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Wrapping up 2010 with a beautiful pink bow

I had the awesome honor of attending my final birth for 2010 recently. This family had given me the heads up 24 hours before I heard from them again which gave me a little clue that they were probably already exhausted before I even arrived on the scene. But when I got to the birth center, this Mama looked radiant. She was incredible, just allowing the waves of each contraction to wash over her. Dad was so supportive and loving through each contraction.

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Mom’s baby was malpositioned and after her water broke, the contractions were unrelenting. I was awed by her strength and endurance without so much as a minute break between contractions. Unfortunately her baby just couldn’t quite straighten out her position and after many hours with those unrelenting contractions, Mom’s cervix wouldn’t budge. She was beyond exhausted.  Something had to give. Her instincts were loud and clear.

So off we went to the hospital where I saw this look on Mom’s face for the first time since I arrived the day before:

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She was so relieved that she’d finally meet her baby in just a few minutes!

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And finally, after what must have felt like 1000 hours of labor, sweet baby V was served her eviction notice!

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8 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches long equals one fluffy baby girl!

Dad fell in love at first sight.

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So did Mom, of course!

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I think Baby V stole a little bit of my heart too! Can you blame me? Look at this beauty!

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And this face! Oh this adorable squishy face!

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And the beautiful hair! I just adore a baby with a head full of hair.

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Dad got lots of bonding time while Mom’s surgery was wrapping up. It was amazing to see how instantly Baby V calmed down when she heard her Daddy’s voice.

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Finally, ready to head back to her room, Baby V was tucked in all cozy and happy with her Mama for the ride.

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This girl is full of sass. When she’s happy, she’s very happy. When she’s mad – watch out! Lucky for me, her happy moments outweighed the rest and she showed off her baby rolls for the camera!

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A family of three – how perfect!

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It was a great honor to create the images of this beautiful birth journey for this amazing family. I have to say, I’m totally impressed (and envious) by the way these new parents advocated for their choices and for their baby. Baby V is in very capable hands! Congratulations to all and welcome to the world, baby V! What an amazing gift you are!

On a personal note, this was my last birth for 2010 and it ended exactly how it started: same birth center, very very similar birth experience, same hospital and ceserean birth. I thought I knew so much about birth when the year started and compared to many, I suppose I did. But I can honestly say that the beautiful and wise women I’ve had the honor to photograph as they traversed their own unique journeys through birth have taught me so much. Birth is a miracle. It’s humbling. It’s honest and raw and I am so honored to be a part of each and every birth I attend. I have seen women trust their instincts and honor their bodies and learned that sometimes that means having a breech baby at home and sometimes that means having a Cesarean birth despite previous plans. Each birth I’ve photographed this year has been powerful, beautiful and exactly as it should be.

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