Hmmm, what should I say about 2010… This has been the busiest year I have ever had! I photographed over 50 births and again was lucky enough to have seen a very wide variety of deliveries. A few experiences that quickly come to mind are…
*The beautiful home waterbirth in Feb where I literally walked into the bedroom and as I was getting my bearings the midwife looked at me, pointed down and said “head.” Shocker! This mom proceeded to sing Hallelujah as her baby was born and upon realizing that they had a daughter the entire room broke out into the loudest, most joyful cries, cheers and laughter I have ever heard! It still gives me chills to think about. The room was ALIVE with extreme happiness!
*The homebirths of twin boys in March. These births are especially memorable because I was actually with this clients doula when we got “the call” from the midwife who strongly urged me to get to their house ASAP. I ended up going on a very exhilerating wild goose chase across town with the doula who knew the area much better than I did. I won’t give many more details about this exciting drive except to mention that we did get stuck in traffic because of a train at one point and the doula actually got out of her vehicle to ask another car to move so we could take a detour. Luckily we made it before the 1st baby was born and that’s when we received the next surprise ~ he was born breech AND in the caul! It was very different from anything I had seen before! One other amazing thing about this was that this mama went all the way to her due date before delivering, whereas it seems most twins moms deliver well before their EDDs…
*The Alice in Wonderland themed VBA*3*C in June! Woohoo! Go mama go!
*The 24 hr period in July where I photographed 3 births – well, tried to at least! Everything was going perfectly, even with so much going on, until it started to rain. The MW and I were called from one birth to another and only left within minutes of each other, but I slowed down in the rain. As I pulled up to the house and was running up the driveway the baby was born. I then opened the front door and in my hurry tripped over the bags of “birth stuff” that were thrown down in the doorway as the MW raced inside minutes prior. I missed it by about 2 minutes from what I was told.
*The funny week in August when I kept going to bed thinking I would be woken in the night by one particular client and I was woken several nights in a row for births, but never by who I thought it would be.
*The couple of times I was able to go into the NICU with clients and photograph the babies during their hospital stays. Just walking down the NICU halls was a very humbling experience for me and has made me very interested in doing more work there in the future.
*The sneaky little girl in November who didn’t let anyone know she was breech until we arrived at the hospital and she was already trying to make her appearance!
*The absolutely amazing home waterbirth (and VBAC) in November! I was particularly happy at this delivery because when this mom originally contacted me she was planning a VBAC at a hospital that isn’t very supportive of them, but made the switch after receiving a bit of info and referrals. I was so impressed with her! It takes a lot of strength to make so many changes in such a short time period.
*The surrogate pregnancy/birth in December. This was an incredibly emotional delivery to be a part of, I can’t even express what it means to me to have had this opportunity. Several moments that stand out from this are when I met the two ladies for the first time we were laughing because one of them didn’t have her hospital bag packed, her call list written out or anything else ready for the birth, while the other had done everything months and months prior. The fully prepared one, of course, had been waiting to write out that call list for 6.5 years… and then after the birth when baby was in the nursery the mom told me how when they first started trying to conceive she had went shopping and found a pink onesie that said “Worth the Wait” but she wasn’t able to find a blue one with the same quote that day or at any other time. She kept it for all of those years and had brought it to the hospital to be her new little ones first outfit ~ whether girl OR boy. She was blessed with a DAUGHTER.
A few other random notes from the past year…
*I was thrilled to death to have a ton of repeat clients this year!
*I was even more thrilled to have a birth on my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have been holding out hope for a New Years Eve baby as well, but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen at this point.
*I got some awesome underwater baby shots this year ~ I am *really* proud of these! To see a couple of them you can look in the January, July and August archives.
*I learned during the year that a certain midwife, a certain doula and I are totally a winning combination! ;-D I love and adore working with these ladies!
*The All About Babies Birth Center opened this Fall and I am the official photographer! I’m still trying to talk one of the MWs husbands into putting in a coke machine and cotton candy cart for me, but so far no dice… Hey, I’m there enough, might as well make it feel like home!
Probably the biggest and most exciting news I have from this year though is that I was published for the 1st time! One of my pictures was on the cover of the Winter 2010 waterbirth themed edition of Midwifery Today and I had 2 pictures inside the magazine as well. I am just over the moon about this for several reasons… I thought it was super cool that I got the cover of this particular issue since I have had 2 waterbirths myself and I was *ecstatic* with the picture they chose. I was *so* happy to tell this mom the big news when I found out! The picture was from her very much desired homebirth ~ she went through a LOT to get the birth she wanted. A very premature baby with her previous pregnancy thwarted her 1st homebirth hopes and then preterm labor with this pregnancy threatened her plans again, but after spending weeks in the hospital on bedrest she was finally released to go home and give birth with her midwife, Sarah Jones! What an incredible victory that was, I am so proud of her! Anyways, I was also lucky enough to have some of my work chosen for the book “Paths to Becoming a Midwife,” but I don’t have pictures of those, as I haven’t received my own copy yet.
On this note I want to mention that I have been aware for a while now that some of my readers have tried harder than others to get my website and my work publicity and for that I want to say a big thank you. I am not sure that I would have gotten the cover otherwise ~ you never know how people will end up finding you… It is a funny world we live in, isn’t it?
Moving on from that now…
I am so grateful for my clients, my friends and the MWs and doulas that are kind enough to pass along my info. I am not hoping for 2011 to be even more busy than this year was, because I am not sure I could do it, but I am very happy with the pace I’m at currently. I have many goals for this next year including not freaking out when I am faced with a less than ideal birth photography situation (ex: being in a small room in complete darkness with 173 other people also trying participate in the birth while I am either sitting in a sink, standing in a shower or balancing on some sort of wobbly ledge or stool and still trying to get portrait quality pictures, then kicking myself if I can’t and crying to my friends afterward “I got NOTHING!”) I would also love to photograph more VBACs, more cesareans (yes, a cesarean makes a beautiful picture as well) and more surrogate births.
I think I have rambled on enough so will finally go ahead and end this after saying that for the New Year I am praying Gods greatest protection and peace over those who are dear to me, and for anything broken in 2010, lots of superglue and duct tape. I know there are many that this year has been hard on.
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.” ~ Max Ehrmann