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{Labor of Love} Baby Beau’s Birth Day

There is only one type of event in life that is as emotional, as raw, as humbling and as powerful as that of a birth of a baby. I have only photographed one birth before this one, but was incredibly honored when the mother of one of my favorite brides from last year approached me about covering the birth of her first grandchild. I honestly originally expected for it not to work out, and that I would have to call in one of my back ups to cover the delivery because every weekend of the month before Blaire’s due date, I either had a wedding or was out of town. But somehow, by the powers that be, it all worked out when her induction date was scheduled for Friday, Sept 27.

The pitocin began that morning at 7, and by 9, Blaire was dilated to 3 cm. She got the relief from pain that she was craving a bit before 11 when her epidural was placed. I arrived at noon, and by then, Blaire was at 5 cm. She was quiet and serene in bed, with her eyes closed, resting in the peace that she knew would be gone in just a short while. Her husband, Austin, matched her level of calm from a bedside chair, his phone in hand, offering him all the distractions of technology.

The energy in the room was coming from Jo, Blaire’s mom, and Brooke, Blaire’s sister. Both were wired with excitement, and that excitement was contagious. Blaire’s dad too was a bit jittery, but his eyes were sparkling with anticipation and he offered a calming presence in the room. Brooke and Blaire have such a close relationship, that Brooke felt right at home curled up next to her sister on the bed, sometimes, her head would rest on the belly itself; she was always in tune with the nephew inside that she couldn’t wait to meet.

Blaire & Austin, being seriously the most chill couple I’ve ever met or worked with, welcomed the influx of visitors into the delivery room. Belly rubs, cell phone photos with said belly, jokes, gift-giving…they were all fair game and helped the mama-and-dada-to-be pass time with those they loved.

Things slowly progressed all afternoon. She dilated to a 7 by 1 p.m. and 90 minutes later, she was fully effaced and dilated. The nurse’s declaration of this fact was met with a round of cheers and tears from all the eager loved ones rooting them on. After a bit of pushing and not much progress, the doctor was able to tell that the Baby Beau was flipped sunny side up. Although this is something that isn’t a problem, so to speak, delivery goes much easier and more quickly if the baby is face down. So she suggested that Blaire turn over and rest on all fours for 45 minutes or so in hopes of turning the little guy over. Blaire wasn’t discouraged, but accepting, and she took on her new position with grace while her husband, friends and family took turns rubbing her back, feeding her ice and sharing with her text messages from those who couldn’t be there but were sending their positive thoughts.

I had thought the noise level was loud at the announcement that Blaire reached full dilation, but I had another thing a’coming. When the doctor came to check the baby’s position, and she cried out that he had indeed done his job and turned over for his mommy, the room literally erupted in squeals of victory. Blaire just calmly smiled, taking it all in.

So…as we joked… it was go time. Or was it SHOW time. Or…better yet… BEAU time!

With her sister holding up one leg and Austin holding her hand and proffering the oxygen mask in between pushes, with her mother breathing in unison and gripping her cheeks in palpable anticipation, with her grandmother and mother-in-law and sister-in-law and two friends clasping hands, jumping on the balls of their feet, peeking over the person ahead of them, updating relatives with texts, and becoming the best cheerleaders ever, Blaire pushed..and pushed..she tugged on a sheet to help focus her energy…and she pushed some more. She was proving herself a champ.

And at 5:39 p.m., Beau William became one of the most-loved lil’ guys ever to be.

There were few dry eyes and cheeks in the room. Pride, relief, pure joy. That’s what filled the room for the next hour..well, that and lots of cell phones snapping like crazy and a few innocent cries from Baby Beau.

So on Blaire & Austin’s one-year anniversary, they brought home the best anniversary gift they could imagine. And because I follow the family on Facebook, I can attest to the fact that he is VERY well cared for…and very well dressed. 😉 Congratulations, Blaire & Austin! I am excited for our next session in a couple weeks. I hope you’re both loving your new roles as parents every day a little bit more. 🙂


{I now invite you to experience birth photography in two different ways. For those who prefer the abbreviated version, just scroll through the pics below. For those who want to see a slideshow, to music, … and get the “full” story… click on the PLAY arrow…and turn the speakers on because let’s face it, music really tugs away at the heart strings. (and don’t worry, all pics have been posted with Blaire & Austin’s approval, so don’t expect anything that will make you turn away!!! It is just the beauty of a beautiful miracle.)





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  • Darbi's Mom - Beautiful! Even brought tears to my eyes and goosebumps up and down my arms. Beau is beautiful! Darbi, you really did capture the moments.ReplyCancel