Her birth.

[Thank you all for you your kind comments regarding Amry's birth slideshow. I'm glad that many of you were able to share in such a personal experience with us and I hope it spoke to you in some way.

But now I think it's time to take this memory and tuck it away for our family. I'll leave my post below about my thoughts on birth photography, but just know that if you're reading this for the first time, some of it refers to the slideshow itself and may no longer make sense. Thanks so much!]

I wanted to wait until Lyndsay had finished up the birth images before I posted the birth story. And then I saw the slideshow and well…it speaks for itself. It was beautifully done and captures the day even better than I remember it.

Birth photography has always tugged at my heart. In fact, it was watching a slideshow of a homebirth that inspired me to try it my 2nd son. I so desperately wanted to hire a photographer, but at the time, we were living off a teacher’s salary, so it wasn’t in the cards. It wasn’t until seeing my own daughter’s birth through the eyes of a professional photographer artist that I realized just how invaluable it is. I would have paid a million dollars to anyone who could’ve done this for all of my children.

The night after Amry was born, I watched the video footage, and while I’m thankful to have it, it’s so raw, so impersonal, and the frightening sounds I was making (and the swear words) distracted terribly. What a relief to know that Lyndsay was there to capture it all and in such a way that wouldn’t make me feel self-conscious.

It was such an interesting experience having been on both sides of the camera, too. I wondered how it would be having “a stranger” present. But Lyndsay is not a stranger anymore…she’s a dear friend and she was wonderful! She was my fly on the wall…non-intrusive, totally quiet, I hardly knew she was there. I learned a lot from her about how I should be the next time I’m honored with the opportunity to photograph another birth.

There were many people at the birth and I’m sure I could have given someone a camera to take pictures. But there’s just no way a family member can step outside of the emotions of the event and be a “fly on the wall.” Ultimately, my family was there to witness the moments and it wouldn’t have been fair to ask any one of them to stay stuck behind a camera the whole time.

All I have from the births of my first two are a few shots of my babies from immediately after. Nothing to commemorate the labor process, nothing to show the emotions that my husband and I went through, nothing to document what was going on in the rest of the world while I was lost in the fog of labor. When I found out I was expecting #3, I knew immediately that I wanted a professional birth photographer there. A professional photographer/artist “sees” emotions that someone else might ordinarily miss. I loved my husband’s arms wrapped around me in image 19. There’s number 41 of my hands clasped around Virgil’s neck, pulling strength from his confidence in me. The genuine care and concern in 44. In image 89, all of a sudden, there is an extra person in the room with us ;-). Oh, the look on my boys’ faces in 91 and 92 and the absolute euphoria shown in 96. 99…that’s my beautiful, snuggly, sleepy daughter. 106…she’s mine. I love image 115 of Tristan running out of the room…that’s him…he flies…you can see the joy in his leap from the doorway. 120…I’ll always remember seeing Virgil holding his baby girl for the first time. And Logan playing peek-a-boo with his new baby sister in 122. And of course, our first family portrait #149.

I’m so glad Lyndsay came my way.

Oh, I could go on and on and on. But the beautiful part is that I don’t have to. I don’t have to struggle to try to remember every little detail about that day because I can relive it any time I want to. I didn’t cry when she was born. I didn’t cry when I watched the video. But when I saw Lyndsay’s amazing interpretation of the birth, my husband and I both watched through tears of joy, our hearts bursting with pure, overwhelming emotion.

Thank you so much, Lyndsay. This is a priceless treasure and I am forever in your debt.

80 Responses to “ Her birth. ”

  1. Laurel Housden Says:

    I am totally at a loss for words…..a few…emotional, spectacular, personal, incredible. Thank you for sharing your pictures and story. Not only are you a wonderful photographer but an amazing writer. Happy Christmas! Laurel

  2. Scott Stater Says:

    Amazing…I choked up a little myself watching this.

  3. sandy Says:

    and this is the miracle of life…thanks for sharing!

  4. Rachel Says:

    I just watched Lyndsay’s slide show of your daughters birth. My best friend is a Douala, I had a idea of what a rewarding job she had but now I know without a shadow of a doubt I am in awe. The images she captured for you and your family are breath taking. I admire you for being so beautiful and strong. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with your readers. Congratulations

  5. lyndsay Says:

    You made me cry…..I don’t even have the words.

  6. Tanya Shields Says:

    I sit here in tears. What a treasure to have.

  7. Sarah Wheeler Says:

    Oh my goodness, that was absolutely wonderful. It brought tears to my eyes. It was so real, and so touching. You can feel the love between all of you. Simply beautiful…

  8. Sarah Maren Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this Michele! I started photographing births because I was unconscious for the birth of my daughter, and witnessing others go through such an amazing experiance has helped me heal. I just photographed a birth on Sunday morning (3:45am!) and I am so grateful for the families who invite me to witness such an incredible experiance. Thank you for sharing your slideshow… it was amazing. I hope someday to photograph a home birth… it looks much more personal.

  9. Samuel Says:

    My heart is still crying of happiness and joy ……. one of the most gorgeous moment of my life …!!! thx you!!

  10. Minnette Says:

    amazing….. and simply beautiful. thank you so much for sharing this!

  11. Dana Stone Says:

    Thank you for sharing that! It brought tears to my eyes. I wish I had even thought of taking pictures.

    Was he playing peek a boo with her? I just loved how she captured the entire spectrum of emotions…from the labor to the joy when she arrived….

    wonderful!

  12. Rashmi Says:

    So beautiful. I have tears in my eyes watching the slideshow.
    You are so lucky to have these memories captured. When I see the slideshow, it brings back memories of the homebirth of my younger daughter. I wish wish wish I had had a photographer capturing the moments… especially the emotions on my mom and 2 year old who were present when she was born, of my husband who was a pillar of support and strength and the amazing midwife and doula, the very first time my daughter was handed to me and how instantly she latched on and nursed for a half hour, her dark shiny eyes looking straight into my soul. And after they left, just snuggling with her, in my bed, marvelling at the miracle of her.

  13. Wendy Says:

    I am completely in tears. Thank you so much for sharing. Absolutely amazing!

  14. Kelly Kuntz Says:

    AMAZING! The joy and love captured is incredible! I’m photographing my friends birth in June (it will be my fist) and I’m nervous but very excited. You and Lyndsay are such an inspiration!

  15. Theresa (SweetTcakes~Theresa on Flickr) Says:

    I was brought to tears.. This was so beautiful, how lucky you are to have such a record of this magnificent event in you and your family’s life. I don’t know you but from Flickr but, I was truly touched by this peek into such a precious moment in your life. Thank you for sharing this..

  16. Alissa Says:

    tears. serious tears.

  17. Alex Says:

    so beautiful and filled with such emotion, wow, i am lost for words, thank you for sharing such personal moments.

  18. Cecilia M. Says:

    Wow, these photos truly speak a thousand words…your photographer did an awesome job. The images are beautiful and I can honestly feel the love your family shares. Thank you so much for sharing….off to grab some Kleenex now :)

  19. jessica price Says:

    That is the most incredible thing I have ever seen. There are no other words necessary.

    Congratulations!

  20. Stacy Says:

    She captured that perfectly! It was lovely M and I think anyone who watches would do it through tears.

  21. Corina Says:

    That was incredible.

  22. karen alexander Says:

    Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter! Thank you for sharing your birth, and beautiful experiance. I’m a midwife as well as a photog, and I was tickled to see that you shared your story of your homebirth with everyone.

  23. Kristen Says:

    thank you for sharing!!!!!
    i shed LOTS of tears watching this – captured SO wonderfully. so beautiful. so LIFE.
    i too WISH upon ALL wishes that i could have done this with my daughter (14months now) – but $$ is tight sometimes and we have to make sacrifices (sad but true). did i mention this is WONDERFUL!!!!! so amazing…i’m at loss for words. what a TREASURE to have forsure!!
    congrats again to you and your family.
    warm wishes as always,
    -k

  24. Brandi T Says:

    Wow! I have no other words.
    Thank you for sharing. This is priceless and congratulations to your family. You are truly blessed

  25. Beth Says:

    WOW!!!!!!!! I’m completely speechless! Beautifully done. Congratulations!!!!!

  26. Michele Says:

    Wow. So beautiful. So, so beautiful.

  27. Suzie Orman Says:

    There were many people at the birth and I’m sure I could have given someone a camera to take pictures. But there’s just no way a family member can step outside of the emotions of the event and be a “fly on the wall.”

  28. lilia Says:

    Oh, Michele….what a gift! Beautiful, wonderful, marvelous mama!! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderfully intimate family event. It truly *is* art. xoxo, Lilia

  29. Anya Says:

    My dear, these are just beautiful and priceless. There is absolutely nothing I could say that would be equal to the emotion they evoke. It is my hope that when (if) I have one more baby, that I too will be able to have a birth photographer who is a “fly on the wall” as well. What a beautiful gift. Lyndsay did such an amazing job with the photography, and you and your family did such an amazing job with the birth and welcoming of your beautiful daughter.

  30. Leigh Taylor Says:

    Michele…wow….I just sat here and cried..absolutely beautiful! you are amazing woman…sooo happy for you all ;) xxoo

  31. lyndsay Says:

    ok, i just keep coming back over here to read what you wrote. your words mean so much and they bring tears to my eyes. I am the lucky one to have been there with you guys and I must admit, that the most rewarding part of birth photography is knowing that the emotion and purpose of the images does not end with the slideshow….I know that years from now, Amerlyn and the boys will look back at these and I wish I could know how she feels about them then. And I am so touched by all the warm comments people have left =)

  32. Alison Says:

    so incredible! thank you for sharing such a personal experience. I had c-sections, so I loved seeing this kind of beautiful home birth. Thanks, again!
    Alison

  33. Kylie Says:

    Michelle – they are beautiful images. Thank-you.

  34. Tanya Says:

    Wow!! This is beautiful and so powerful!! Thank you for sharing these very beautiful and personal moments with us. Happy holidays to you and your family!!

  35. sarah Says:

    soooooooo sooooooo beautiful. thank you so much for sharing that with us!!!

  36. Kelly Holder Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing…that was so beautiful and amazing. What a treasure for your family. I broke into serious tears seeing the picture of Amerlyn gazing up at her smiling daddy and the boy’s adoring faces. Blessings to you all!

  37. marta Says:

    That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. There is so much beauty in the raw emotion that you see throughout the day. Lyndsey did an amazing job capturing the details of the whole family swirling around the birth of Amery. Those little simple things intertwined with your emotions make the slideshow leave us all breathless, and at a loss for words that can hold the magnitude this slideshow so deserves. I was unfortunate to need C-sections with all 3 of my kids, and I have longed to experience a day like this. I am very fortunate to know you and your generosity with sharing such a perfect personal day. Congrats to you and your beautiful family OX. Miss chatting with ya! Marta

  38. Susie Says:

    These are priceless. Such a treasure for sure.

  39. Margaret Says:

    Oh my dear friend, my heart is overjoyed for you to have this priceless visual heritage of the love of labor and birth, and a precious new soul wrapped in a loving family.

  40. Lynn Says:

    Beyond priceless! I cried. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing! This was just beyond words – beautiful!

  41. Erika Says:

    **tears**
    Michele! That was amazing. How beautiful and complete.
    I turned Lyndsay’s music off because I was listening to Jason Mraz when I headed over to the site. Just as Amerlyn arrived, “Live High,” one of my favorite songs started playing. If I wasn’t already misty, the tears came then!
    You are all so beautiful. Congratulations.
    And mad props to Lyndsay, who did a gorgeous job.

    Love,
    Erika

  42. Amy Grace Says:

    That was so beautiful! Oh how I was I had been able to hire such an amazing artist to capture MY homebirth! What a great thing to have. Thank you for sharing…and congrats on your new little one!
    ~Amy Grace (from flickr) :)

  43. Jennifer Says:

    Wow… as a new mom myself watching your slide show is an overwhelming mix of emotions. I am a new mom but of an adopted baby girl. I didnt have the pregnancy/labor experience. Its so wonderful that your brave enough to share such a personal moment of your life.

  44. AmandaK Says:

    {{bawl}} Wow, I feel so BLESSED to have been given the opportunity to witness such a beautiful day. I really am speechless. As a mother, I would give anything to have a “journal” of their births. You are very blessed. :) Merry Christmas, and thank you SO much for sharing.

  45. Sarah e. Says:

    WOW. Thank you so much for sharing Michele. Becoming a mother truely is a beautiful process. I felt like I was a fly on the wall that day by watching the slideshow. It had me choked up.

  46. Melissa Rodriguez Says:

    Oh my Michele! What a gem. Thank you so much for sharing this! Such a beautiful post! :)

  47. Amy Says:

    That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing! I too had an unmedicated waterbirth with a midwife, but at a birth center. Your photos brought back so many memories for me. What a lovely way to welcome a baby into the world. And Lyndsay did an amazing job.

  48. meredith Says:

    What a beautiful treasure to have. Thank you for sharing the deeply personal, amazing experience.

  49. Darla Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful experience of your little one’s birth! I so wanted to do a home birth with our first child but in 1984 it was very uncommon and I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to find a midwife. I cried too! What a wonderful treasure you have, not only in this experience but the photos that document the birth of your dear little one! Bravo!

  50. Vinita Says:

    I am so moved…Thank you for sharing something that is so personal…i am actually speechless…just so wonderful..Lyndsay did a great job of capturing the whole birth!What a great family!Congratulations and thank you really for sharing!

  51. Kristin Says:

    WOW Michele….that was one of the most amazing photography work I have ever seen. Serious kudos to Lindsay for capturing all of that in such an amazing way…what an amazing talent. What a treasure that will be to all of you for a lifetime. Congrats again!

  52. Sam Says:

    Michele, thank you for sharing that. What a powerful, wonderful, amazing experience and equally incredible images to help you remember it. Wow.

  53. Natalie Says:

    wow! absolutely magical, what a story the photos tell, beautiful. so beautiful, I had tears in my eyes when Amerlyn arrived! Thank you for sharing such a personal and precious story. what a beautiful gift Lyndsay has given you. best wishes to you and your beautiful family

  54. Caitlin Says:

    Wow…this is amazing. Thank you for sharing this. As I await the birth of my first, I teared up and slightly considered changing all our plans:)

    Beautiful.

  55. Jeannette Chirinos Gold Says:

    Beautiful Michelle, I love it!

  56. Life In Motion Photography » 10 on Tuesday Says:

    [...] Hearing so many comments, getting wonderful emails, but most of all, reading Michele’s wonderful words that brought me to tears.  Very cool.  Can I just tell y’all one more time how very much I [...]

  57. Nicole Says:

    amazing. You are amazing, your husband is amazing, your family is amazing, Lyndsay’s video/pictures are amazing.

  58. kimbrali Says:

    i have never seen a woman look as beautiful as you do in #95. thanks for sharing this. what a lucky little girl to be brought into the world in such a awesome way. there is a whole lot of love in your family. this is very obvious!

  59. Helen Says:

    Wow, what an awesome memory for you and for Amry to be able to see her own birth. I had tears in my eyes watching… so beautifully and tastefully done.

  60. Carol Says:

    Oh my! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience. The photography was amazing. She captured the emotions of the day in such a beautiful way. It was a privilege to watch the slideshow! Merry Christmas – have a great day with your beautiful family.

  61. Staci Says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Michele! It was beautiful! Congrats, again.

  62. Tina V. Says:

    Michele this is amazing…you are amazing! I am so glad that you allowed all of us to experience this with you. If only I could walk in your footsteps. Amery is just so beautiful and so is her mama! You have been blessed with 3 amazing gifts from God. Cherish them always!!! Love to you and your family, T.

  63. Megan Says:

    AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate part of your life. I check out your blog often. You are awesome!

  64. Darla Says:

    How moving! Thank you for sharing such a personal moment in your lives, what a blessing!

  65. Jenny Says:

    Just WOW! Amazing. I was in tears watching it. I so wish I had something like that from the birth of my son. Although a yucky c-section wouldn’t have photographed as well but you know what I mean. Lyndsay, beautifully done.

  66. Arielle Says:

    Amazing, so much emotion. Wow, you bring new light on having a baby at home. I wish I had experience such beautiful delivery, with my family and husband sharing such an important role in the process. The imagery is awesome Lyndsay, what a unique gift, like Michele said, I would give a million dollars to have the same for each of my 3 children. Thank you so much for sharing, a birth is the best reminder of the important values in life.

  67. janelle Says:

    absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. so wonderful that you have this to look back on and to be an advocate for homebirths and midwifery. i live in england and midwives are all you have during pregnancy and labour. absolutely wonderful.

  68. Bianca Says:

    WOW…simply breathtaking. You are amazing.
    What a treasure for Amry to have these memories of her birth!
    Your family is beautiful.

  69. Trish Says:

    WOW! Breath taking photos, I teared up lol, I think I love the photo of your son playing peek a boo with her is my absolute favourite! That is just so powerful in its own way! Awesome photos.

  70. Gina Says:

    Very beautifully said…do you mind if I use it to tell my clients THIS is why?? :) You said it perfectly! HUGE congrats!!

  71. Laura Says:

    These are amazing. Breathtaking photos and you were so lucky to have Lyndsay there to capture it all! Wow, just wow.

  72. Jennifer Says:

    wow that was simply amazing, absolute perfection. The miracle of life captured so purely and beautifully, wow. Lyndsay did an amazing job and is such an inspiration for other photographers, and you thank you for sharing such a personal time in your life with us all, it was absolutely beautiful!

  73. bridget Says:

    Thanks M for taking me there…..with you and your family and then back to my recent birth with Juliet. So, so amazing. Crazy as it is, would go through it again and again to have another sweet baby girl….huh?

    Hope you are well. Thanks for letting us see the realness and sharing something that is personal and dear. Lots of love heading your way. I hope you are enjoying these first few weeks. days and months with your new addition. I know I am. xoxox.

  74. Jesseka Says:

    This was so incredibly beautiful!!!! I started crying before I even watched the slideshow. Lyndsay did such an amazing job, all the little details and the way she captured all the emotion. Simply amazing.
    Thank you so much for sharing this incredible day.

  75. Cindy Says:

    Oh I’m so bummed I missed this … from all the comments it sounded amazing! As a mother of 3 myself and a photographer I would love to have been able to be touched and inspired too. Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

  76. Stacey Says:

    I am so sad that I missed the slide show. I was hoping that you would post something like that. I was out of town without a computer and it was so hard. Bummer that the holidays made me miss it. I would have loved to see it. If you decide to share it again….I would love that. =)

  77. Anonymous Says:

    This was a beautiful and awe-inspiring slideshow. I was in awe of both Lyndsay’s amazing captures and in awe of your amazing strength and raw emotion. And I just love this wonderful homage to Lyndsay :)

  78. Heather Kelson Says:

    I am so sad that I missed the slideshow… maybe one day you will bring it back out again? I know that home births are wonderful and having someone tell that story in pictures makes it even better when you can look back and see how things looked and felt from the other side of things… hope you are having a wonderful holiday with your new baby and family. lots of love and blessing to you all!

  79. karri Says:

    I too missed it. Are there any stills posted? I’d love to see some of the work. Thanks, Karri

  80. Deene Souza Says:

    That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I’d pay more than a million to be able to go back and redo those amazing days with my children too. I’m glad I saved the email so I could see the slideshow. THank you for sharing that!

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