Somewhere along the middle of Erin's pregnancy, after she started to feel human again, I asked if she was going to let me take pictures at the birth. She said she wasn't sure, but would see how she felt nearer the big day. About 3 weeks ago, someone else asked her and she said, yeah, I think I am. I was delighted.
I've taken pics at a birth before. My sister-in-law, Holly, she wanted pics of both of her births, but her youngest will be 3 in a month, so it's been quite awhile since I've had the honor of photographing someone's birth.
Erin's labor started in the middle of the night. She let us know things were happening around 8 am. I immediately wanted to drop everything and go to Athens. But I didn't. I was a good girl. I cooked breakfast, took a shower, packed a bag, got Henry ready to go, straightened the house, planned a meal and when I couldn't take it any longer, I left for Athens. About 11 am. Aren't you proud of me? I waited a whole 4 hours!
Mom and I decided that Henry wouldn't last very long at L&E's or at the hospital, so we left him at Grama's with Caroline and Quinn while we headed to L&E's. Once we got there, we realized that Erin wasn't about to have a baby. She was smiling, and making conversation. In fact, we went to the mall and Old Navy while we were out to see the doctor. The whole time I kept wondering how she could do it; shop and have contractions! My labor with Henry was so fast and intense I couldn't stand, let alone shop!
About 8 pm, they decided to head to the hospital. Mom and I did a few things around town and then joined them at the hospital. And then we waited. And waited some more. Our families arrived and we waited. I took pics when I could. About 1 in the morning, Erin was SO TIRED. We all decided to head home and let her sleep and take naps ourselves.
About 4 am, I got a text that things were happening, that we could come back to the hospital whenever we wanted!! Yay!! Almost baby time!
Once back in the room, I watched and photographed. Erin was so amazing. In between crazy contractions, she'd smile and rest, confident that Baby knew what it was doing. One hour after another passed and she and Logan quietly chatted, dealt with the contractions as the they came. Logan made a to-do list; 1, have baby. 2, nurse baby. 3, name baby. Erin got through another contraction.
As time passed and things became more intense, I took my time taking pictures. I was torn between making sure I was documenting this wonderful event and wanting to disappear so that I didn't distract them from what was going on.
A couple of weeks ago, Logan, Erin and I had a conversation about birth and how you just can't help becoming emotionally involved. How it [birth] is so cool and if you'd never witnessed one, you can't fully understand how cool it is. I said that you just couldn't help but cry and laugh all at the same time. I'm sure they know what I mean now!
By 7:30 am, Erin is totally worn out and pretty convinced that the baby isn't going to arrive. Ever. Logan is quiet and encouraging. Meredith (the midwife) is positive and accommodating. I'm torn. Should I leave or should I stay? I decide to stay, because I know that they won't remember this like I will. And I have the means to document it so that Micah will know how he came into this world and Logan and Erin will get to see it from a different perspective. I don't leave, but I also don't wonder around. I stay behind a curtain, only to peek around every so often to see if I can snap without being distracting.
At 8:14 am, Micah arrived. Big, chubby and screaming. I'll never forget the moment that Meredith handed Erin Micah. He was screaming and she was absolutely spent. But like any mother knows, it's love at first sight. As soon as she held him, you could tell she understood why women keep having children, even though the birth process isn't fun. It's not fun, but it's a miracle.
To conclude this long post, I want to say that I feel so very honored that Erin decided to let me be a part of their special day. Thank you, Erin for trusting me to be there. Oh, and I think it is SO COOL that Micah and I share a birthday; I wouldn't trade it for anything!
I, of course, couldn't stay away more than a couple of days and went to visit them with the intent to take Micah's newborn pics. Caroline and I did take pictures; not tons, but some. I've had computer and internet issues and as much as I want to post them, I will have to wait until I can get everything back to working. Right now I'm posting this from Jeremy's computer, using my neighbors internet connection!