It's been a while since I've posted a birth story and I am so glad to share this one today with you all.
Every single birth I get to attend is near and dear to my heart, but this one was extra special. I've been friends with Sarah and Matt since before they were married. I photographed their engagement, their wedding and attended the birth of their second baby girl. I was all set to photograph their third baby in May of 2015 when literally the day after we talked contract details, I got a horrible email that the baby's heart had stopped beating half way through the pregnancy. The Rideouts are missionaries in Haiti and things are complicated there, health-wise. So Sarah and Matt and their girls hopped on the first plane out to deliver their baby here in the states. I met them the night before being induced and was able to laugh and cry with them and photograph her beautiful belly.
The next day I was their doula as they brought their tiny son Obed into the world. Sarah is as mentally strong as they come and I've watched her rock natural birth. I will never forget the look in her eyes as she looked at me during Obed's labor...she said "The sadness is too much, I have no strength."
Fast forward nearly exactly a year and I was able to celebrate and attend the birth of their second son Birch. What a happy occasion! There was such gratefulness in the air that day as we heard that heart beat, steady and strong. The gender was a surprise and so anticipation was building as well. Sarah rocked out a natural labor and was able to catch Birch right there on the hospital floor (with Dr Spearman's back up hands nearby:-). Her birth was attended by her Mama-lactation consultant extraordinaire and her dear friend Laura. Sarah's sister arrived just minutes after birth!
Sarah and Matt, I feel like part of your family and I feel so honored to have been witness to these moments in your lives.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
*and just one silly sidenote I'd love to clarify. Matt is wearing a shirt from the summer camp he worked at for years, it isn't in reference to real world domination of any kind:-)
**also thanks to Matt for one of the only pictures I have of me in action at a birth :-)