(WARNING: The following post contains images that have blood and may be disturbing to some readers)
We all love to hear a good birth story right? After we congratulate a new mom on the arrival of their baby, we all want to know the story… how did it all go down?! Did you make it to the hospital? How long were you in labor? Did you have an epidural? How long did you have to push?
I had the complete honor and privilege of experiencing and capturing Sarah Gotlund’s labor and delivery of her and her husband Steven Willis’ beautiful son Simon Airet on February 28th! Simon came at 4:07pm weighing 9 pounds, 6 ounces and 22 inches long in Lafayette, Indiana at IU Health Arnett. Sarah was assisted by student doula Kendra Boller and the midwife staff at IU Health Arnett. She has graciously allowed me to share her birth story and photos with you all here on the blog. Thank you Sarah!
Birth photos are so incredibly special because they share a story- the first chapter of little Simon’s story. As you look through these highlights from their session, you will notice that each photo helps lead you to the next moment, the next emotion, and the next chapter in this beautiful birth story. But before the photos, here is a bit of backstory to Sarah’s labor and delivery.
Sarah is a certified doula herself and is well acquainted with the labor and delivery process. She was eager to keep the birth process as natural as possible and labor mainly in the birthing tub. When I arrived, Sarah was at 6.5cm dilated and the midwives were just preparing to fill up the tub and get the temperature just right at around 101 degrees. Sarah was already in a great deal of discomfort from her contractions and was grateful for the welcoming sight of the warm tub. The birthing tub definitely provides temporary relief from contractions but after a while, the temperature starts to drop and water needs to be added to regulate the temperature.
Sarah opted to get out and labor in the shower for some time before coming to the bed. While in the shower, her labor was transitioning as she approached 10cm and she hit that wall where she did not think she could continue. It was at this point that I could feel my emotions welling up inside of me and tears beginning to form as I saw and experienced the inner strength Sarah possessed to push through this transition. I was totally struck with how strong the female body is and how women can endure such pain and continue to press on. Sarah was a complete rockstar and pushed through transition as her husband, doula and midwives cheered her on.
It is through immense pain that such beauty and love are birthed into this world and after just a few pushes, Simon made his entrance into the world! The midwives immediately put him into Sarah’s arms as she and Steven cried the happiest of tears as they met their beautiful son for the first time. Simon’s umbilical cord continued to stay connected to the placenta and pulse for some time until Sarah herself was able to cut the cord and examine the placenta. It was such a beautiful picture of her disconnecting her son from herself only to place him directly at her breast to feed him… from one food source to the next, Sarah’s body would continue to nourish this little one.
Congrats Sarah and Steven on a beautiful little boy. I’m so grateful to you both for the opportunity to witness this beautiful life come into the world and to capture these forever memories for you to cherish.