As I sit here awaiting the birth of their next baby I decided to go back and look at the images from June's birth. When I went to look I expected to be be judgemental of myself and where I was over 2.5 years ago. I remember the images being too warm or blurry. It was a time before I used flash at births. I was actually pleasently surprised at the quality looking through. It was my first homebirth and my first time shooting RAW. My editing style is much different and I am tempted to re-edit some of them. But I won't. I'm just going to appreciate them for what they are. I know this family does.
My business is evolving. I've gone from being a doula to picking up a nikon coolpix to capture birth images to (I'm actually going to say it) a professional photographer. I've spent time at hospitals, in home and even in my very own studio capturing memories for families. Birth has always been my favorite. I'm realizing that birth is my favorite because I'm capturing genuine moments. No posing. No "say cheese". Just authentic once in a lifetime moments captured in my camera. So I'm stripping it all back down for you. No more studio. I'm purging all of my props. Just me and my camera with you and your family (whatever that may look like). Not to say we won't have a moment where everyone is looking in the same direction. But I'm going where my heart is. I hope you all can follow me and enjoy the ride.
Amanda and her family are expecting their 3rd baby. I'm currently awaiting the call to come and photograph her birth! I was so excited to go capture a few hours of their day and share them with you.
Amanda is an incredibly talented artist. You can see some of her work on the walls in her home. I really hope to have a piece on my wall someday as well. She also homeschools her kiddos, so we spent some of the morning painting and working on some cool projects.
Quick break for an apple snack before some board game fun. Amanda's family was one of the many families affected by the Columbia Gas crisis. As you can see in the background their gas appliances have been condemned and they are still awaiting heat to be restored.
I mean... who doesn't cherish a photo of their toddler sneezing straight into their face?
Concord, NH documentary photographer
I've been terrible at blogging this year. So many beautiful births that I should have shared and didn't have time to! That will change in the new year. Expect lots more beautiful NH births in 2018. Will one of them be yours?!
So many beautiful moments I got to capture this year.
It's an honor to be invited into this sacred space.
Midwife supported homebirth in Fremont, NH with Roots of Life.
Look at mom looking at dad taking in his new son. Concord Hospital Birth in Concord, NH.
The "Homebirth Epidural" is the tub. It's magic. Homebirth with Concord Birth Center in Concord, NH.
Taking him in. Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, NH.
Snuggling his daughter, skin to skin, still attached to her placenta. Perfection. Homebirth with Roots of Life and Borne Home in Fremont, NH.
Homebirth in Deerfield, NH with Concord Birth Center.
Beautiful postpartum belly. Homebirth in Fremont, NH.
St Joseph Hospital in Nashua, NH.
Car Birth on Interstate 89 arriving at Concord Birth Center in Concord, NH.
She just couldn't wait to be born! Daddy caught her in the car on the way to the birth center.
Midwife Kate Hartwell of Concord Birth Center taking in a sweet 4th baby (3rd to Concord Birth Center) in Concord, NH.
Bliss. Concord Hospital in Concord, NH.
Homebirth in Manchester, NH.
Transfer to the bedroom with Daddy and Midwife Paige St. Cyr of Borne Home in Fremont, NH.
One of my bucketlist photos accomplished! Concord Birth Center attended birth in Concord, NH.
The molding, that cord, those toes and Dads face. Concord Birth Center midwives at a Manchester, NH birth.
That first hug. Concord Hospital birth in Concord, NH.
A job well done. Cozy in bed and ready to start their journey as a family of four as the midwives and I slip out and leave them to it. Homebirth in Deerfield, NH attended by Concord Birth Center Midwives Cindy, Bryn, and Krystina.
Leave some love for these families who are generous enough to allow sneak peeks into their birthing storie and have a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!!!
Contact us at email@example.com to reserve your spot in the calendar for 2018!
I believe I first met April as she was getting ready to bring her 3rd baby into the world. Years earlier I had followed her and her families story via facebook about the loss of her son, CJ. When I learned she was pregnant my heart just poured out to her. A new baby can't ever replace the loss of a child, but new life is a beautiful gift. I was drawn to their story and was inspired to reach out. I contacted April just one short month before her due date to offer my services to her. She happily accepted. I was so happy because I truly believe I attend every birth I'm meant to. A few days before her due date she contacted me in the morning to let me know she was in labor. Her labor picked up so quickly I nearly didn't make it! Jackson Connor was born on a beautiful June afternoon at the Concord Birth Center.
Go to www.rememberingcj.com learn more about April, her family, and the wonderful foundation they started to help families after the loss of a child.
Early Wednesday morning I get the text "It's baby day!" Her water had broken and light cramping had begun. I was so excited to be able to attend the birth of my sweet friend and former neighbor. I was so excited for her to be able to birth at Concord Birth Center after having to transfer with her daughter who arrived too early for midwives to be able to deliver. She stopped by the River Guild so to say hi while we had our weekly playgroup. She went off to walk herself into labor at a local park. The next I heard from them was "Kate thinks Caitie's in transition" and off I went! I showed up not too long before she was ready to push.
Waiting for her brother to arrive.
Looking up at her daughter moments before her son was born. When I showed her these she didn't remember or believe she could have had such a smile while in labor. Birth is SO amazing. Such a range of emotions.
It's been so long since I've been able to post a blog! I'm excited to jump back into it with a sweet newborn for you!
This is 11 day old Hadley. We started off our session in a less than sleepy mood. But she had the cutest little grump face for our first set up.
After some mama milk to top her off she was finally a little more sleepy. She liked being swaddled.
Her big brother got some mama snuggles in while I was snapping a few photos.
These little guys were the best big brothers! Lots of kisses for little sister.
I started off really liking lifestyle newborn sessions. But now I LOVE a good combination of setting up a really nice posed newborn photo and snapping sweet moments in between set ups. Everyone should have a little of both!
Just as I was about to pack everything up we noticed that Hadley had fallen into a deep sleep. So I took my camera back out and captured some of my most favorite photos of this whole session!
Happy Fall Everyone!
September marks 4 years since I took my first doula training and 3 years since I attended my first birth! I want to give away a Newborn Session to celebrate!
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2. Be sure that you LIKE our page itself if you haven't already!
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I have photographed this little lady and her family many times now. I'm finally excited to share some photos from her newborn session! She was not sleepy for me at all!
Newborn sessions are unique to each family/baby and casual. Nursing/feeding breaks are always welcome and encouraged! There is no pressure as I know newborns are unpredictable. Some sessions are more posed and some are more about just capturing real life moments. I love both types of photography!
I have been incredibly lucky to be part of Ada's journey. Ashley and Andy are amazing parents. They not only have patience, creativity, and passion in everyday parenting, they take on challenges with grace and comedic relief.
They have allowed me to share their whole experience from finding a new provider who can support a breech birth, versions (see Part One), to their labor and delivery. The pictures shown are both beautiful and graphic in showing a breech birth up close and personal.
Ashley's water broke around 6pm on Wednesday evening. Her previous labors started the same way with contractions following a few hours later. So we all headed to the hospital because it was an hour away and she wanted to get comfortable before labor really started.
I arrived around 9pm and we were all pretty excitable. Ashley's wonderful midwife Kate instructed us all to sleep so we could be rested for when she really needed our support.
The next morning was the time to get active in trying to encourage some contractions. Lots of walking, yoga, squats, nipple stimulation, resting, red raspberry leaf tea, more walking. We tried the rebozo, the miles curcuit, and more walking. All of these things several times and nothing seemed to get things moving.
After nearly 27 hours after her water had broken they decided to encourage some contractions by starting with the very lowest dose of pitocin. It really did the trick and she labored beautifully.
She told us she was in transition. She laid down to rest. The birthing stool was set up. That's where she said she would like to push her baby out. And soon she was ready. "I have to push." She got right up out of bed and onto the stool to push.
Again, the next photos are of a graphic vaginal birth.
Labor is hard. But it is beautiful and worth every second. The strength of this family is amazing. I am so honored to have been part of their journey.
This little ladies story is very special. She has an incredibly strong mama and powerfully supportive father. Surrounded by people who wholeheartedly believe in the natural birth process. From a homebirth midwife to the last minute addition of an OB who was experienced and supportive of a breech birth plan.
Version (medical): the manual turning of a fetus
in the uterus to make delivery easier.
Ada's birth was originally planned to be a homebirth. Her older sister was vertex and born in a hospital. Her brother was born at home and was a surprise breech delivery! Ada seemed to like the position that her brother imprinted into mom's uterus. She was cozy and not willing to budge on her own. So a version was scheduled to encourage her move head down.
Baby in breech position, happy positive mama, belly all lubed up and ready to go! Turn baby, turn!
This little lady has moves! Do you see that doctors GIANT hands? She slipped right under them. Twice. Look at how peacefully mama uses her hypnobirthing techniques.
The first version was unsuccessful. They moved her very nearly head down and she wiggled her way back to her comfy breech position. There were some moments of feeling defeated and not knowing the next step. But they never gave up! Their midwife got them in touch with a doctor who will support a breech birth about an hour away. Farther than they wanted to travel. But for the chance to deliver her baby the way she wanted to, it was worth it.
The next step was to try a version with a spinal. They would be able to work a little harder and it wouldn't be as painful to try and maneuver her to a head down position.
Sniffing some peppermint to calm her nerves. Making daddy chill out a bit too. Dad directing her to focus! Get this baby head down! This couple is literally hilarious.
In the OR ready to go!
They really put their effort in! Each time after they tried they monitored Ada's heartrate and gave her a chance to calm down a bit. She handled all of this very well! She was just a stubborn little lady who knew exactly how she wanted to make her entrance.
She was turned twice. And as soon as hands were off she flipped her cute little tushie back into mamas pelvis... TWICE! She was happily breech and that is the way she intended to be born. Mama was in good spirits though... as you can see. They had a plan!
Read about Ada's entrance into the world in PART TWO.
Photographer, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, Intactivist, Seamstress, Partner to my long time boyfriend, and Mindful Mama.