When one of my best friends, Monet, found out that she was pregnant, we started planning her birth and maternity sessions right away. She’s a fellow birth photographer, so documenting these moments is something deeply important to her. We chatted about her birth, practically everyday. When it came time for her Blessingway, I knew that she’d have this baby soon. On Monday morning, August 8th, she texted that she was having some contractions and they weren’t stopping. I was instantly giddy and excited! Could it really be today, on a Monday, in the morning?! I called my husband to come home and I went to the flower shop on my way to the birth center. Monet and Ryan were dropping their oldest daughter at the preschool that our children both attend and they were heading to Baby and Company too.
When I arrived, Monet was contracting regularly and moving around as much as possible. Monet’s a pretty active person in general, I knew this would be an active birth too. She stood by the window, against the wall, and in her husband’s arms before it was time to start her IV. For a while it was just us and the midwife there, and I was glad to have these few minutes alone with my friend. I watched Monet transition pretty quickly from early labor to active labor. After I was there for about 30 minutes, Monet’s videographer, Brezi (Captured by Brezi) arrived, as did her best friend and doula Kelsey. Monet’s mom and sister arrived as well as her mother-in-law with Lucy their daughter. Pretty soon the birth space was filled with her team and full of love.
The tub was filling up and Monet got into the shower as Kelsey rubbed her back and supported her through contractions. Ryan was there, holding onto her, with each wave, and it was clear that she’d be having this baby soon….
Ryan held Monet’s hand, wrapped his arms around her, and never left her side.
This was the first time that I tried underwater photography. Monet said she didn’t even notice!
I love this tender moment, Monet laid on the bed, after realizing the tub was not going to be the place where she could push her baby out. I knew she was sad, and Ryan put his hand on her belly and he comforted her and their baby.
She lay on the bed and pushed with all of her might. It took a while to get this big baby underneath her pubic bone, but when it finally happened, we were all so happy. No-one more happy than Monet, though. She kept asking us if her head was out, we kept telling her, YES! She finally believed us after reaching down and checking for herself. Then she pushed her out on the next contraction.
She is here. Eliza Noelle.
Monet asked us to put her placenta on her belly, and we did. It was amazing to see that all of this, a 9lb baby, a placenta, the fluid and cord, were all inside of this little tummy. Amazing, beautiful and incredible.