It's true that most of my birth clients have their babies at home, but that doesn't stop me from attending hospital arrivals when I have the chance. In my experience, photography and videography is rarely allowed in labor and delivery rooms here in Illinois, so as it goes; I don't attend a lot of hospital births.
However, on occasion the stars align and a perfect client with the perfect doctor/midwife is put in my path. I had the outstanding pleasure to work with Kyle and Amy and their amazing OBGYN/Midwifery practice in McHenry, Illinois this past month. I hit it off with Amy from her very first email and there was so much excitement in her tone about having her 4th and final birth professional captured. We talked over the course of her whole pregnancy and what is normally a one hour home visit turned into a three hour visit at their kitchen table. By the time I left I felt like I had a new friend, which is always the goal with my birth clients. Allowing a stranger into the most vulnerable few hours of your life is a big commitment and I never want my families to feel uncomfortable with that decision in any way.
Fast forward about two and half weeks.
Amy was very ready to meet her 4th baby; a boy. She was scheduled for an early morning induction. I hung out with them at the hospital as Amy labored for a quick 6 hours. Her delivery snuck up on all of us and unfolded with intensity. Their sweet boy was born shortly after lunchtime. She did such an amazing job listening to her instincts and taking cues from her Midwife. Her husband, Kyle offered unending support and comfort measures. Catching their bond and exchange of emotions was easy from my 'fly on the wall' point of view.
The hospital was beyond supportive. Not only did her nurses and midwife work with Amy to achieve a natural childbirth, they accommodated my position in the room like I was a member of the team. Spirits were high; attitudes were friendly. Amy was cuddled in bed with her sweet boy by her side in less than an hour after his delivery. As I was capturing their bonding time together, one of the nurses asked how we knew each other (I was actually asked this several times that day). After hearing that we had only met in person for 3 hours one evening 2 weeks prior they were in disbelief and I received such a lovely compliment from her. "Wow, I assumed that you were longtime friends or something. You seem to know each other so well."
As I drove home that afternoon, I relished in that moment. To be able to get to a place of complete comfort and trust with people (both clients and birth staff) so quickly is simply part of my job description. I'm honored to have met some of the most amazing and supportive people in the birth community here. My only hope is that with more of this compassion for the birthing process that more hospitals will open their delivery rooms to professionals like myself.
Thank you to:
Kyle & Amy L. for choosing my services to help document your birth.
Dr. Stankevych, MD and Gretchen Dabrowski, RN, CNM and the nursing staff at Centegra Hospital-McHenry for the welcoming atmosphere.