THE BIRTH OF BABY SULLIVAN | PHOENIX, AZ BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER

Yesterday, along side my precious newborn, I received my copy of the summer issue of Midwifery Today- WITH ONE OF MY IMAGES ON THE COVER! EEK!! This birth was gorgeous, the mama was powerful, and the story is moving. Mama Ally even decided to share her birth story on the blog with our 50 favorite images. 


Mommy’s Got You

When I got pregnant with my daughter, I knew I wanted a natural, unmedicated birth.  We attended a Bradley Method class.  We mentally prepared.  Our daughter crowned in the car and was born in the E.R. with our truck still running in the parking lot.  “We did it,” I told her as she was born.  “Mommy’s got you, sweet girl.”  I wanted the same for my son, natural and unmedicated.  We were blessed with the opportunity to deliver him at home.  We had no fear of being at home, we’d pretty much done it before.  We had more excitement about it than anything else.  

Let’s do this.  

On the morning of Sept 16th, 41 weeks 2 days, I lost my mucus plug.  No doubt in our minds, it was go-time.  Calls made, birth team on their way.  Our daughter woke up, her love and laughter fills our home, her presence alone brings me my strength.  Noon comes quickly and it’s our final goodbye to our family of three.  Great big hugs and kisses, tears as she says bye-bye.  My husband by my side coaching me through each contraction.  Lots of counter pressure.  Reminding me to stay strong.  He is my rock.  “Let’s do this.”  2PM and I beg my midwife to finally check dilation.  I had started to feel like I was never going to give birth at this point, like I hadn’t advanced at all.  I needed some hope that I was progressing.  But…I instructed her to not tell me if I wasn’t at least a 5.  A gentle smirk and a “You’re a 6!”  YES!  Fast forward a little bit and it felt as if contractions had stalled, more feelings of hopelessness.  It was sudden.  Whole-body take over.  Contractions came on strong and hard.  No resting.  My body went into overdrive.  He was coming and he wanted out now.  My baby boy was determined and so was I.  The contractions were on top of each other, molding into one.  This was transition and it meant business.  I COULD NOT stop pushing.  My midwives were trying to stop me.  To breathe.  To relax.  We could not stop.  The urge to push was indescribably strong.  Nothing like with my daughter, nor anything I had ever read about or had described to me.  I could not stop.  “You got this, Ally” was all I could hear my husband telling me.  Finally, a break, my body relaxed.  Contractions slowed down a bit and my body allowed me to more efficiently push my son out.  His head was out.  He was looking around.  A gentle first touch on his head and a “hi, sweet boy.”  A minute or so passes waiting for the next contraction.  Back to work.  He’s almost here.  A few more pushes and some gentle maneuvering from my midwife and I was pulling him onto my chest.  Our beautiful 9lb 10oz baby boy was finally here.  “We did it, son” was all I could think.  “Mommy’s got you.” 

My daughter’s birth was extremely chaotic.  My son’s was an incredibly intense greeting.  Being worlds apart different, their births are a sweet reminder to me that even when things don't exactly go as you had imagined, they are still perfect and exactly how they were meant to happen.  This was a raw and difficult delivery.  It tested me in all the right ways.  I found a strength in me that I never knew existed.  Trust in the process, enjoy the journey, appreciate the differences.  


Photographer: Katie Mathis

CNM: Wendi Cleckner

CPMs: Diane Ortega & Belinda Hodder from Willow Birth Center