What kind of birth photographer would I be if I didn't have birth photos taken at my own birth? Luckily I have a good friend with a lot of photography talent that I made a deal with: I would take photos at her first birth if she would take photos at mine. The photos tell the story, but I'll give them some context first.
The Story: Early contractions started at Thursday night yoga class (check out Eileens Yoga Studio for awesome prenatal and postpartum yoga classes.) They continued every 8-15 minutes for the next 25 hours at which point my husband and I decided we wanted them to progress so we went on a 2km walk. When we came back home at 7:30pm Friday, my contractions were finally more intense and every 3-4 minutes apart. The midwife came and checked me 2 hours later to give me the most disappointing news of my life: "You are only 1-2 cm dilated." "WHAT? How can that be when I'm already in the worst pain of my life!!!" So she went home to get some shut eye, and I went on to labour at home with my husband through some seriously painful contractions that I feared were getting me nowhere. To my amazement at 1:15 am I started involuntarily pushing and my inner dialogue said, "Yikes, what is going on? Is this seriously happening already? Um... we better call the midwife back NOW!" So when she got there at 1:30, she confirmed to my relief that I was 9cm and could get in the tub. In a whirlwind, calls were made to the second midwife on-call, and my photographer Kyla Ewert (Pinball Photography) who shortly arrived to witness me explaining that I could feel ripping and the "ring of fire." The midwives didn't believe me at first until they moved the mirror forward and sure enough my little Hux was crowning. When his head finally came out the midwife's hand was in the water supporting it and to her surprise his little hand was also out and he grabbed her finger. He was officially born at 3:49am. 8.5 hours of labour sounds like a success, but I'll never consider a woman "lucky" for having a short labour again... labour is hard work whether it's 2 hours or 20 hours, but the prize at the end is worth it!