Life is beautiful…

Today I had the opportunity to photograph my best friends birth. I drove up to Red Deer this morning and spent the day with Jodi and her hubby while we waited for their little bundle to arrive. The day started in Red Deer with rain, and Jodi’s baby waited for the sun to shine at the end of the day to make his appearance in the world. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, as amazing as watching a woman give birth, especially a woman who is near and dear to your heart. I have photographed a few other births but this one will stand out forever. Jodi is incredibly good at this whole baby thing. She even joked that this is her talent and it’s too bad that this is the last time she will do it.

She laboured all day, quietly and content to bring a baby new life. As evening drew near she was working harder, but still perfectly in sync. The nurse checked her, she was still barely dilated, even after all of that work. I asked if she was discouraged and she told me no, it’s just a number, this baby is ready. She was right, less than half hour later her water broke and less than half an hour after that baby Cooper made his appearance. It was not without a grand entrance and a big scare for everyone. His cord was wrapped around his neck and couldn’t be brought over his head and he wasn’t breathing. Before he was fully born there were some very tense moments as the nurse (Paula, the best nurse ever) clamped the cord on both sides and snipped it while it was still tightly wound round his neck. Baby Cooper was quickly tended to by a NICU nurse, a couple of doctors and a couple of nurses while Jodi and her hubby nervously looked over him. His heart was beating slowly but he was still not breathing, they used a bag to help him along (sorry, not sure of the right term there, but it did the breathing for him). He still wasn’t breathing, I could see the panic in the faces of the medical staff though they were trying hard not to show it. I listened to them whispering and I reassured his Mom and Dad that his heart rate was increasing and finally I heard the best sound I have ever heard, a very quiet little muffled baby noise. He made a few more quiet sounds and as they got a little bit louder Jodi put her hand on her chest and said “oh thank God”, and then the tears started. There are no words to describe what those minutes feel like as you watch your best friend worry and then see the relief flood her face. It was all I could do to stand back instead of rushing to hug her and tell her it would be ok. I’m so happy it was ok. It’s all ok.

My tears started again as her daughters and her parents came to meet their new baby. I watched as each of them met him, and teared up at the sight of him. He is one cute, and perfect little guy. Thank you Jodi and hubby (don’t want to use too many names) for having me.

I know there are lots of people waiting to see the pictures – I promise there will be at least a couple up in a few minutes!! I’m just waiting for them to download. Ok, just a few for tonight – I promise by tomorrow night there will be more.

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Calgary Childbirth Photographer

9 comments
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  • Tara - The photos of Jodi’s beautiful baby boy are amazing. They brought tears of joy to my eyes that Jodi finally has the boy she wanted. Congratulations Jodi.
    I look forward to seeing more pictures of Cooper

  • Marsha (Aunty to Cooper!) - WOW!!! My nephew is here! My hubby is on the phone right now with Cooper’s daddy! Amazing pictures, I love them! I can’t wait to hold that beautiful strong baby boy!!

  • judy - This is a gift for everyone of how special life is and how we sometimes forget, as we should, how fragile. Thank you for sharing this with all of us as a reminder.
    You are privileged to be present for such a profound experience and able to bring the rest of us a small reality. You will never be the same and your work will reflect all of this. As always, very well done
    Love to you, Judy

  • Jen McClintock - well…you officially made me cry! Great pics – I am sure Jodi will cherish them always.
    PS I miss the polka dots

  • Chelsey - I just tear up reading this. I am so thankful everyone is okay! I’m so glad you were there by her side.

  • Cindy - Beautiful pictures! What a blessing to be present at such a special moment. So relieved that Cooper is doing well!

  • Patti - Birth photography always gives me chills. These are just beautiful.

  • Aunty Lori - These are beautiful Michelle! This is the perfect temporary fix I needed until I meet him tonight. I’m so glad you were there with my sister through all this. She said you were fantastic. Can’t wait to see the rest!

  • Natalie - Michelle how awesome that you were able to photograph your best friend’s birth. It is such an amazing experience giving birth! I am so glad Jodi’s baby is ok and she finally has him in her arms.

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