DEMI & BLAKE + BABY MAUDE RAEN
Sometimes I look through my galleries and think "HOW IS THIS MY JOB? How am I so lucky to get to be a part of these huge moments in people's lives?". And just when I think doing weddings is the best thing in the world, I do a birth story and can't believe I get to be present during something so beautiful. Birth is not just exciting and joyous, but sacred and sobering. This little family is so special to me and I feel so blessed that I got to be present for their big day.
In the following post, I will be sharing Demi and Blake's birth story. Please be kind in any comments as birth is raw and real and messy and beautiful. There are certain images I did not include for their privacy. Demi was such a warrior through her long labor and exhausting delivery. Women are truly goddesses!
Here is Demi's story (from my perspective):
I got an email from Demi about 4 weeks after I had just had my own baby. I had followed her on Instagram (@demilucymay) for a while and was so excited to have the chance to do her birth story! Her photographer had to cancel on her last minute and she was looking for a replacement. I was feeling good and my baby was doing so well and I felt so strongly that I should say yes. Looking back, I think that was pretty crazy, but I am so happy that I did.
Demi's pre-labor was stretched on for a whole week. Me, her, and Paris Tews (who was the videographer and did an amaaazing job! Her website is linked here) were in a group text sending her support while she labored at home, trying to get to that golden spot where the hospital wouldn't send her home. Pre-labor is so hard when it stretches on for a while because you can't sleep, aren't hungry, and feel sooo uncomfortable, but it's just not time to go to the hospital. She was a champ though and kept sending us updates until FINALLY, she was ready to go to the hospital and they didn't send her home!
When I got to the hospital, it was actually my first time meeting her and her husband, Blake! They were the nicest and we really hit it off, which was great because we had a 14 hour journey ahead of us. They hadn't decided baby girl's name yet so there was a long list of possibilities on the board!
Demi was such a glowing mama and she was so tough through the whole process! The epidural was uncomfortable, giving her the shakes, and making her feet swell (the worst!) but she was such a trooper.
Plus, that's what mamas are there for. Some of my favorite shots are of moms helping their babies have babies. So sweet!
Demi's precious niece, Cam, came in to join us and she lit up the room! We had been there all afternoon and early evening at that point and she brought so many smiles.
Around this time, a doctor came by to talk to Demi and Blake about how she was progressing. As soon as the word "c-section" was even mentioned, we all left the room so that they could have a moment alone and Demi could get some rest. When we all rejoined her a few hours later, Demi told us that she had received a blessing from Blake and had continued to pray that she would progress the way she needed to so that she wouldn't have to get a c-section. I had also prayed for her and I know her family did too, so I don't think that it was a coincidence that when she got checked by the nurse again, she had progressed enough that they didn't mention a c-section again!
As Demi neared the end of her labor and it was almost time to start pushing, it all started getting very real. Her epidural was wearing off and she was starting to feel the intensity of the contractions. While this was uncomfortable, she was able to get enough feeling in her legs that she could flip to her knees and labor on all fours for a little bit. This position can be so difficult because it's vulnerable and speeds up labor a lot! She was such a champ!
She was finally ready to start pushing and she did...for 2 1/2 hours, guys! This chick is no joke!
Baby girl was almost here! Demi's doctor arrived and it was time!
Best believe, as soon as I saw Demi's face and that sweet, wailing little ball of chub, I started crying like Kim K behind my camera and also had the biggest milk letdown of my life (TMI? I was 4 weeks postpartum, that's life LOL). My shirt was completely soaked when I got home; thankfully, I was wearing overalls over it so I didn't have to walk around like that.
One thing that I've observed from my own birth and being a part of other people's births is that even when the most mind-blowing, crazy thing just happened to you and your body, your concern is only for the tiny, screaming bundle being taken care of 5 feet away. You've just been through the most wild ride of your life, but all that matters is the little baby. That's MAMA'S LOVE, folks.
I found out a few days later that they named her Maude! This lovely little family is the sweetest and watching Maude grow has been so special. I can't wait to see what this little girl will do and I made a mama friend for life!