While I have become quite diverse in my photography starting out with landscapes, moving in to portrait photography and branching out into some life style photography here and there - birth photography was never something I imagined or even thought of doing. I was completely taken back when Bernice messaged me a month or so ago with the idea of capturing the birth of her second son. I worked with Bernice back in late November 2013 on my first maternity boudoir session - so it seems fitting that she would be the one to introduce me to the amazing world of birth photography. I truly had no clue what it entailed and she provided me with a link to a blog about birth photography so I can do some light reading and get a small feel at whether this was something I would be interested in doing. It didn't take long to convince me and that started our initial step forward on this wonderful journey. Bernice & I were in constant communication after each appointment as she got closer to her due date, providing me with constant updates and her progress.
On the week surrounding her due date, I purposely changed the ringer on my cell phone to something much louder and kept a cordless phone near the edge of my bed, lest I miss that important phone call from Bernice saying she's in labor. As the day drew nearer, she messaged me about contractions she was having and that feeling that he may just arrive earlier than expected - that night I was on the edge full of anxiety, don't think I got much sleep then. What we thought was THE day, turned out to be a false alarm. This little boy was proving to be stubborn and surely wasn't ready to make his announcement. Her due date (Feb. 19th), came and went with no sign of baby. Regardless of the building frustrations on not having given birth yet, this beautiful Momma maintained her sense of humour - asking me if I knew of a way to make him come out already lol! I dug deep within and the advice that came forth was to just let go and let be. The moment we stop anticipating and expecting, is the moment he will be ready. I had also hinted she would be calling me over the weekend and we would be having this baby. Sure enough, that message came Sunday morning sometime around 8:50am on Feb. 23, 2014.
This being my first ever birthing session and not knowing what it was like to go into labor nor the time frame from labor to actual delivery (my kids were delivered C-section), I hurriedly got ready and grabbed my gear before bolting out the door. I wasn't sure if I had time for a pit stop, but made one anyways so I could pick up my daily morning red bull, a bottle of water and some chips to snack on - I had no clue how long I would be there for. I arrived somewhere around 10:30a.m and was met by her husband Zach. He led me into the room once she was all situated and hooked up to the monitors. I was so happy and excited to see Bernice! My heart was racing 1000 miles per hour with anticipation of her baby's arrival. We all chit chatted a little until the contractions started and then I think she phased me out from then on, which was fine with me because I surely did not want to be caught in the line of fire as the adrenaline started to peak with every major contraction.
For the first half of her major contractions, they had put her on epidural to help with the pain. At some point during the pushing process, the doctor took her off it. Let me tell you, from that moment on, I got to experience the helpless feeling that the Daddies go through. I positioned myself behind her and off to the left a little, perched atop the sofa chair to get a good angle for my shots. I sat and watched her push and push, I could almost feel the deep seated pain she endured in her attempts to push little Cade out. I have a new appreciation for a woman in labor.
After what seemed like forever, baby Cade Gunnar Nelson was born at 4:04pm weighing in at 9lbs 12oz and measuring at 21.25inches - that's a BIG boy!!! All the heartache and pain to get him here was worth it!! To be able to witness and photograph the miracle of life, was an amazing experience for me. I will forever be blessed by this day. The birth of baby Cade has inspired and fuelled my desire to capture ALL of life's moments. I walked away humbled and grateful for the experience, knowing deep in my heart - birth photography is definitely something I want to pursue. Congratulations to Bernice & Zach Nelson on the birth of your beautiful baby boy. Thank you for having me out to capture and be a part of this miraculous moment!!!