My Why.

What brought me here? In 2006, I became a mother for the first time. In that moment, everything changed. I knew that it would, but no one could have prepared me. My first birth doesn’t make me look back and think how empowered I was, but it does tell my story. It does show me how much your birth matters. How significant those final hours are. So, after my first, I knew.

I knew I was supposed to be working with pregnant and laboring women.

So, I trained as a doula. And then I got pregnant again. And again. And between nursing my own babies, my love of loving on the mothers got put on hold. For a while there, I was able to get certified as a lactation counselor and worked as a peer counselor at WIC for a year, but if I’m being real, I was too overwhelmed by trying to adjust to motherhood of two and couldn’t really pour my heart into it in a way that these mothers deserved.

For nearly 10 year now, it’s been in the back of my mind that I wanted to become a home birth midwife. I dreamed of the day I could go to school. I couldn’t wait to be there to support and empower laboring women.

In 2011, I had my third baby at home.

Her birth was the most wonderful and empowering day of my life. My labor was fast. My midwife and photographer both missed it by minutes. I caught her myself, as my husband stared on in a panic. I have one photo of us together in that moment, captured by my husband on a point and shoot camera. If you'd like to read her full birth story, you can find that post here

Central IL Birth Photographer | Lydia Stuemke Photography

And then I found photography. And then birth photography. And that was it. I knew. MY TWO PASSIONS COMBINED. That’s where I was supposed to be. When I come home from a birth, even with no sleep for 36+ hours, my cheeks hurt from smiling. I can hardly choose between crashing into my bed and immediately importing their images.

So, that’s how birth photography found me. The raw emotions that happen during a birth are like nothing I’ve ever seen and I want to capture that for you to cherish forever. I want you to remember the way your partner was overwhelmed with joy and pride for you and your new little one. I don’t want those memories to fade away in the whirlwind of the first hours and days with a newborn.

I want to capture how it felt.

Do you want to document one of the most significant days of your life? Let's talk.