the birth of theodore william :: northern virginia home birth photographer

A woman becoming mother…it amazes me. Undoes me. Splits me into a million pieces and makes me whole. There’s nothing like it, and I swear I am one of the luckiest people on earth to be able to witness it again and again and again.

When my friend and fellow birth photographer Meghan contacted me when she was newly pregnant, I knew I would shoot her birth – even though it was just 3.5 months after my own little one was due. I would make it work.

When I showed up to her house at 11 pm, she had already been in labor for 11 hours and her water had been broken for 6. Things seemed like they were moving rapidly and smoothly and we were all excited to meet her little guy. As the hours ticked by it gradually became clear that Theo did not have a quick entrance planned. Things were intense when I arrived but they got more and more intense until that moment came that every woman who has given birth so vividly remembers: I can’t do it anymore. I’m done. Get me out of here.

With two incredible midwives holding space for her, a wonderfully supportive friend who breathed through each contraction with her, and her husband by her side believing in her 100%, Meghan pressed on through this moment. She found her strength. She found the primal part of herself that continues past the I can’t through to I did. When Theo finally made his entrance – 24 hours after labor began and two hours after she started pushing – I bawled. This moment is so damn beautiful. It is the only thing that sustains me through long nights, it is why I am compelled to tell these stories. We – the sisterhood of mothers – we need these stories. Stories of perseverance and strength, doubt and uncertainty, beauty and relief. This birth story is all of those things, so grab a tissue and sit down for this one. Mothers are amazing.

Music Credit: Leaving Earth by Jordan Critz, licensed through The Music Bed