One day shy of the estimated due date, Libby’s water broke signalling to us that baby Wilkins (affectionately known as Wil) would be joining us soon. Labor quickly accelerated, not an uncommon occurrence after amniotic membranes are released, and Libby instinctively turned inward, entering Laborland.
What struck me as I met Libby at the entrance of Martha Jefferson Hospital is how she intuitively paused and released her muscles with each contraction. Despite their frequency, from an outsider’s perspective it looked as if she greeted each contraction with a calmness and you could see her visibly drifting through the intensity. She told me later that she had no choice but to go along with the contractions—an important lesson for all expectant individuals: you can only go forward in labor.
In addition to being their photographer, I supported Libby and Chris as their doula. Throughout the pregnancy and labor it was awesome to watch their partnership evolve. Scrolling through their birth images, the connection between the two is unmistakably clear. Always attentive, Chris was as actively involved in the birth experience as possible. He supported Libby in multiple positions and back-rubs or hand holding were offered readily. While Libby soared through contractions with deep breaths and movement, she appeared to be strengthened by her husband’s touch. For me as a birth professional, this evolution in partnership feels sacred to witness and is one reason my work fulfills me so.
After a peaceful labor through the night (I say peaceful as it appeared so to me, although I wonder if our birthing mama would argue otherwise!), Wil was born early in the morning on his due date—only about 4% of babies actually arrive on their predicted birth date! The connection between the two parents quickly enveloped the new soul and he was welcomed to this world with joy and love.
So…if you want to see images of what a supported birth looks like, have a scroll. Notice the touch, the emotion, the connection. I couldn’t be prouder of these two new parents. They were incredible teammates and worked so hard to bring their son into our world.
Interested in how you too can have a supported birth? Or perhaps you want the connection and joy of your birth story captured? Then let’s talk!