Birth Story

Daxin Thomas

Strength comes in many forms. Sometimes, the tiniest beings truly are the mightiest. On August 28th, 2017 I saw this truth come to life.

Daxin Thomas, here is your birth story.

On August 28th, 2017 at 5:30am I received a phone call from your momma--she was in the hospital in active labor. I packed my bag, got my camera organized and made my way to meet your parents. I arrived to the hospital at around 6:30am and the sun was just beginning to come up. It was going to be a beautiful hot summer day; a perfect day to be born on. I was walking into the hospital watching the sun come up thinking to myself how truly blessed I am to be able to capture life's most beautiful moment: birth. 

I made my way to the maternity ward and was greeted by your parents. Your momma was on the bed, calm as can be with a beautiful glow to her. Your daddy was sitting on the stool right beside your mom, excited and eagerly waiting to meet you. The room was full of calm energy and pure joy. I began to take some photos of your parents eagerly awaiting your arrival, your dad was cracking jokes all morning and at about 8:00am your moms water broke. Things were progressing and your mommy and daddy were so beyond excited to meet you. The light in the room as the sun came through was beautiful, it truly was a perfect day for you to be born. It cast a beautiful glow on both of your parents emphasizing the love they share for each other. 

Your momma was so beautiful in labor. She was calm, focused and worked through each contraction with grace. Aside from my main focus of the photography being your birth, I was continually drawn to your mommas "strength" tattoo on her wrist. I focused on it during her maternity photos too, and little did we know that the tattoo could not be more fitting for your birth, Daxin. 

At around 10:00am your momma was ready to start pushing. She was amazing and breathed through each contraction like a champion. Watching your parents work together during this time was inspiring. Your dad never left your mommas side, his hand rested on her arm, shoulders, and head continuously comforting her. They were both so amazing as they flawlessly knew what to do for each other. Your mommas strength was incredible, her epidural began to wear off and she continued to listen to her body and breathe through each contraction, knowing it meant she was closer to meeting you. She moved through each contraction finding a position that helped her through each surge...each one bringing you closer to her.

You were born at 12:30pm, and you fought hard from that moment on. You were placed on your mommas chest for a few moments until you were carefully placed into the Panda warmer so the doctors and nurses could help you. I cannot comprehend the feelings your parents were experiencing at this moment. The doctors and nurses were amazing. Seeing the love every person had for you in that room was something else. While the next few minutes were unbearably scary and stressful for your mom, dad and you, you were a fighter from the start and you were ok. 

While it is not my story to tell on how your mom and dad experienced this birth, I can tell you from my point of view: witnessing you enter this world I saw love, strength and trust. Your birth was one of the most beautiful, incredible and inspiring births I've ever attended. I saw and captured strength in all of it's form at your birth. You are welcomed earthside into the strongest family I know, Daxin. The love that your parents, siblings and grandparents have for you is endless. It's so evident in the images I was able to capture. Every single birth is a miracle, and your birth was that and so much more. 

I've never asked your mom the meaning behind her "strength" tattoo. However, I can tell you from what I witnessed you have a very strong momma and daddy. Usually when we hear the word "strong" we think of something big and tough. I was humbly reminded that often real strength comes from the tiniest beings. Daxin, you are strong and you are mighty. I am so grateful that your parents allowed me into this sacred space with them to capture your birth, it was nothing short of incredible. Watching you enter this world has made me even more appreciative of the miracle of life. Birth is nothing short of a miracle and I am so blessed I was able to witness yours. 

To Heather and Jeff, thank you for allowing me to be your birth photographer. I feel very humbled that I was welcomed into such a precious space with you guys. Heather, you are an incredible woman and you already are an amazing momma. Jeff, you have such a kind heart--it is so evident in the love you have for Heather and your kids. You two make an amazing team, and you've both brought the most adorable little boy into this world. Be proud of what you two have accomplished. You two really encompass the meaning of love and strength. This birth will forever be in my heart. I can't thank you enough for allowing me into this space with you.

Welcome earthside, Daxin Thomas. You are so incredibly loved.

With all my love, your birth photographer,

Julia

XOXO

Heather - 38 Weeks

STRONG AS A MOTHER

I absolutely love meeting up with my clients before they have their babies. Whether it be for a prenatal meet for a Doula client or chatting over coffee about their vision for their birth photography. Today I was able to meet with one of my clients for a maternity session. We managed to beat the rain and enjoy the sunshine during this session. 

Heather is 38 weeks pregnant and eagerly awaiting the arrival of her little one. She was fearless, authentic and absolutely stunning against the beautiful backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Pregnancy is always a beautiful, challenging and unique experience for everyone. Listening to Heather's story is always inspiring.

The last few weeks of pregnancy always seem to go on forever; the anticipation and unknown of when you'll get to finally meet your little one is both exciting and challenging. Heather has a beautiful tattoo on her wrist that says "strength" -- how fitting for this pregnant mama during the last few weeks of pregnancy. 

You can see the love she already has for this little babe inside of her through these pictures. It was a joy to photograph Heather today, and now we are all eagerly awaiting the safe arrival of her new bundle.

XO

Julia

Lacey Joy

THIS IS YOUR BIRTH STORY, LACEY JOY

On Thursday, July 20th, 2017 I received a phone call from your mom, Bradina. It was 5:51AM and she was having regular contractions. I packed my bag, got organized and made my way to your house. When I arrived your big brother, Josh, was eager and excited when he answered the door. Your momma looked like a goddess while on the birth ball rocking her way through her contractions. It was 6:48AM when I arrived. Your daddy, James, came home from work at about 7:15AM. He was exhausted from a long day/night of work, but you could see the excitement in his eyes...they were sparkling. 

Bradina's contractions were now about 4 minutes apart, lasting for approximately 1 minute. They were getting more intense with each rush, and we decided it was time for us to make our way to the hospital once the childcare for your big brother and sister had been organized. Big sister, Gemma, woke up shortly after Daddy got home and your big brother and daddy got her ready for the day. Your momma was busy organizing socks and everyones bags to help distract herself through the contractions but they were becoming very intense, very quickly.

Your momma and I hopped in my car once I called the Maternity ward, and we made our way to the hospital while your daddy and siblings went to meet the babysitter.

We arrived at the hospital at about 8:15AM. Momma got checked at 8:25AM and was about 3CM dilated. Contractions were every 2-3 minutes apart. Your mom was incredible. With each breath she worked through the rush of the contraction in the most beautiful way. Bradina had the fetal monitor on for about twenty minutes to monitor you because of her previous VBAC and the closeness of the two births. You were perfectly healthy and so was mom. Your heartbeat was a comforting and entrancing sound to listen to. 

While working through each contraction your momma used the birth ball, went on hands/knees, rocked and swayed and had daddy and myself (her Doula and Birth Photographer) comfort her. We suggested hopping into the shower to help relax her back and uterus during the contractions and it did offer some relief. Your dad was such an amazing support to your mom. His jokes kept the air light in the room, and seeing your moms beautiful smile just lit up the room. They were such an amazing team together. Despite being tired, your dad remained your moms rock. It was such an honour for me to be able to witness, assist and offer comfort to the both of them during your birth. 

At about 9:56AM, the doctor arrived to check how far your mom had been progressing. She had dilated to 6CM in just over an hour. The contractions were very intense but your mom remained strong and focused the whole time. The doctor attempted to break the waters, which ended up in a little trickle of the "waters" releasing. After this happened, Bradina got out of bed after a few contractions were monitored and made her way back to the shower. The water and your daddy helped your mom work her way through these next few contractions.

Once Bradina got back into the shower she was feeling a very strong urge to push. She had about 2/3 contractions all within about a minute and the doctor was called back into the room, and the nurses got your mommy back onto the bed. We all knew you were going to make your appearance earth side very soon. Despite being in a ton of pain and doing her whole labor naturally, your mom still looked like a beautiful goddess as she worked her way through each contraction. The laughing gas offered a bit of relief to momma which was great.

At 10:50AM, the doctor came in and by the time she arrived in the room, you were starting to crown. The doctor gowned up and put her gloves on and she began to instruct your mom on when to push and what to do. Your daddy was right beside your mom, holding her hand the whole time and the nurses were awaiting your arrival. I was able to capture many beautiful shots of you emerging into this world that your momma and daddy will show you when you are a bit older. Your birth was beautiful, quick, intense and stunning. You were born at 10:58AM with just one push. You weighed 7LBS 7OZ and look just like your big sister, Gemma. You are perfect, Lacey Joy. 

Once you arrived, mommy immediately had you skin to skin. They had delayed cord clamping and daddy was able to cut the cord. The joy on his face while doing this was so heartwarming. Your mom was so strong through everything, she roared you out like a lion and it was the most spectacular thing to witness and be a part of. Your mom was a champion during the next half an hour while the doctors did some work and cleaned her up. You were skin to skin with daddy during this time and he was loving every minute of it. The nurses then weighed you and measured you and then you went right back to mommas arms and began to nurse perfectly right away. Later on in the afternoon I returned back to the hospital to take photos of your siblings meeting you for the first time. Both Joshua and Gemma are going to be amazing siblings to you. Seeing you brought the biggest smiles to both of their faces. 

I am so honoured and blessed to be able to have witnessed your birth, Lacey. Your moms strength will forever stay with me. The connection between your parents was amazing. What a beautiful birth to witness and to photograph for my first clients. I will always remember the amazing journey I witnessed of you coming earth-side. 

 

To Bradina, James and family. Thank you for allowing me to be your Doula and birth photographer. I can't express my gratitude enough for you choosing me to support you and comfort you during this incredibly personal and special time. Bradina, you are seriously one of the strongest women I know and you truly looked like a goddess in labor. You are incredible, Bradina. James, your support was so awesome during Bradina's labor. Watching you comfort Bradina and get to hold your baby girl in your arms was amazing. 

Welcome to the world, Lacey Joy. You are so very loved.

With all my love,

Your Doula & Photographer,

Julia XO