Have you ever just looked at someone's hands and felt love? I remember having this fascination and awe over my mothers hands as a child. I still find my eyes drifting towards peoples hands before their eyes, they just have so much to say. Hands hold and touch and give comfort, they have so much power in their actions.
This birth was full of these actions, these moments of touch. Someone offering comfort, love reaching out, hands holding between hospital bed rails, holding and creating space.
This sweet mama is so beautiful, when I met her she glowed with the beauty of motherhood, her children surrounding her so.
Her birth was all confidence and power and strength. I came prepared to play the role of doula in a last minute absence, but it turned out I was barely needed. She was so supported, so cared for already. When I arrived, nurses hands held her and comforted her, they reminded her to breathe and vocalize deep and low. Nurses don't often jump into this role of birth support, and it was refreshing to see these women supporting this mother in this way. Even as they went about their duties they offered little gems of comfort and peace, adding to the rooms already supportive vibes.
The space was so full of love. This mother leaned on her love, he poured into her, and together they created this planet that everyone else orbited around. It was a deep and rare kind of love and magic that we don't often get to witness. When you add that magic to the already present miracle of birth, well... its just incredible. There were moments of such intimacy, my camera felt both shy and blessed, getting to capture so many tender moments. It was like getting a glimpse into their heart of hearts.
When I arrived powerful contractions were already surging through her. She closed her eyes, and felt them, it was like she was floating in water. She just went with the waves. They brought her to stand, or turn, sit, or lay. She followed this river all her own, and let it take her where it would.
I remember both in the moment, and when I was editing these photos, my heart leapt in my chest at her grace and beauty. It was like falling in love with a living piece of art. The love in the room transcended through my camera and was frozen in these moments, these photographs. Even now I can look at them and feel these same intense emotions all over again, that all of us felt on that day in this birth space.
Her contractions grew strong and regular, she fell inside herself as every mother does in birth, to an instinctual space. Her hand reached for her love, holding him like an anchor that kept her grounded as her mind traveled inward, letting her body do what it was capable of.
Her family surrounded her, and shone a light, both with thier phone and with their hearts. They reached for her, touched her foot or leg or just stood at the edge of the bed, giving what they could in spirit. Sometimes, in birth having to many people observing can be a negative thing, but it wasn't so here. This mama seemed to draw strength from every person in the room, no matter what they were doing.
She curled around her body when it was time to push, and birthed her baby powerfully. Dads tears melted every heart in the room. Mom held this new life, and the next hours were spent looking over every beautiful detail of this new little life. There was so much joy!
Close snuggles, skin to skin, holding their baby for the very first time. There were tears, and prayers, and laughter, and peace.
The nurses smiled, the family gathered and held space, and eventually held baby too. There is nothing like these hands holding a new life for the first time.
And oh this baby was sweet like sugar, soft like the rain. So so so beautiful.
Lastly, slightly reluctant to leave this beautiful space; I offered love and care, and took my leave with a full heart. Such a birth, such a mother, such a day!
Mama texted me later, and thanked me for the peace I brought to her birth space, and said she thanked God for me. I fawned over the memories as I created her birth announcement, and humbly soaked up all the praise and gratitude, and sent out my own to all ends of the universe.
Such a gift it is, to be a birth space.