Welcoming Cora: Asheville Doula + Birth Photographer

Heidi and Dave were such an amazing couple to work with!  When we first met they were mainly interested in hiring me for birth photography and any doula work that I was able to do would just be a bonus.  They both work in the medical field and felt comfortable on that end.  As we talked about my role as a birth doula, how I’m there to help support the laboring woman and her partner to feel safe and strong, normalize birth, and to be an extra set of hands on help, the more they realized how important it was to have another person on their team who would offer continuous support while respecting their birth preferences.  People often ask if I’m able to be both a doula and a birth photographer at the same birth.  The answer is absolutely yes!  One common thing in most births is the gift of time.  Or at least that is one way to look at it- laboring Moms might not see it that way!  My goal in any birth is to help Mama feel safe and strong.  I work together with her partner, showing them different positions to help ease the pains of labor and keep things progressing.  Once we find a good position and partner is there, offering hands on support, I am able to step back for a minute and document the moment.  Birth is such a timeless event and Mama’s are working so hard that often they aren’t able to remember many parts of the birth.  It’s such a blessing to me to be able to share these images after the fact where women can see how completely amazing they are.  They see their strength and vulnerability.  They see how they were loved and supported.  When birth takes a left turn and they have to let go of their ideal birth, they are able to look back and see that this birth, although different from what they had planned, can still be beautiful.  These images can be a healing part of their birth story.  I’m so thankful for the opportunity I have to photograph these connections and raw emotions.  So thankful.

This birth started off with a bit of a left turn.  Baby girl was overdue and Mama had to go in for a stress test to make sure everything looked good.  During the test there was some concern and the Doctor decided it would be best to have a baby sooner than later.  It wasn’t an emergency and Heidi and Dave were able to go home, get their bags, and take care of things at home before heading to the hospital for an induction.  Still, that is not an easy thing for Mama’s to hear.  I met Heidi and Dave up at the hospital and helped them get settled in for the night.  Their midwife came in and we were all able to talk about their birth and what they might be able to expect.  Heidi was able to voice her concerns and come to terms with this new “birth plan”.

 

The following afternoon Heidi’s water broke and she was beginning to feel the contractions.  She labored so hard and did an amazing job!

 

Heidi’s Mama drove the whole night to be there and it was sweet to have her in the room for support during part of labor.

Heidi and Dave make an incredible team and it was beautiful to see their love for one another.

After a very long labor, Heidi gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Cora, and finally had her in her arms.

Love the squishy face in this picture!

Miss Cora, their is no shortage of people who already love you dearly!  You had a room full of proud Grandparents!

And so it begins….

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