been something I have been praying about for a very long time. This past Spring I felt very pulled towards making myself available to this opportunity and I felt much reassurance when each of the 4 women asked me to photograph their births. Not only reassurance but I felt overwhelmingly blessed to have been asked into such intimate moments of those growing families. Each stage of pregnancy, labor and birth all amaze me. I stand in awe of the way God has made a woman's body. I earnestly believe it is something to be captured and treasured.
So when 3 of the 4 births had not played out how *I* had foreseen, I couldn't help but feel a sense of disappointment and sadness of what I could have provided for each of those families.
The 4th birth was for friends who were planning a homebirth for their 4th baby. She was anticipating to be overdue. Her due date came and went and she reached 42 weeks and 6 days. Around 12:30am she let me know that her water had broken and that her labor was slowly progressing. I made my way over to their house around 2:30am. They had a full house, I mean, 16 people in all! She was powerful and steadfast and let her body work. Her husband poured compassion and tenderness onto her like nobody's business. It was beautiful to capture. I did my best to stay out of the way, quiet and respectful. There were moments when I couldn't help but get choked up with emotion, but I continued to focus on what I was there for. It was an amazing experience to be a part of and to be able to capture those images for them to cherish was priceless.
With all that being said, and my thankfulness poured out, I thought I would share what being on-call meant for me and my family. It was a challenge at times and it has left me with the utmost respect for those who live an on-call lifestyle. I know there are many careers that depend upon those who are willing to be on-call, but my first, personal thoughts go to Midwives and Doulas. They give up a lot for their clients and they have to be ready at a minutes notice, around the clock.
Being On-call:
~ Always having my phone charged and volume on in order to hear any texts/calls received. (my cell is normally on silent)
~ Never being away from my phone for too long.
~ Having my camera battery charged and my camera bag ready.
~ Having my childrens' cloth diaper bag ready to go.
~ Having our only vehicle available.  Which meant driving my husband to work at 5:30am every. single. morning. whew!
~Having childcare available if my husband was at work.
~ Being freshly showered.... what can i say, I'm a SAHM. ;-)
~ Having a clean house/food in the fridge. The length of a labor is unpredictable.
~ Not traveling too far out of town.
~ Being willing to leave any current event....birthdays/holidays.

I'm sure there are more, but these are the lessons I have learned and come to appreciate in my newness of birth photography. I am so so grateful despite only having 1 birth work out so far.
With every challenge there are lessons to be learned, and I love to learn, so bring it on. ;-)

Enjoy a few pictures from that last birth!

This particular moment was so moving to me. Children just love so well.