When Sarah reached out looking for a birth photographer and videographer for her 4th birth, I was all too excited. I've been hoping to document a homebirth for a WHILE. When she told me her story of also being a military family and expecting her husband to deploy very close to her baby's due date, I knew documenting this story would be more important than ever. Although I hadn't created a birth story video before, I told Sarah I'd be happy to give it a go for free. I had made videos before, but never with the unique lighting situations that home birth presents and I didn't want to over promise.
When I met Sarah on Monday, August 10th to do her Maternity Milk Bath Session, I absolutely fell in love with her energy. Sarah is probably one of the most warm, welcoming people you'll ever meet. It felt like we knew each other forever and we had only just met in person for the first time that day. She told me that she was having contractions and we joked about her maternity photos turning into birth photos... Not even 24 hours later, Sarah texted me that her water broke and she was starting to experience early labor contractions. We were all so excited because this meant the baby would be born before her husband's deployment. Sarah texted me around 6:45pm that things were starting to pick up and I left that very moment. I arrived to her house around 7:15 and an hour later, she welcomed sweet Aurora into this world into her own hands.
Watching Sarah's other children show so much love and support through her labor was absolutely precious and it was such an honor to be able to document their story. Sometime after getting out of the birth tub, Sarah's midwife realized that a lot of blood was being lost and began to treat her for postpartum hemorrhage. Witnessing the absolute calm, cool, collected skill of this midwife was amazing. In the past, emergencies that I've witnessed felt very chaotic. And while there was an overall sense of worry and fear, the room seemed so much calmer than I've ever witnessed in an emergency, from my perspective (I'm sure from Sarah's perspective it was much less impressive). But what I really appreciated about watching this midwife was how she still explained every intervention and never detached from compassionate care while focusing on medical care. The call was made for EMS support and Sarah came home to bond with her baby the next morning.
I am so grateful to Sarah for welcoming me into her birth space and permitting me to share her story. Although this story can seem scary, as Sarah says, "this is birth," and she's so right. While we often talk up the normal-ness and safety of birth, we must not forget that there IS risk with birth in ALL settings. I find it so inspiring when a woman is able to assess those risks, and cultivate a support team who is able to skillfully and compassionately handle those risks if they become reality. This is a prime example of why finding yourself a provider you trust, literally with your life, is so vital. If you want your birth story documented, I'd be happy to set up a consult with you, get to know you better, and share more about the services I provide!
If you would like your birth story documented, please visit our contact page today!
Jaimie Zaki is a doula, lactation consultant, and motherhood photographer serving South New Jersey families. Jaimie specializes in maternity photography, birth photography, breastfeeding photography, and mommy & me photos. Jaimie is a military wife, mother of three, and loves coffee and red wine (with a little ice cream). Jaimie has experienced cesarean birth, medicated VBAC, and home VBAC and is excited to help celebrate your birth story too! To learn more about the support services Jaimie offers fro pregnant women, please visit www.littlebearlactation.com.
Keywords: Birth Photographer, Birth Videographer, Birth Photography in South Jersey, homebirth, water birth, midwife birth, doula birth, unassisted birth, homebirth transfer