My First Birth Story: Baby Wesley

I’ve had an appreciation for photography since I was a kid, but I thought of it as something for another lifetime, something I would only enjoy vicariously through others. But, in 2010, my husband bought me a “real” camera, so of course, I wanted to learn how to use it. It’s embarrassing when I think back on my first days, weeks, months, even years, lol, of trying to learn my camera. I mean, truly embarrassing!, but the best way to learn is by doing and that’s what I did. Photography soon became a passionate hobby for me and I was taking my camera just about everywhere I went. I figured that that’s all it was though- just a hobby. Then, after the birth of my daughter, I decided I wanted things in my life to change. I had new priorities and with that, I began considering new career options. I wanted something that would allow me more control over my schedule and that would be something enjoyable.

It was also about that time in my life that I became what I affectionately call a “birth junkie”. I had previously worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology for 6 years, so I already had some interest and existing knowledge, but throughout my pregnancy, my desire to learn more and to engage in the birth community grew. I began attending birth network meetings and I joined online birth and parenting groups. It was then that I decided to specialize in birth photography- combining two things that I had grown very passionate about.

I very much wanted a birth photographer for my own birth, but we couldn’t afford it, and I deeply regret that. If I could do it all over again, I would do whatever it took to afford it. That is something we cannot get back. We do have a few snapshots and I am grateful for that, but it’s just not the same as having a professional present. Birth is such a special experience, and to me, it deserves photographic commemoration just like any other special occasion (i.e. weddings). I feel that having birth documented through images is such a gift. If I can offer that gift to others, it would be an honor.

Since then, I engrossed my time and effort into all things photography and birth. Every single day for the last year and a half or more, I have been studying my craft. I want very much to be successful at this. And, it is hard starting out, very hard. (I often get the crazy eye when I tell people I want to be a birth photographer. I’m most certain they don’t understand what that means because there is no way it is as terrifying as they are imagining.) And, it doesn’t matter how much I want to be a birth photographer, if others don’t see that potential, I don’t have a business. Without having photographed a birth before, how was I supposed to show people what I was capable of? I had a vivid vision in my head of what I wanted to do, but I needed one brave soul to give me the chance to prove it.

Well, last month, I found that person. April and her husband, JL were willing to take a chance on me and they gave me the opportunity to attend and document such a sacred moment in their lives. I am forever grateful. It is hard for me to express in words how honored I am to have had such a privilege. I think birth, all births, are beautiful and real and raw. They may not all go according to plan, but it is my hope that those moments are respected and cherished in a way that is meaningful to the family. I hope I was able to give this family even a portion of what they gave me.

Without further ado, here are a few of the images from my first birth. Y’all, birth is AMAZING! I truly hope when you look at these images that you too can see the beauty in these moments.

Meet April, JL, Big Sister Sarah and Baby Wesley:

And, please check out this slideshow:

p.s. I would like to add that this mama ROCKED her birth. She was dedicated to having a natural, unmedicated birth. She took childbirth classes and she prepared herself as best she could. It was not easy. It was a very fast labor and because of that, her pain come on quickly as well. But, she never gave up. She pushed through it and had the birth experience she wanted. April, you are AMAZING! Way to go, mama! Aaanndd, it was a surprise gender birth too which made it even more exciting! It was a PERFECT, sweet baby boy! Congratulations!

If you like my images, please visit me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pushphotos. Give me a “like” and comment on your favorite photos. It would be much appreciated! Cheers!

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The Hauptly Family

Meet Lawrence, Hollie, Quinn and Raelynn. Hollie is a birth junkie just like meeeee! Wahoo! Someone who gets my level of crazy! Haha! 😉

I met Hollie at the very first Dallas Birth Network meeting I attended. I had just had my daughter a few months earlier and my experience left me craving more from the birth world. It was about this time that I decided to pursue birth photography, so when I was invited to attend a birth network meeting, I jumped on the opportunity. Hollie sat next to me. She mentioned that she had her own business as a certified doula and childbirth educator. I was impressed and inspired. I knew what I wanted to do, but being so new to the birth world, I didn’t know how to start. Hollie was brand spankin’ new to the area and had already launched her business. She didn’t let being new hold her back, and I shouldn’t either. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere! So, this is my start.

Since then, Hollie and I have become friends. Let me tell you, this is one cool chick. She is very sweet and smart, and she is really good at what she does. Lawrence is quite impressive too. He is currently in chiropractic school. These two make a great duo and then, of course, you add two pretty stinkin’ cute kids and they are the whole package! LOL! It was a lot of fun photographing them. Quinn was completely adorable and always ready for the camera. His eyes and smile just make you light up! Raelynn was much more reserved. She couldn’t quite figure me out. But, I still want to eat her up because even though she gave out smiles sparingly, she was ridiculously cute. Well, without further ado, here are their family portraits.

And, for anyone interested in doula services and/or a natural childbirth course, check out Hollie’s website at http://www.sweetserenitybirth.com/ or you can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sweet-Serenity-Birth-Services-Hollie-Hauptly-Doula-and-BBCI/141314659269361. I highly recommend a birthing class especially if you are interested in a natural birth. Also, doulas are worth their weight in gold especially if they help prevent unnecessary interventions.

And, of course, if anyone is interested in birth photography by yours truly, you can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pushphotos or email me at pushphotography at outlook dot com. I am currently offering discounted rates for portfolio building. Please contact me for more details.