BIRTH WITHOUT FEAR MEET-UP | PHOENIX BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER

I've been following Birth Without Fear's Instagram account religiously for a while now, so over the summer when the Meet-Up location's list came out I was quick to buy tickets to attend. I have seen women and men come out from attending it feeling empowered. 

I often feel happy with how balanced my self love is, but there are times when I need a strong reminder of my power. The day of the meet-up was one of the latte. January Harshe took women and men who have never met before and helped them lift their own spirits, without having to pick them up herself. January helped us realize how hard we work everyday and every stage in parenting, how impactful we are in our children's lives, and how beautiful we all are. 

I would love to attend another and am utterly thankful for that day and every bit of insight I took.

"AWARD WINNING" | PHOENIX BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER

Absolutely honored that I won best labor image of the year! This birth, like all the births I've attended, was beautiful, powerful, peaceful and most importantly driven by a warrior mama. How lucky am I to be surrounded by such a strong community, to call this my career, and to spread the value of birth worldwide. Within the last few weeks my work has been shared on The Today Show, Huffington Post, People, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Baby Center, Natural Parent, and MORE. Let's continue spreading the word about how real, raw, and messy birth can be.

THE BIRTH OF ALESSANDRA | PHOENIX BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER

Three weeks of prodromal labor leading up to an absolutely flawless birth. Everyday this Mama focused on getting her mind and body in the right place for delivery. Rest & relax were key, all while managing her household with two tiny boys running amok. But how can one complain when the two tinies at home are as precious as these? They clearly stole the show when meeting their new sister.

"WHY NOT HOME " A PRIVATE SCREENING | PHOENIX BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER

When I get the opportunity to meet and speak to a bundle of women that appreciate and are interested in homebirth, I take advantage of it. I respect all births, but homebirth is what is right for me, so when others feel the same I love to indulge myself in conversation. 

So when Midwife Jetta Anderson and I first saw the movie at a local screening, we talked about the opportunity to host one of these ourselves. So off we went to plan. It was a lovely Arizona evening that couldn't have resulted in more technical difficulties if I tried. Thankfully, we finally got it running with the help of both of our husbands. The film was amazing and opened many eyes to the beauty of having or supporting a homebirth. 

When we hosted last month, you could only watch the film at a private screening. Today I learned that everyone is now able to view this film in the comfort of their own home! Yes! You can buy the digital copy for $22.99!

MORE THAN YOUR PLAN | PHOENIX, AZ BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER

My warrior birth mama wrote a little something on her birth (that took place less than 24 hours ago) and is graciously allowing me to share it with all of you. I know you'll enjoy it.

"More Than Your Plan"

By Janet Wilt

 

With my firstborn, I was petrified of a natural birth. I told myself 6cm and then I'll get the epidural. For a first baby, she was a piece of cake. I got to 6cm, went through transition while getting my epidural, and actually pushed on a whim while I couldn't feel my legs. The episiotomy wasn't scary. I smiled the entire time, cracking jokes like it was no big deal. I had my daughter without feeling a thing. I thought it was ideal. 

Two years down the road, I wanted the same for my son. 

But in the back of my mind, I always wondered if I was missing out on a "real birth experience." Was I missing out on knowing the feeling of something women have been doing for centuries without pain relievers? 

I was scared. I was terrified. I don't like being or feeling vulnerable or weak. So I decided I wanted the same path my daughter took with my son. 

At the end of the day, it's not about your plan. It's about their plan. 

I waited around my home for my contractions to be closer to hospital admission standards - just like I did with my daughter. I told my husband - don't let me get the epidural before 6cm - just like I did with my daughter.

This wasn't my daughter.

When we arrived at the hospital and went into triage, I was already 6cm dilated. Labor had progressed quicker than I anticipated. I had painful back labor. I became the woman that walks into the hospital in labor and demands "give me the drugs."

That was the plan. 

When we moved into a laboring suite, the nurses did their best to draw blood, send it over to be analyzed so I could get my precious epidural. All the while, someone else was leading the charge. This little boy was moving on. 9.5cm dilated. I had transitioned and there wasn't time to have an epidural - I was having a baby. 

This wasn't the plan. 

Fear. Pure terror and fear. I felt weak and helpless. "This wasn't the plan," I moaned as if that would have convinced my body otherwise. 

But maybe it was meant to happen this way. I now know the strength and power of my body. I was able to feel every stretch, every pull, and every victorious push until I was able to deliver my son directly onto my chest.

Immediately after his birth, I felt... alive. I mean, I was ecstatic with my daughter but I was so concerned about moving around and I felt fragile. What a difference! After his birth, I wanted to hop up and be as involved as I could. The amount of sheer adrenaline I had coursing through my veins was incomparable. I truly felt all the rush of being a superhero mother. 

I am enormously thankful my son was headstrong and wanted to come out according to his own plan. I now have two wonderful experiences to be able to share with my children. With my daughter, I learned to make a plan and take my time. With my son, I learned to roll with the punches when the plan changes and trust my own strength. Who knew two little babies could teach their own mama such valuable life lessons?