Being a San Clemente Birth Photographer is by far one of the most rewarding "jobs" I've ever had. Not only do I get to help couple's welcome new life into the world, I get to know these new families as well.
I met Rebekah and Jon only a few days before JJ was born. It was a last minute decision for them to hire a birth photographer for their 1 week overdue bundle of joy. My guess is that JJ knew I was meant to be there so he waited for me. As a San Clemente Birth Photographer, it's rare I get to meet other couple's from Illinois (which is where I'm from). So I was pretty excited to know that we all came from similar places.
Because baby JJ was overdue, Rebekah was scheduled for an induction at 41 weeks and 1 day. However, as most babies do, JJ had his own plans. The day of the induction, Rebekah started to go into labor all on her own.
I got the call around 3pm that she was heading to the hospital and when she arrived they admitted her... well, sort of. I arrived and they were told to go eat and come back in an hour. So, together, we all went to McDonald's because mamma was craving nothing but french fries and a shake.
About 4:45pm, they finally admitted her and gave her a room. Rebekah was having extremely painful back labor that made any position she sat in or laid in (for the most part) very uncomfortable, and at time, almost unbearable. Some of my favorite moments that I was able to capture was of Jon being a great support system. Holding her hand, rubbing her back, reminding her to breathe. It was sweet and endearing. I think men often feel rather helpless during labor and birth because, let's face it, there isn't much else they can do. They can't take away the pain, and it can be rather difficult to watch someone you love suffer in pain and not be able to do anything about it. Just know guys, your support is appreciated (even through the yelling).
I was happy that I arrived at the hospital when I did because I was able to capture these moments of Jon & Rebekah together. Her leaning on him, him supporting her. I was also allowed to stay in the room for the epidural, which isn't always the case. I loved capturing their interaction during that time. After the epidural, Rebekah was finally able to rest and relax a little bit. Baby JJ gave us a scare a few times and by the third time, the doctors and midwives decided it was best to get him out. Rebekah wasn't really professing along in the labor enough for them to keep waiting. As scared as she was, she did what was best for both her and her baby. I gave Jon my backup camera and he was able to capture a couple great shots of JJ right after he came out.
I stayed with the new family of three until 7:30am the following morning. I was able to capture their first bonding moments as a family. I am truly grateful and honored to have been able to be apart of such a magical time in their lives. One of the best things Rebekah said after she saw their slideshow of images was "I don't even remember any of that, I'm so glad you caught it all". That's why I feel birth photography is so important. I think because there is so much going on, mom actually misses out on what's actually happening around her. It's a beautiful gift to be able to show her and let her live that moment again (almost like living it for the first time).
So, without further ado, I have put together this slideshow of images that I think tells the story better than I can. I hope you'll watch it, and I hope it moves you like it does me.