Feature Story

Home Birth

Stay Strong
Ready to Push
The Sunset

A year ago I was asked to photograph my friend Mellisa's 100% natural, home birth of her second baby. Prepared to pick up my camera at a moments notice, and document the birth, I anxiously waited through my workday until it was, "go time".

I never witnessed any kind of birth in person...but was somewhat prepared for both the best (and worst) of what I had the chance to be a part of. What I thought would be a challenge to make look modest and...well, non-graphic, actually came to me with ease. I focused more about telling the story of the birth rather than trying to capture all the intricate "details" (as requested by Mellisa, "No crowning photos please!") as I'm sure any woman in labor would appreciate a photographer avoiding. I was happy that there was such beautiful natural light pouring into the room, and was able to use most of it before the sun had set that evening.

The tension in the room grew louder and more extreme, as the birthing process progressed...and it became more of a challenge for me to focus on capturing these images versus, making sure Mellisa was okay. Her Husband was at her side, ready to leap over mountains to aid her in any way possible. Her midwife was so relaxed and subdued through all the yelling and crying (this obviously wasn't her first rodeo), while I just grew increasingly more anxious, and wanted the pain to be over with for the new mom-to-be.

I felt an overwhelming sensation of relief when she pushed her final push, and the newborn baby was finally free. Snapping the photos as quickly as I could the moment he arrived, I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything! Baby Fenix was born on January 12, 2012 at 4:10pm after 8 1/2 hours of laboring. He weighed 9lb, 2oz & 20in long.

Intense. Astonishing. Miracle.

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6 responses

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (31 Jan 2013):


  • JamesHarmon McQuilkin

    JamesHarmon McQuilkin   gave props (1 Feb 2013):

    well written

  • Ciara D'Anella

    Ciara D'Anella said (1 Feb 2013):

    thanks :)

  • Barbara Thurlow

    Barbara Thurlow gave props (2 Feb 2013):

    Wonderful! I would so love the opportunity to do this myself at some point. Your photos are great. I particularly like the very top "after" shot, and the one below it that shows the casting of Mellisa hanging on the wall.

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (14 Dec 2013):

    Great photographers choice... Incredible!!! Well written... and I must share, home birth is still in many interior parts of India. Still they adopt the traditional practice... Sometimes it is fatal and sometimes it is so easy. Now a days the scenario is different but it is the practice of age old. Great !!!

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (14 Dec 2013):


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