The Birth of Claire Michelle - Fairbanks Birth Photographer

This was such a triumphant birth, and I am so honored to have been a part of it. Heather and Tony had been awaiting the birth of their first child – a “surprise” baby (they had waited to learn the sex of the baby until the birth) – and were soooo ready to meet {her, as it turns out!}. They had a lovely natural childbirth planned: in addition to their desire for a drug-free labor, Heather specified immediate skin-to-skin contact in her birth plan, and – most exciting of all – their care provider was on board with Tony catching the baby, if circumstances allowed.

And to kill the suspense now: they did it! They had what I consider to be am eminently beautiful birth, though it didn’t go exactly as planned (as they rarely do), in that Heather had to be placed on some induction drugs when her waters partially ruptured, but labor hadn’t picked up on its own. As mamas who have experienced pitocin for themselves know well, it’s a drug that causes contractions that are notoriously intense. Throughout her long labor (and back labor at that), Heather understandably considered an epidural several times. Each time, her support team – including her care provider – served as the perfect sounding board, asking her if she was sure it was what she really wanted, and providing the encouragement that she could make it. It was wonderful to see a support team so empathetically and respectfully honor the spirit of the wishes Heather had stated in the birth plan.

And make it she did, triumphantly. And if that wasn’t enough to make this an amazing birth, Tony caught the baby (with their care provider’s hands always right there to show him what to do)! It was an incredibly emotional thing to witness, and I can’t find the words to express how much I love the series of photographs as the baby was making her way earthside. Another favorite of image of mine from this birth, captured soon after, is perhaps the best “It’s a girl!” picture ever – Heather and Tony are both just so happy, their smiles spill out of the picture, and I can still hear their exclamations and laughter.

They named her Claire Michelle, and she was just the tiniest, sweetest little baby you have ever seen. But I’ll leave you to be the judge!