Nothing puts life into perspective than life itself. The birth of a new baby awakens the soul in such an incredibly beautiful and profound way.
For nine months us women form a life within our own body, all while we wait (no doubt the biggest understatement) in anticipation for our future son or daughter.
We read the books, brainstorm names, create a Pinterest board filled with all the cutest itty bitty things for our future mini (mine is named “Oh Baby” and I still add to it even though my son is now fourteen) and we browse the latest baby gadgets both online and in stores.
During pregnancy we daydream about what our child will look like, who they will be, and we may go overboard with the nesting (so what if we rearranged, refolded and rearranged the newborn clothes on a consistent every other day basis?).
We find ourselves comforting our growing bump by constantly caressing it, we talk and sing to it and we watch in fascination as we see our bump move as our baby readjusts. Strangers ask how far along we are, if we know what we're having and they smile at our glow.
I am in awe of how us women can create life, how our bodies can transform, stretch and nourish another being within us.
We feel everything during the nine months; all the emotions, all the aches, all the movements.
Oh, those movements. Those flutters.
Nothing can prepare us for the end of pregnancy and the experience of labor. When it’s time to rock it out (literally for some of us), we show up like a rockstar because we are rockstars.
No, we are Superwoman.
So our body formed and nourished our little one for nine months, providing everything that he or she needed before they come Earth side. Amazing!
Then it's time for something even more incredible.
Our bodies in labor experience something that is nothing short of a miracle.
We try to apply the mind-over-matter confidence method of lamaze during the thunderous shocking bolts that are contractions.
Our patience with our partner that planted the seed within us is nonexistent and we blame them for the pain we’re in. And no, the ice chips will not help a f#@k!ng thing! Ok, maybe they will after the contraction. Wait, where are you going with the ice chips?! I told you I needed them! You would have these mood swings too if you had to carry a baby for nine months!
And after all is said and done, after we hear our newborn’s first cries when they enter the world, when we get our first glance of them and when we embrace them for the first time, nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to that moment. The pain from labor vanishes and joy completely overwhelms us. We are mesmerized.
We are in love.
I was reminded of all of these memories and reminisced my own experience of becoming a mother when I had the honor of photographing Stephanie and Christian’s home birth last week. I was thrilled!
The last few weeks I kept asking Christian how Stephanie was doing, if there was any news, to keep me posted if there was any news and to call me when it was go time. Any time my phone rang I got excited thinking it was Christian (I dropped my phone a few times). I was waking up in the middle of the night checking my phone, panicking that I had missed a call from Christian.
I finally got the call on March 11th at 12:16 am. I could hear Stephanie actively in labor in the background as Christian told me to come over. Her water broke!
I’m a seventeen minute drive from their home and I was six minutes too late (how's that for irony Alanis Morrissette?!). I walked in and heard a newborns cry. Are you kidding me, I missed it?!
Stephanie was still in the birthing pool while Christian was holding their son. We all shared a laugh at how I never imagined missing the pre-birth stage.
I admired Stephanie's beauty and strength, and how open and comfortable she and Christian were with me photographing them.
Stephanie and Christian welcomed their handsome, healthy son Graham Lewis Winther at 12:23 am. Although I didn’t get to photograph the process of labor, I did get the honor of capturing the emotions and moments that came after.
The smiles, the laughter, the first thumb suck, the first feeding, the first diaper, the first night with baby Winther.
Life is truly a miracle.
Graham Lewis Winther
3 . 11 . 20
8lbs 9oz 21in