I don’t shoot births often anymore.
Having three young kids, and running two full time businesses.
I wish I could shoot a thousand. . .
But the truth is. .
My time is pretty accounted for these days and the price for the time left over, isn’t cheap.
I couldn’t shoot many more of them, even if I wanted to.
However, it also doesn’t mean, they aren’t my absolute favorite thing to shoot.
100%, my favorite thing to shoot.
One day, when I retire I hope I can walk into a maternity ward on a rainy day and offer to shoot any mom(s) in labor’s birthing photos, if they’ll have me.
Yesterday was one of the longest days of my career.
I’ve waited births out.
One of my hardest, was a day after I had been diagnosed with flu a few years ago.
I asked the mom, if she’d still want me there, after that confirmed swab.
I’d wear a mask, if she wanted me to come, but I understood if she didn’t want me to.
She wanted me there.
I slept on a two seater bench with a high fever and body aches for more than six hours, waiting for that baby to arrive.
But it ended up being one of my most memorable births ever. One that I wouldn’t have traded a single second of.
I stayed at a distance, and didn’t get any cuddles, or hugs. Or love.
I crashed hard into my bed that night. .
Ironically, another mom, the next morning, went into labor.
She also wanted me there.
Man, it was rough.
I thought I was tired then.
But that had nothing on this weekend.
Lindsey of Lindsey Friar Photography headed in at midnight, to meet the fourth member of her family.
El Quatro, as he was referred to in almost every post she shared, would be arriving, any time, after, say, 6AM.
The thing about births is, no matter how many you’ve had, or been to.
You never, ever know.
What to expect.
She texted me, at 445AM, she was a four, and seemed to be progressing quickly.
It would only make sense, for all three of my available nannies to be unavailable today.
One, out for the day, two, out of town entirely. . .
I called on a good friend, who headed over with both her kids in tow, at 630AM to stay with mine, until I made it back.
“Not to jinx it, but hopefully I’ll be back by lunch and we can head to the beach” I’d said, with every intention of doing so.
When I arrived at 7AM to the hospital, the news wasn’t as expected.
She hadn’t progressed much, and instead of breaking her water this morning, they’d be waiting until closer to lunch.
To some, that may have meant you could now head to breakfast, to the mall, back home to sleep a while.
But I’ve played this game before.
I’d left only to be called back in twenty minutes and nearly miss the arrival.
I don’t like that feeling, of possibly missing something.
That I’ve already been up at 445AM for!
So I grabbed my cell phone charger, plugged in, and did some much overdue, instagramming while I waited.
And waited a while longer.
Then waited some more. . .
It was now nearly noon, prior to breaking her water, she’d been checked.
I decided to eat my emotions of utter exhaustion and disappointment, by inhaling the cafeterias’s version of chicken tenders and French fries.
They only added to my long, uneventful day.
The ranch dressing was pathetic.
I sunk into the waiting room lounge chair.
I’d refresh Facebook one more time.
Maybe someone would have something interesting to say.
I never minded waiting.
But a waiting room, and hospital in general,
on a sunny (first day of spring) kind of day> > >
has a way of making nine hours, feel more like a hundred.
I wasn’t sure this baby was ever going to make it.
I could only imagine how Lindsey was feeling.
I texted her, to make sure she wanted me to stay.
Hoping she’d say “DUH!” but prepared for her to be over it, even more than I was, and send me on my way back home, in late afternoon, Davis hwy traffic.
But she was in.
I told her, I was too.
For the long run.
and I’m so glad, we all held out.
At 4PM, she was progressing.
I headed back, to check light, and within the hour, the team arrived to help el quatro navigate his way into the real world.
Roth was siting, as relaxed as he could be.
His hands often behind his head, or back . . . almost acting reclined, but not.
I feel like men, with their hands behind their backs in delivery rooms are really something to be seen.
It really is, a loss of all control for them.
God forbid, something happen, there’s not a single thing, they can do.
Two of the most important people in their life.
All at the hands of God and doctors and nurses.
Aside from emotional support, there isn’t a thing they can do.
But watch it all unfold.
He’d stand up, fix his “outdoorsmen” style pants and massage her shoulders, then her back.
I joked that he looked like he was preparing to go hiking in that attire.
“this is what I always wear” he said.
I totally believed him.
I could tell she was tired.
I felt her pain. (not really)
but in the tired department.
But she still looked beautiful.
So, so beautiful.
She’s a natural beauty.
A beach bum.
With light eyes, tan skin and flowy hair.
One would hardly believe she woke up looking like that, but I knew she did.
Even more, that she’d been in labor for an entire day at this point.
He was close. The monitors told us everything. . .
It wouldn’t take many pushes to meet him.
As they slowly helped her get into position, a few tears started to fall down her cheeks.
“It just hasn’t felt real, until now. I’ve been so scared. I can’t believe it.” she said. . .
I believed her.
It wasn’t too long ago, that her family had suffered a huge loss in their family.
So unexpectedly . .
But then the news, of this baby.
Almost expected, but totally, not expected.
Especially when you’re three kids deep already.
I was so thrilled for her.
She deserved a lifetime of sunshine.
The news of a fourth baby, seems like yesterday.
But now, here we were.
Getting ready to greet him.
Face to face.
I cried a little for her.
When you have three kids.
There is no rocking in an empty nursery, thinking of what life will be like.
There is no time, to wash then fold new clothes, and lay on the sofa. . .awaiting him.
– – –
It’s more like days at the beach, chasing three kids.
But now, with those monitors on, and the staff at your feet.
Preparing to deliver him to you.
It’s a lot to take in.
A few pushes, and there he was.
A perfectly round head.
Thick arms, legs, rolls abundant. .
perfectly pink newborn skin.
Every, newborn photographer’s dream, come true.
Any mom’s, dream, come true.
A healthy, dashing, baby boy.
And all that time, spent waiting for him was insignificant.
I’d have waited days to meet him.
And Lindsey, well.
She’d been waiting nine long, hard months.
All for this.
Seeing her with him.
it was so fitting.
She was meant to have him.
She’s meant to have babies.
And lots of them.
With the slightest noise, she shushed and bounced him back to comfortable.
As newborn photographers, many call us the “baby whisperers”
We know the right amount of squeeze and bounce and pats and “shhhhhh” can soothe just about anything.
I laughed as she fixed his hands under his chin, like we were already shooting newborn portraits of him, merely 3 minutes into his lifetime. . .
He’d better get used to that though.
He fit into her sunburnt arms perfectly.
I could already imagine his blonde haired, blue eyed self roaming the beach with them, this time next year.
This, is why I love births.
They’re impossible to not tell.
& I was so incredibly honored, to do this for one of my greatest photog friends, in the whole world.
The one thing, that Lindsey and I have in common, is a desire for a majorly successful business, and all that comes with.
We are hustlers.
We never sleep.
We love the grind.
We love the chaos.
But more, than all of that.
We love the life.
The fairytale, that it affords us.
With our families. The people, who we do it all for.
With as many babes in tote, that God, and our husband’s will allow us.
When Jason had called me earlier in the day, I mentioned I was so tired.
So. so tired.
Waiting on this babe to get here.
“I know, she would do the same thing for me” I told him. . .
“I’ll make sure, she never has the opportunity” was the sound of his “uh-huh” on the other end of the line . . .
Cheers to the Friar Family.
All SIX OF YOU.
three perfect, little beach bums, and now. ..
You guys make it all look so good.
Thanks so much for letting me show you, just how good.
You know I love ya.
and I’d do it all over again.
in a heartbeat.