I was on my way to Ikea in Philly on Friday, January 5th when I got the text that Danielle was in active labor but her doctor wanted her to come back in two hours to see if she was progressing yet. I did my thing at Ikea and headed home to get my cameras and head to St. Lukes Hospital, Allentown. When I got there I met for the first time big sister Mia and two incredibly awesome people, Joel and Danielle. They had me laughing from the word go. Their family isn’t from around here so Mia was in the room for the delivery. For Mia’s birth, mom didn’t have an epidural but because of Mia being in the room, she wanted to get one as to not scare Mia when the time came to push. So we hung out and were laughing for a while waiting for the anesthesiologist to come in. Danielle got the epidural while dad and Mia waited in the hall. Mia fell asleep and got a good nap in while the next hour or so unfolded. After the epidural, Danielle was still feeling all of her contractions but one side of her body was numb. The doctors came in around 3:55 and checked her and she was 6 cm. I offered to go to the cafeteria to get drinks for big sister and dad and as soon as I got downstairs I got a text from Danielle saying she didn’t think it would be much longer and to come back! I got back upstairs as they finished checking her again and she was 10cm ready to push!! I was flabbergasted! She went from 6-10 in less than 10 minutes! It was nuts. At that point, the doctors came in and Danielle being the amazing warrior princess she is, pushed maybe four times and Baby Amelia Joy entered the world with a battle cry of victory. She laid happily on mom’s chest and we all reveled in her perfection and how amazing Danielle did. Amelia nursed right away and latched on without any issues. She spent the next hour laying on her mama and just before I left, she got weighed and measured. 7lbs 15 oz. 19 inches long! A perfect bundle of joy. Amelia Joy, so fitting.
I can’t always commit to photographing births because of the unpredictability of it. But January is always a safe bet that I can be there at the drop of a hat to capture one of the most miraculous things in the world. Watching a baby enter the world gives me hope for a future that’s bright and makes me feel more alive than anything. My life is changed by moments like this. I am blessed beyond words and it’s because of moments like this. I feel a lot of women are reluctant to have someone there to photograph a birth like this. They worry about how they look or what I might see. This particular doctor didn’t allow any photos below the waist, I was only allowed over the shoulder and we have a truly gorgeous birth story documented from my perspective. I’m here to tell you, and I’m not just saying this to say it, there is never a moment a woman is more beautiful than when she’s giving birth. I was crying through my camera lens for most of the pushing and even when she arrived. The rawness of the whole thing is what makes is beautiful. Danielle was stunning!!! Absolutely Radiant.
Danielle and Joel, thank you for trusting me with these photos. I will always hold a special place in my heart for your family because of this. Thank you for making me laugh so hard in the hospital and during your newborn shoot. I hope this is just the beginning of our story together!! I love you guys already and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.
Welcome to the world, Amelia!!!