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!

Today, She's Four.

It was 4 am on December 29th. We had just moved into a new house a few weeks earlier and things were just winding down from the Christmas excitement. But the excitement was about to begin again. Josh had just woken up to take a friend to the airport, and either he woke me getting ready, or the contractions woke me. So, I told my husband not to go to the airport. JK. I actually texted my best friend and didn't mention the contractions to my husband. 

Central IL Birth Photographer | Lydia Stuemke Photography

Well, the contractions continued after the shower. In fact, they got longer and stronger. I let my husband know that he probably shouldn't go into work and also let my midwife and photographer know that this seemed to be the real deal. I told my photographer not to rush.  I dried and straightened my hair between contractions and swayed on my exercise ball when they got so intense, it was hard to stand. I was singing and texting, snapping selfies in my closet, and handling labor well, alone, in my quiet bathroom. My two kids were asleep down the hall. 

Central IL Birth Photographer | Lydia Stuemke Photography


Around 6 am, Josh got home. I asked him to inflate and fill my labor tub and to make me a bowl of soup. I scarfed down my soup and waited for the tub to fill. And waited. And waited some more. And waited MORE. And finally, it filled. And oh my gosh, it was actually the perfect temperature. So, at 6:30, I texted my midwife to check in, and slipped into the tub. Josh asked if I minded if he took a nap, knowing he'd probably want to be well-rested later. Of course I didn't mind. So he napped, and I labored. 

The tub was so warm and relaxing. And relaxing my muscles and my mind meant my body was free to do its thing with no distraction. So, a half hour later, Josh woke up to me pushing. And no midwife. So, as he looks on in a panic, begging me to stop pushing (her head is already out at this point), I birth her into my hands, and turn over to snuggle her on my chest. Josh asked what he needed to do, and I asked him to snap some photos (on our point and shoot) and tell me the time. 7:12 am. 

Central IL Birth Photographer | Lydia Stuemke Photography


Shortly after that, my midwife and photographer/wonderful friend arrived. And my kids woke up.



And that is the story of how I met my spunkiest, wildest, grumpiest, whiniest, smartest, most beautiful, most kind, silliest, and sweetest Kate. 

Happy birthday, baby girl. We love you. 

Central IL Birth Photographer | Lydia Stuemke Photography