Every experience leaves a special mark on someone’s life, but few things can stand out more than bearing and giving birth to a child. Throughout these photos, there are many expressions of childbirth in homes: anxiety and expectation, pain and mood. But in their intimate perspective, the photos emphasize the women’s shared experience – the inward focus and physical determination in their final transformative moments of becoming mothers. Scroll through these photos to understand more about this birth.
Under the glow of a full buck moon, Zoe brought her third baby into the world. Labor started with intensity, and quick surges gave her little rest. She labored in her tub with her husband, Tanner, sharing quiet conversation and giggles between waves.
Zoe reached ten centimeters, but her urge to push never came. She tried pushing during contractions and bravely maneuvered into different positions that might help encourage that feeling.
With her doula Jamie’s gentle encouragement, she moved from the tub to her bed. A side-lying release brought along a wave of emotion. Birth takes us to different places, and in that moment, Zoe could only see the mountain in front of her: pushing her baby out, which seems like such an insurmountable task.
She trudged on, pushing through the doubt and fear. “Trust your body. Your body knows what to do,” whispered Jamie.
And yes, yes, it did. Because without so much as a grunt or urge to bear down, Zoe looked up at the ceiling, wide-eyed, and whimpered, “I’m pushing… I’m pushing…”
Moments later, a little dark head appeared at the perineum. Zoe breathed her baby down all the way to the end, beautifully and slowly. Zoe asked for help, and her midwife guided the baby out as the room erupted in shouts of joy.
“Looks like Jonah!” “You did it!” “Oh, my god!”
Tanner wiped away a tear as he stared in surprise at this perfect child on his wife’s chest. The sleeping big brothers were brought in from the sofa, draped sleepily over their grandparents’ shoulders.
The moment came to finally find out the sᴇx of the baby. Tanner stammered, “Yeah, that’s a girl, I think…” which prompted Zoe to burst into tears. The grandmas squealed, “A girl! A girl!”
Amidst the excitement and relief, concerns began to grow about Zoe’s ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ ʟᴏss. The midwives started their protocols to help control the ʙʟᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ, but out of an abundance of caution, I was asked to call for help.
Zoe remained calm through it all. She stayed conscious, sipped electrolytes through a straw held to her lips, and ate bites of food to help counteract the ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ ʟᴏss. Baby girl was pink and perfect, happily nursing and contracting her mother’s ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs.
EMS arrived and worked with the midwife to help stabilize the situation. Within a little while, it was clear that Zoe was no longer in ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ, and they were sent away into the night with gratitude.