This birth story was a rich watermelon pink. From the art on the walls, to the daughter being born, to the big sisters nightgown. The beautiful red and pink tones in the water, on the tub, in the carpet and towels. The accent blues in dad's clothing, and the rug. The rich green from plants grown in love and care. The colors of birth always move me.
When I first discovered birth photography, long before I was a photographer myself, I noticed how void of color it was. Most birth photographers back then, and some now, work in only black and white. While I love a good black and white photo, and use those tones to preserve rich emotions and zone in on details- nothing beats color. The colors of birth, are deep and vibrant and deserve to be artistically documented and shared with the world.
I arrived to this sacred space, to the sound of a mother being moved by her labor. The tub was filled, and mother was cradling her own body. She had wrapped herself in trust, safety, and warmth. The water was turbulent with emotion and process. She was deep in labor land. There were watermelon snacks, and quiet hello whispers. There was space and breath held.14 minutes after I entered that room, baby was born into dad's arms, and pulled onto moms chest.
Every birth, and every home birth, is unique. Shaped by personality and circumstance and flavor and color. Home birth especially, takes on the personality of the family. How it plays out, how it is talked about, how it is prepared for, how the energy in the space flows- it is always a specific recipe that can never be perfectly duplicated. This birth was so calm, rising to roar as baby was born, and returning again to that beautiful tender calm.
After baby was born, I documented all of the simple beautiful moments that come after a baby is born at home. No fuss, no procedures. Just time. Just bonding. Just touch. Independent Home birth was exactly right for this family, a choice they made with great attention to detail and planning, to honor their history of trauma endured during previous births, and to create a new way forward for their family in healing. I loved every minute of my time here.
Big sisters came and checked in on their newest little addition. One was far too sleepy, and went back to bed. The other stood by mom's side faithfully. Dad helped keep mom supplied with warm towels, as she cuddled her newborn, checked on her, and adorned her with love and care. She birthed her placenta. We awed over the amount of sweet baby birthday frosting- aka vernix.
Soon, they transitioned from tub, to bed, mom took a moment to herself while dad did skin to skin and greeted his newest daughter. She took her tinctures, and took notice of each moment, processing her birth. One of my favorite photos from this story, was documented in this space of time, where birth ink, that glorious red power, trailed around mothers legs. That ruby color is a jewel of birth. Rich, and perfect, and good.
Birth stats were noted, and there was a beautiful cord burning ceremony.
The midnight hours turned into morning, and it was like a sun setting in the dark. The slow soft transitions of color. The tender moments where eyes became heavier, and movements slowed. Soon, all were resting. Tucked up in blankets. Cooing with love and sleepiness under the twinkling starlight on their bedroom wall. I left quietly, with a full camera and a fuller spirit.