Alicia is one of those clients that you just click with right away – or at least I did! She felt like an old friend. I remember our first meeting back when it was still lovely outside (yes, nay-Sayers, it was once lovely outside in Houston!) and we chatted and chatted and I left feeling as if I had a new friend and feeling so fortunate that my job linked me up with such really amazing, sweet, kind, joyful women. Alicia carried her pregnancy with joy and love, truly treasuring that baby inside. This is something I can’t relate to, having experienced very difficult, painful pregnancies myself. It made me respect and cherish her all the more.
Apparently baby Sharon also loved the cozy little spot she carved out for herself inside her Mama because she teased Alicia with days of prodromal labor. Through it all, though, Alicia kept such a great attitude. I could tell she was getting tired. Exhausted. I like to think it was Sharon’s secret way of readying Alicia to be truly DONE with being pregnant and it worked perfectly! She’s a brilliant girl already!
Things finally kicked into high gear on Saturday. The midwife, Kellie, and doula, Cole, were called out around midnight. I arrived around 1am Sunday morning to hear Alicia beautifully laboring away with her doula and husband, Ahren, by her side. They worked as a team all night long and through the next day, floating into and out of the birth tub, shower and bed as needed. I love watching a well-tuned birth team in actionDespite utter exhaustion, Alicia soldiered on.
Ahren was the perfect support for his wife. I could tell that he honestly was awed beyond words and sometimes to tears by her amazing strength – more than he thought was humanly possible, I think! He was humbled by his incredible wife and he wasn’t afraid to show it. He was her biggest fan and he refused to let anyone fuss over him or talk about his own exhaustion. It was one of the most touching relationships I’ve photographed.
Also welcoming baby Sharon was Kenna, the family’s sweet Mastiff, truly a gentle giant. I think I kinda fell in love with her! She would drift in and out, as homebirth pets often do, checking in on things, giving everyone a sweet lick and then sniffing out anything new that might have been brought into the room since her last visit. I know she will make a great “Big Sister” for baby Sharon!
Finally, after what probably felt like the most exhausting several days of their life, Alicia and Ahren eased baby Sharon into the water and up into their welcoming arms gently and peacefully…a family united!
Baby Sharon is such a sweet, dainty little thing. I misguessed her weight by an entire pound and I’m usually really accurate! She just has delicate little girly features and is so beautiful. She makes such awesome little girly squeaks and squeals, it kept the birth team in giggles.
I left this family’s birth awed by Alicia’s sheer determination and strength and Ahren’s steadfast focus and support. I’m not sure I would have had the grace and capacity to have handled things the way these two did! I’m proud to know them and have been allowed to capture their amazing journey to Sharon! Born on 9/11, a day we often link to tragedy and loss, baby Sharon is now a constant reminder that 9/11 is also a day of miraculous new life! Congrats to all!