Welcoming Canyon: Asheville Birth Photographer and Certified Doula

I have been so moved by this family and their commitment to living with intention and being present.  We shared time together in a couple of home visits and it was so refreshing to see the learning, communication, and the gentle redirection when necessary.   I feel inspired to revisit some of the ways that I mother and live.

This beautiful family was expecting to welcome their sweet baby (#5), in their home some time near Christmas, but as babies often do, this little one had plans of his own.  When I got the call, I rushed to their home because we figured things would move quickly.  Maggie was handling labor beautifully, moving through out the house finishing preparations in between the waves of contractions.  The kids were busy caring for one another, getting drinks for their Mama, and creating art work for the new baby.  Burfir was helping with final preparations as well and supporting Maggie as each wave came.  Life was happening all around me and it was incredible.

Not long after I arrived, the midwives confirmed that Maggie was completely dilated.  Baby was still really high and everyone was working to get baby in a better position.

I could not sneak a picture of this adorable little one.  Every time I pointed my camera at her she would just light up and “cheese” for me!

This.  Supported.  Loved.  Held.


Maggie- You are so beautiful and strong!

The midwives were having a hard time picking up baby’s heart rate because of his position.  He seemed to be transverse.  Because baby was coming early and it was hard to monitor how the baby was doing, the midwives recommended transferring to the hospital.  It really took everyone by surprise.

There were so many beautiful, tender moments through out but this one really tugged at my heartstrings.  She was so disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to witness the baby’s birth and that her Mom wouldn’t be at home.  There were tears but she found reassurance right there in Dad’s arms.

There was a lot to process and Maggie handled everything so gracefully.

Once we arrived at the hospital, Maggie learned that baby was kind of a mix of transverse and breech with his arm and shoulder presenting first.  Our bodies are amazing.  As all of this was going on labor seemed to stall out because her body knew that things weren’t where they needed to be.  The Doctor explained that the best option moving forward would be to have a cesarean birth.  Sometimes birth, like life, takes a left turn.  And then another.  And it’s not because of anything we do or didn’t do.  It just is.

Having a birth plan is important.  Knowing your options and being well informed is important.  It is also so important to keep an open mind and know that sometimes things happen beyond our control.  Birth is birth.  It is messy and beautiful.  Every story is unique.

Chama, at Homegrown Babies, uses the term Cesarean Birth in place of c- section.  That has been such an important reframe for me and such a gift to remind Mama’s that they are giving birth.

This.  Supported.  Loved.  Held.  Still

Then this beautiful little one was born.  Dad announced they were having a boy!

Mama was able to see her sweet newborn boy for a few moments before he went upstairs to the NICU to make sure he was doing ok.  I was so, so grateful to be there with Maggie while Dad headed upstairs to stay with their little one.

Baby boy was doing great and Dad was advocating for him and a couple of hours later he was able to meet his Mama in recovery!


Sweet little toes.

Another favorite!

We finally got moved up to Mom and Baby and not long after, the whole family was able to come and meet the newest member of the family.  So much excitement!

Check out miss “L’s” expression!

Another fave!


I’m a sucker for those baby yawns!

Things did not go as anyone expected.  But it was beautiful and full of love, grace, and letting go.

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