I am a family and newborn photographer, so when Lynelle asked if I would consider photographing her birth right down the street in El Cajon I was flattered, and then I hesitated. I have FOUR kids! How on earth would I be able to drop everything and jump to her side? I told her that I would do my very best, but that I couldn't guarantee that I would be there. I told her that if she was dead set on having her birth photographed that I was not the photographer for her, but that I would be happy to take her newborn photos! Much to my surprise, she took my "fingers crossed I can make it" offer and hired me to photograph her birth! I was stoked, even now several months later, I am still so thrilled that I made it from start to finish. In mostly pictures, and a few words from my perspective, here is the beautiful birth of sweet baby Cole.
At 5:40 am on Wednesday September 6th Lynelle texted me to let me know she thought she was in labor. I told her ahead of time that weekday mornings would be the most difficult for me because I have to get my boys and Rebekah up and out for the day. I rushed to call my sister to come and take care of my responsibilities so that I could be with Lynelle. While I waited for Marisa to arrive, I got everyone up and ready for the day and as soon as possible I raced two streets down to Lynelle's house.
By the time I arrived both Gerri and Heather from San Diego County Midwives were already there as well as one student midwife. Soon after another student midwife, her newborn, a babysitter, and one of Lynelle's closest friends arrived to the party! It was a full house for this beautiful home birth. As someone who has had 2 home births herself, I can tell you that being surrounded by a group of women who believe in you is so empowering.
Lynelle was amazing. She labored around her house for sometime, until everyone agreed that she was close enough to transition to get into the birth tub. She knew instinctively how to move around to different positions to encourage her baby to move into a position to be born. As his head was crowning, Heather discovered that his membranes had not yet ruptured, meaning that he was going to be born en caul. This was an exciting discovery for everyone in the room. It is uncommon for a baby to be born still in the amniotic sac. Before he was brought out of the water the membranes were torn so that he could breathe properly in the air. Quickly another rarity was discovered, his umbilical cord was in a true knot. As fast as she could, Lynelle pulled him to her chest and breathed a sigh of relief that he was finally earthside with her. He had a full head of dark hair and was covered from head to toe in an amazing layer of birthday frosting, aka vernix. Perfection!
After Lynelle, Thomas and Cole had had some time to bond, the midwives assisted Thomas with cutting Cole's umbilical cord. Then the men enjoyed some skin to skin time while Lynelle was assessed for her postpartum bleeding. She required some extra care to get her bleeding to slow, so I stepped out of the house to let everyone do their jobs fully. Most people who are unfamiliar with home births are afraid of the "what if" emergency scenarios of birth such as if baby is born not breathing, or mom starts to hemorrhage. What they fail to understand is that home birth midwives are very VERY knowledgable with how to handle everything birth, especially when things are not progressing typically. Midwives also have a wide array of tools in their birth kits to handle these situations, which they were able to use quickly when Lynelle needed them.
A few short days later I was able to take Cole's newborn photos at my home studio in El Cajon. He and Lynelle were doing great and he rocked his newborn session! I will share those in a separate blog soon.
Thank you Lynelle and family for allowing me to share this spectacular moment in your lives!