I was sitting at a local photographers meet up when Stephanie called me. "hello?"
"Hey Chloe it's Stephanie... I am pretty sure my water just broke."
I grabbed my stuff and flew out of there. Stephanie told me she had a history of having very fast labors. I was not going to miss it for anything.
When I arrived at the hospital I parked across the street in a parking garage at Tacoma General. The front entrance to the hospital was closed for the evening so I ran around to the other side and tried another door. Locked. Tried another. Locked. I ended up in another parking garage attached to the hospital. At this point I was starting to feel a little anxious that I might be cutting it close, I turned and saw a nurse walking to her car. She explained how to get inside and I was on my way.
I opened the door to room 232 and found Stephanie in good spirits. She said "Nothing yet!" I breathed a sigh of relief. What we didn't realize then was Miss Finley had a timeline of her own, and it wasn't what anyone could have expected.
Welcome to the world sweet Finley Mae. I hope you always keep the world on their toes.
What an amazing gift it is to witness life.
I meet incredible people. They let me in, they are real and honest and do not hold back. They do not hesitate. These are the people I love to photograph.
2013. It was a hard year on a personal level. My husband was gone 8 months out of the year and our youngest daughter struggled with some health issues. It also held some happy times. We bought our first house. Ella turned 4 and Lola turned one. And then there was all of you. You had engagements, births, anniversaries, hospital stays, weddings, new babies, and family time. You invited me in and let me be a fly on the wall of your lives.
I pinch myself everyday for the profound privilege I have to document your beautiful lives.
Just 7 months ago, I was going through the same motions. As every contraction hit Bre I felt myself being brought back to when I was is labor with Lola. Bre was on the other side then, photographing me. Coming full circle was powerful for me. Natural unmedicated childbirth is an experience that is life changing. The power and strength that you have no idea you even possess is amazing. The love and support of your birth team, the hands on you, listening to your needs, waiting, trying to make sure your heart doesn't jump out of you. I knew I was going to get emotional. When she got in the tub I was tearing up. She was getting close, I could tell. She said at one point "Why am I doing this?!". I started to choke up. She had been laboring so long and hard, I just wanted it to be over for her. I knew that feeling and it feels like the end is never in sight. Then when she moved back in the room, Sloane was born and the pain was gone. Just like that. What a beautiful reward to pull your baby out after laboring all day. To hear the shrill cry of your newborn baby as they lay skin to skin on your chest. To see you husband crying and your family and friends smiling and happy.
What a day. A day I was privileged enough to get to witness. Bre is a rockstar in my book.
Patti Ramos was Bre's doula along with her apprentice Katie Pumphrey. They both did such a lovely job.