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Photographing the Photographer: A very special birth

On July 5 I had the privilege of photographing my back-up birth photographer and dear friend, Rachael, as she gave birth to her third baby, sweet Abby.

Rachael had big plans for this birth and really wanted to avoid an epidural. She came armed with lots of previous experience, tons of knowledge, a doula and a doctor she adored. But baby Abby was comfy right where she was. As much as she wanted to avoid an induction, it became inevitable.

When I arrived in the early afternoon, Rachael was in good spirits. She was beautiful and full of smiles.I couldn’t believe it! Chad kept us all in stitches.

Even as they increased the Pitocin, she remained calm, cool and collected. I was so impressed. Wowed, really. So proud of her.


See this table of “stuff”? That’s what all Rachael and family brought to the hospital. It just cracked me up. You can tell how many children someone has had by the amount of luggage they bring to the hospital.

Rachael worked hard and labored away.

But never stopped smiling.


Things started to get noticeably more intense around 5:00.



But when she was checked at 5:30, she hadn’t made much progress. I know she was frustrated. I decided it was a good time to give her some space and let her rest. It seemed like it might be a long night.  Even though I wasn’t really hungry, I headed out to “dinner” in the parking lot with the promise that I’d be back in an hour.

But 45 minutes later I got a text from Chad saying that Rachael was at 7cm and ordering medication. I thought that seemed odd. Why was she already being checked not even an hour later? Hmm. I texted back to ask if she wanted more time to rest or should I head up? Not even a minute later I got four more texts basically saying “Run!”.

And I ran! Going from 6cm to 10cm in less than an hour is ROUGH! I got there right in time to photograph baby Abby entering the world just 10 minutes after receiving those texts. The epidural never happened, much to Rachael’s relief later!

Welcome to the world, baby Abby! Boy, you sure entered the world with a “ta da”!!

Is she not just the most gorgeous sweet thing?


Rachael’s biggest baby yet! 8lb 14oz, 20.5 inches.

Finally in Mama’s arms!


Sweet, sad little pout!


I’m pretty sure being stuck in bed at your own birth is a birth photographer’s idea of torture! It didn’t stop Rachael though!

Bath time!

Abby was so in love with her Daddy’s voice! She clearly recognized it and relaxed every time she heard it.

Doesn’t she look like a baby doll? She is so perfect.


Finally the big siblings arrived to meet their baby. It was such a precious moment. This is Big Brother’s “Her hands are freaking me out! Look! She’s actually breathing!” face! And that’s Big Sister’s “I want to hold my baby and take her home. Now.” face! They were both so amazed and proud to have a new baby sister.

And who can blame them? Just look at this girl!

Congrats Rachael, Chad and the whole family. I’m so proud of you, Rachael. You did it! It’s always such a special thing to photograph the birth of a photographer but it’s extra special when it’s someone who I also call a friend. I’m so proud of Rachael and Chad and so overjoyed to have been there to meet baby Abby.

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