It has been quite the week for me. It has been emotional, exhausting, exhilarating and exceptionally awesome.
This birth is very near and dear to my heart so be prepared for an overabundance of photos.
My best friend had her baby! I was honored to be by her side and help support her and Jeff as they brought their baby girl into the world. I was there to take pictures but also to help give guidance, advise, be a backup in case Jeff needed support and be the go-to girl for anything else they might need. I loved every minute of it!
Stacy had a mild case of preeclampsia so she was admitted to the hospital on Mother’s Day morning (3 weeks early). I got a text mid-day to let me know they were going to keep her and start inducing her that evening. I could hardly contain my excitement! I headed down to the hospital mid-morning the next day so I could be with her and document this special day.
Stacy wanted me to document everything, including her severely swollen ankles (one of the side effects of preeclampisa).
When I got there she already had an epidural to bring down her blood pressure and avoid serious preeclampsia treatment. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the day goes by when you are laboring (or watching someone labor). Later in the day she was having difficulty managing her pain (as was the case throughout the entire process) and ended up needing a replacement epidural. Poor thing. She was exhausted.
There are some occasional breaks in the labor process when joking and fist bumping happens.
Stacy and Jeff have such wonderful families. They wanted to be a part of everything and they spent the day at the hospital (most of the time in the waiting room as Stacy wasn’t feeling very well and wasn’t up for many visitors). They had a special time of prayer anointing Stacy, Jeff and their baby girl. It was moving.
Not long after that, it was time to push. It was a tough road for Stacy filled with a fever, nausea and high blood pressure (from the preeclampisa). After nearly 2 hours of hard work, they almost had to resort to a c-section but Stacy gathered her strength and brought that baby girl into the world.
Jeff’s face says it all. What a miracle.
It was an emotional scene. Stacy and Jeff have had a long road to parenthood paved with loss and difficulty at every turn. So the moment their baby girl was born was beautiful and special. There were tears all around. I barely held it together.
Such a beautiful moment.
After she was born, they cut the cord and whisked her away to get a little better color and some more air in her lungs.
One of my favorite parts of birth photography is documenting the love between man and wife. It never ceases to amaze me to see the love in a woman’s eyes when she looks at her husband after their baby is born. You would think they only have eyes for the baby, but that isn’t the case. They can’t keep their eyes off of the father of their baby. This picture should be captioned…..finally.
When the baby was crying and clearly everything was okay, everyone was all smiles.
After only a few minutes, she was returned to her rightful place….with her Mama. And the emotions kicked in again. Stacy waited so long to hold a baby in her arms. Those tears of joy are so raw and hard earned.
Are you crying yet? Because even a week later…I am crying at all of these photos all over again. When I took them….when I edited them….while blogging about them…. I am a wreck.
And again…notice she only has eyes for Jeff.
He was such an amazing support during the entire process and I was amazed to see them work in beautiful harmony during labor and afterwards.
Look at this beautiful, perfect little girl.
Usually this is around the time that I leave. The golden hour is over and I head home. However, this is practically my family. So I stayed so I could capture the next few hours of “firsts”. It was fun to take pictures of things I usually miss. Like the first bath.
Yoda or flying nun???
Weight 6 pounds 9 ounces. Have you ever seen them weigh a baby like that?
Length 19 1/2 inches. She sure liked to stretch out. Perhaps she is going to be tall like her daddy.
All cleaned up and pink and adorable.
Finally, Dad gets his turn.
After a trip to the nursery to get some antibiotics (from the fever Stacy had), we were all eager to hear her name and to hold her. Eliana Grace was introduced to her family. This might be one of my favorite pictures…..
And the papparazzi.
It was love at first sight.
The whole crew.
Happy Birthday Eliana! You are loved. And congratulations Stacy and Jeff. I am overwhelmed with joy for you and I am so proud of the way you have walked this road with grace and strength. And remember that Auntie Lisa lives pretty close and loves to baby sit!