on occasion i don't get a chance before the birth to meet the family. that's rare, and i actually try to avoid it. birthing space is such a sacred thing, and you don't want to go galavanting in there with no previous relationship, without knowing that you the photographer are someone that this family will feel peaceful about letting you be with them in this intimate event. but sometimes it just happens that way.
as was the case in this story. diane and i just had a couple phone conversations under our belt before i got the call that they were in labor in lansing. so the first time i met them, she was having intense contractions. bless them, they were so kind. but i had to give them a little space before they were ready for me to be in the room with them. if you are a birthing/laboring mom, please know that it's always ok for you to ask ANY member of your birth team to leave your birth space for as long or short as you need. most of us will get it, and won't take it personally. you do what you have to do!
anyway, when i finally entered into the space, they were DEEPLY focused. Jeff was an amazing coach and support to diane as she labored serenely without any drugs at all. none of us knew just how close we were to meeting their daughter. 15 minutes later, diane's water broke in the bathroom. she waddled back out, endured maybe three more contractions and then announced in a sweet but firm voice that her baby was coming out and somebody needed to catch her! in the absence of OB, the nurse swiftly stepped in and gently caught the baby.
later, the nurses referred to betsy's birth as "precipitous." when they weren't in the room, we googled the term and had a good chuckle over the definition which included the phrase, "sudden expulsion of the infant." yup, that about sums it up.
for the next several hours i watched these three bond with one another, watched and documented as betsy was cared for and her name announced, and as her parents shared a post-labor orange juice toast, and stayed until betsy's big brother arrived to meet her, grandparents in tow. it was a really special afternoon spent with this family.