A Joy-Filled Staunton Birth
When Kiley and her three children first entered the coffee shop for our visit, I swear I let out an audible "aww." Kiley, with her perfectly round pregnant belly, beamed endlessly at her blonde-haired beauties, each of them full of curiosity and joy as they tackled the giant wood-carved tortoise that resides in C'Ville Coffee's play area. As labor & delivery nurse herself, Kiley and I bonded over our love for babies and birth. From the first moment of meeting her, Kiley exuded such kindness and a genuine happiness that I knew immediately that photographing her next child's birth would be a fun, joy-filled experience. I was not wrong.
Or maybe only slightly...
When baby Winsome decided to be born, she came. And she came fast. In fact, she made her debut so quickly that neither the home birth midwife or I made it in time for the actual birth! Yet, even though I wasn't there for the exact moment of her arrival, the time I spent photographing the family afterwards was nothing but fun.
The texts I received leading up to the birth were always positive and filled with smiley faces--and they all left me grinning. When I joined Kiley and her husband, Jason, after the birth, Kiley radiated happiness and the smiles were ceaseless. For a father who had just unexpectedly supported an unplanned unassisted birth, Jason appeared to be calm, despite the whirlwind that had just occurred.
The joy only grew as Kiley and Jason's three eldest children arrived to meet their new baby sister. A first for me, it was incredible to watch these big siblings fall in love with their newest family member. Given that it was still the middle of the night, the kids remained jammie-clad and cozy as they snuggled into bed with their parents. Each patiently--but excitedly--waited for their turn to embrace baby Winsome. In between moments of examining their new sister, they enthusiastically recounted scenes from a classic movie that their aunt and uncle had introduced to them earlier in the evening as they waited for Winsome to be born. Before returning to their own beds for rest, Atticus, sole son of the family, gently tucked a stuffed bunny next to Winsome--another moment where I internally proclaimed, "aw!"
It was a joy and a privilege to document this Staunton home birth! I hope these photographs will elicit some aw's from you too!