Olivander's Birth Story

There is something so magical about meeting your first baby. You're excited and in love, but you really have no idea what you're in for. There's so much uncertainty. "How am I supposed to wash baby clothes?" "What do contractions feel like?" "When should I leave for the hospital?" "How much crying is normal?" It's ALL so new. And I think that's why it's so overwhelming and incredible. You'll get to feel all these emotions when you watch Oli's birth story unfold below. 

Mom requested an amazing 90's playlist during labor (forget about calming classical music!) When she was told she could begin pushing, Dad immediately turned on Push It by Salt N Pepa, which left us all giggling. We laughed, we danced, we sang. And Olivander was born into a room full of love and support. 

My favorite part of birth photography is putting the photos together with video into a fusion slideshow. Listen to how excited Mom is! You'll definitely want to watch this slide show. It's one of my favorites.

A boy after three girls! The homebirth of the first boy.

Writing this blog post leaves me a little lost for words. I'm not really sure where to start, so I'm starting two years ago. Two years ago, my family moved to Oahu from Colorado Springs. After two months without a home, we finally moved into our home on post. I looked out my bedroom window and saw cloth diapers hanging on my neighbor's clothes line. I shared a picture of it with my group of crunchy (or "crazy", depending on who you ask) friends and knew that my neighbor and I were going to get along great! We cloth diapered all three kids and I had a feeling she and I would have a lot in common. You wouldn't believe how much more we had in common than cloth diapers.

So, over the past two years, she and I grew to be close. And when I started doing birth photography and she was expecting a baby, it was kind of a no-brainer that I'd be there. How lucky have I been to have her as my neighbor and friend for these past two years? Thinking of us moving in the coming months tears me up. 

Early during all of her labors, she and her family go out to eat and then prepare for the baby's arrival. This time was no different, but what was different was the labor. It went on for TWO days. The amount of strength and grace she showed during these two days of labor leaves me speechless, which is why I'm falling over my words writing it out. There aren't really words to describe it... but if you look at her photos and watch her video, you'll feel it. 

The heartfelt note her daughter read to her while she labored that said that she didn't care if it was a boy or a girl as long as it was healthy. The way her husband encouraged her when she felt ready to give up. Their expressions when they learned that IT'S A BOY!

 

Are you expecting a baby? I'm booking books on Oahu through June 2016 and begin booking births in Central Illinois in September 2016! Get in touch!

5 Things Every Dad Should Know About Birth Photography

Dad, I get it. It's birth. Most of you are already a little uneasy. Maybe you're worried about seeing your wife in pain, maybe you're grossed out about cutting the cord, maybe you're just nervous about being in charge of a tiny, helpless little one. And then, your wife comes to you and says...

"Hey, what do you think of hiring a birth photographer?"

Uhhh.... you want to do what? Hire a stranger? To come take photos? While you have no pants on? Have you lost your mind?

I get it! My husband was all "Say whaaaaa?" too! In fact, most of the dads I meet are hesitant. But each and every one of them has been so glad they hired me. So, dad, here's 5 things you need to know about birth photography.

ONE. It's not about her lady parts. Really. It's not. I'm not there to photograph the physiological process of birth. I'm there to photograph the story of the birth and the emotions that happened there. In fact, 95% of the time, I leave the birth with no R-rated photos on my camera. I tend to shoot very modestly, because I want you to feel comfortable PRINTING these photos and being able to share this story with your child someday. There's no sense in having a bunch of photos you'll never show anyone or look at again, right? 

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TWO. There's no pressure. She won't hound you later that you missed that moment that meant SO much to her. I've photographed over a dozen births now and produce consistently high quality images. I KNOW what I'm looking for because I've done it over and over again and I've had three of my own babies. The moments you didn't think about, I'll anticipate and catch. 

THREE. It frees you up to support her and fully engage in the moment. If this is your first baby, I'm going to warn you. It's INTENSE. I know for some men, birth is just a means to an end. But for most men, even the tough guys, birth can be an emotional experience. If this is your first birth, it may surprise you. There's really no preparing yourself to see the woman you love walk such a challenging journey, culminating in you both meeting your child for the very first time. Dad, you deserve to be fully present in that moment. This would be like being in charge of documenting your own wedding. Trust me, I can do better with my camera than you can with your GoPro. You can relax. No need to go buy a GoPro head mount now. 

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FOUR. I'm NOT awkward! I promise! I provide in-person complementary consultations prior to booking for births because I feel that it's SO important that we meet one another and mesh well. Most times, dads join us at these consults and are SO relieved to find that I'm easy to talk to and happy to hear their concerns. I know you're worried it's going to be awkward having a stranger there for your birth, but I make every effort to not be a stranger. When it's appropriate to chat, I love to laugh and make jokes with you all. When it's not, I know how to give you a silent look of encouragement. 

FIVE. Hiring a photographer allows you to be IN the photos. Dad, you're a TREMENDOUSLY important and vital part to this story. If you're the one taking the photos, it's going to be tough to be part of the story too. Your child will appreciate being able to look back and see the first time you saw him, the first time you held him, the first time he wrapped his fist around your finger and laid on your chest. Hiring a photographer allows your child to look back and SEE how loved he was from the moment you met him. These photos aren't just for you or your wife, they're a gift for your child.

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A few weeks ago, I got an email from one of my clients. Her husband had been hesitant to hire a birth photographer. What I read in the email made me SO sure that birth photography is valuable to dads too. 

"Eric and I were both in tears watching the video, and right after he looked at me and said, "You were right, I'm so glad we asked Lydia to do this for us." I can't thank you enough, we are truly so happy with the video and pictures."

If you're an expecting dad and you're on board to have the biggest day of your life documented, get in touch! We'll set up a time to all grab some coffee and address your concerns. 

I'm currently booking births until June 2016 on Oahu and births after September 2016 in Central Illinois. 

In the meantime, have you checked out my Vimeo channel? You can browse my recent births (shared with permission) and see how the story comes together.