Melinda and her family moved back to the US from central America midway through her second pregnancy. In addition to the myriad difficult transitions involved in such a move, Melinda's husband Santiago often works overseas, which meant that his ability to be present at the birth was uncertain. preparing for the possibility of his absence, Melinda assembled a dream team for herself, knowing that she'd need the support -- and photos to show Santiago later -- if he wasn't able to be there. as a doula herself, she hired two amazing doulas -- Laurie and erica guthaus -- to attend her, and she booked herself at Midwifery Matters Birth Center with their great nurse midwife team.
in the end, it turned out that Santiago was in the US and therefore very much present -- and offering the amazing support of near constant counter-pressure to her sacrum! -- throughout. but it moved FAST. by the time her mother and laurie got Melinda safely to the birth center (which was well over an hour away), she was already very nearly ready to give birth. after the somewhat intense arrival, she sunk into the welcoming water of the beautiful birth tub and quickly found her center again, relaxing into the rhythm and pressures of her body working hard to bring out her baby. she was so surrounded every step of the way with all sorts of support. it was beautiful to see the effect of a focused, caring birth team dancing well together all around Melinda.
then it was time to leave the water, to work through those final difficult contractions on the toilet before moving to the floor (hey, ya do what sounds best in the moment!) to mightily push her baby out. he was very nearly born in the caul, in fact his head came out that way, but due to meconium in the water, the midwife wisely ruptured the bag before the rest of his body was born. the look on melinda's face when she pulled him up to her chest was ecstatic relief and truly a very moving moment. i hovered over her and her four support people clustered around her as she clutched him close and said over and over again, "i did it! i did it!" since gender was a surprise, she waited several moments before looking, but announced beforehand that she could tell by touch that he has a second son. :)
they then moved to the bed and got tucked in to enjoy more than an hour of uninterrupted skin-to-skin time before the newborn exam and melinda's own clean-up began.
a fast-moving but peaceful birth. what a gift.
Photographing births is hands down one of my greatest joys. Because I'm gearing up to have my own (fourth) baby in December, I'll be taking a hiatus through March. But i plan to get back to it in April, and it's not too soon to book me for your birth if you're a mama due in April and onward. I also have availability for one birth in November of this year yet.