As told by Ginger with Earthside Birth Photography in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Kenzie lined me up to shoot her birth and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. My cousin’s daughter, she is a gorgeous girl and a professional ballerina. We shot some amazing maternity pictures in a dance studio and got to know each other a bit while she danced pointe!
She told me her plans for a natural labor and birth and about how she had hired midwives to attend her at the hospital. As a first time mom, she was unsure of what to expect. Her Mom and I chatted with her that day about birth, how women are made for it, and just generally tried to empower her.
In the coming days she would see her ballet maternity pictures shared on Birth Without Fear on Facebook. She was overwhelmed with the outpouring of well wishes for her labor and birth and you all gave her the extra encouragement that she was sure to pull from in days-long labor yet to come.
Kenzie started having regular contractions the evening of June 14th. At 6-8 minutes apart, this had to be early labor! She was ready to meet her baby! The plan was to labor at home for as long as possible and head in to the hospital later in the game. The entire night she was able to get only 2 hours of sleep and contractions got very intense in the morning. She decided to call in and see if she should make her way over to the hospital. They decided they could labor at home for the time being. After laboring the whole day on Saturday, the 15th they decided to head in at 7:30pm and see where she was on progress. By 9 pm, they were sending her home. She had received the news that she was 2 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. She was told to go home and get as much sleep as possible. Again, labor stayed steady and she was unable to get any sleep at all. Exhausted, they went back to the hospital to find out if there had been any progress and to hopefully to have a baby! I got the text around 10am that she was 6 centimeters and 100% effaced! I gathered my supplies and started my 30 to 40 minute drive to the hospital.
When I arrived, Kenzie was in very active labor. She was drug-free and able to move about, change positions, and be however was the most comfortable. Her husband was unwaivering in his love and support for his wife. He encouraged her, he held her hand, gave her countless hours of back pressure. The devotion to her was incredible. He never once left her side and the obvious love and pride he had for his woman was just beautiful. He is a true support person.
She worked very, very hard. She was exhausted. She was strong and convicted like I’d never witnessed. She never once asked for relief. She never once uttered a single negative connotation. She kept her eyes closed most of time and focused internally on what had to be done. And with the strength of every woman who has birthed before her, were birthing with her and who held her in their thoughts, she naturally delivered her first baby. A perfect, 8 pound 12 ounce, 19 inch long baby boy, at 1:50 pm.
By this time, it was Sunday, Father’s Day. Watching this couple become parents, and this father become a dad for the first time, on Father’s Day, was absolutely astounding. Being able to capture these precious, all too fleeting moments has got to be one of the greatest callings on Earth.