Five years ago, I had the honor of photographing Rachel’s first birth.
Imagine my excitement when she contacted me to photograph her pregnancy announcement and birth! This family is near and dear to my heart.
Asher’s Birth Story (from my perspective)
Rachel called to inform me that her water broke early one morning. Her contractions started shortly after that. Nick began to inflate the pool and attach the hose while Rachel made calls to the midwife and her support people. Nick’s mother, Susan, showed up with a big breakfast spread! Nick and Rachel took time to fuel up between contractions. During this time, the support team, Sarah and Vanessa, started arriving. As Rachel’s contractions started to increase in intensity and duration, we turned on some music and turned down the lights. Vanessa and Nick started rubbing and massaging Rachel as she started to go into her labor space, “Labor Land”. Rachel did her best to relax during contractions and rest in between. Soon, the tub was full and warm enough for her to climb in. From this point on, we all watched in awe as Rachel navigated her birth process. Sometimes a support person would say something encouraging but mostly we just watched with quiet excitement. Nick wouldn’t leave her side. This was his first out of hospital birth experience and he was a pro support partner. His love and trust of Rachel was so apparent. The room started to get very warm, as birth spaces usually do…Susan saved the day with her handheld fan. She lovingly fanned Rachel and Nick while they worked hard to bring their baby earthside. Rachel’s friend, Sarah operated the video camera while I photographed. As the baby got lower, so did Rachel’s vocalizations. She hummed and moaned low sounds as she worked so hard to let her baby stay low enough for her body to aid in pushing. Eventually, he started to crown and Rachel let out such a roar as she brought him earthside! I have seen many births in my time, some people quietly push, some woman gain a lot of strength by vocalizing loudly. I remember from Rachel’s last birth that she vocalizes loudly as she gives that last push. It is the most primal and beautiful sound! She reached down then and lifted her baby boy to her chest. Quickly, she realized that his cord was wrapped twice around his foot. She quickly and quietly unwrapped and embraced him. There was not a dry eye in the room! It was such a gentle and precious experience. Asher’s siblings, Jade and Roman, stood at the side of the birth pool and first laid eyes on their baby brother. After the placenta was delivered, Rachel and Asher got into a warm herbal bath. From the herbal bath, we helped them back to the bed to rest. Once their golden hour had passed, the midwife, Mimi, began the newborn exam. Jade and Roman watched as Mimi inked Asher’s feet and printed them onto the certificate. Mimi made sure breastfeeding was going well before she left the family to babymoon.
Thank you Rachel and Nick for trusting me to capture these amazing memories for you. I can’t the find the right words to accurately describe just how much it means to me.
This is a video that I made of photos from their pregnancy announcement, mother blessing, floral milkbath maternity, the birth, and a postpartum herbal bath.
Born at home on 2/1/18 @ 1:37pm
9lbs 15oz 21 inches long
One thought on “The Home Birth of Asher Steele”
I have no children and will never have but your photos impress upon me the miracle and joy of birth, an experience I have grown accustomed to never being able to share but still remains a privilege accorded to the many but sadly often wasted.