Amber here! To kick off our new website, Noelle and I wanted to share some of the amazing birth stories we have been honored to be a part of in the past. Here is a birth I photographed recently, I loved every minute of being a part of this birth with the family.
KIND WORDS FROM NELLIE
"There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing your "birth team" but having Amber to capture images you'd never get to see for yourself is just something special. I was hesitant to hire a birth photographer for my fifth birth; I'd never had one before, never thought too much of it, and was worried it would be weird to have someone see such an intimate moment. LET.ME.TELL.YOU! Amber is like that friend that you can just chat with and pick up right where you left off from years ago. She is calm, amazingly professional, and STEALTHY. I had NO idea she was even there after the first click. One top of that, she has the patience of a saint. I had 5 (FIVE!) weeks of prodromal labor and any time I would text or even call with "OK, I think this is reeeeeally it" -she was THERE. She'd text right back, and, at one point, even came to my house in the middle of the night...for a false alarm. She does everything with a smile and some midwest charm. The images and video are impeccable. To see her perspective of your birth will make you cry tears of joy for a life time." —Nellie
I Knew I Liked Nellie By Her First Email :)
She has the best sense of humor. Nellie and John are incredibly thoughtful as well. They even invited me sleep in their guest bedroom one early morning while I was on call for Rory's birth—so much nicer than sleeping in my van, lol! I loved watching Nellie with her boys, you could just see how much she loved them and they just adore her, it was so sweet. Nellie and John have *now* five children, which makes me so happy—I am one of 7!—which is just one reason I was so excited to photograph this birth. I LOVE big families. And Rory is their first girl, which is just the best. She was born at 4:57am, and the boys all woke up about an hour later to meet her for the first time. It was so special. I absolutely loved having the opportunity to document this birth. Congratulations, Nellie & John! I am so happy for you!
The Birth Film
You reallllly don't want to miss this! Also, be sure to make it full screen and turn your volume up—it's so much better that way!
RORY'S BIRTH STORY FROM NELLIE'S PERSPECTIVE:
Tell us a bit about yourself, and what number baby/birth you’re sharing with us.
I’m Nellie, mom to four boys and wife of a sailor. In true “are we done yet?!” fashion, we decided to go for one more because having a handful of boys sounded great! We would name him Sullivan (after the Sullivan brothers of Naval history) and that was that. We found out our 5th child was actually a girl and it’s been a wild ride since! Her name is Rory.
The Baggett family cuddled up with their new baby sister.
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
My due date was 11.29.16, our 13th wedding anniversary! She decided that her own date with some flare was in order so she came earth side on December 7th, 2016, the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
What was babies weight and length?
She was 8 pounds, 8 ounces and 21 inches long
What are three words you would choose to describe your birth?
Eventful, calm, perfect
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
Preparing for this labor was new territory for me, even though past labors had been arduous. Prodromal labor played a role for about five weeks and it really messes with your emotions! I did prepare by reading Hypnobirthing and making affirmation cards. One card that particular card I had hanging on the wall was “This will not last forever.” It helped me during the intense parts of labor.
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
It was the birth I’ve always *almost* achieved but got to tired to finish calmly. I’ve always wanted to just let the fetal ejection reflex take place so it was a calm entry in to the world but I’ve always been so tired by the end I would just push to get baby out.
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
Nothing truly surprised me! I guess, maybe, that the labor didn’t take 20 hours -but If I were to add up all the prodromal labor I might be over the 20 hour mark!
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
I would do nothing differently.
What do you remember the most about the birth?
Getting to deliver my baby! That was really neat.
How was your birth experience different from what you imagined it to be?
For once, in five births, it was exactly as I imagined.
How has your perspective of your birth experience with your baby changed since the birth of your first child?
My perspective of birth since my first child in 2006 has changed immensely. I went from a fear based birth in a hospital with all the interventions (aside from a c-section) to an educated, evidence based, birthing experience for every subsequent baby.
What were your immediate emotions about yourself and or your birth experience after the birth?
I kept saying (at least in my head, I don’t know if I verbalized it): “I did it!"
How would you describe your recovery?
Recovery is going great I do have to say this, because its not talked about enough: for every birth, I have the displeasure of entertaining Post Partum Anxiety. So, while I look fine and recovered, PPA is always in the background! Its important to recognize it and seek help!
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
I did learn that, while I stink at self hypnosis, I could absolutely achieve a calm birth. My midwife knew my wishes and helped me achieve my goal.
Would you recommend having a natural childbirth or medicated childbirth to others?
I whole-heartedly believe that a woman should have a birth that makes her feel empowered. A natural birth makes me feel empowered, but I have several friends that were more than happy to have their epidural, gas, etc. In the end, none of us get a medal but we all get a baby!
WHY hire a birth photographer?
BECAUSE! Perspective. You’ll never have that perspective with the absolute artistic quality of a birth photographer. There is something to be said about quality and having Amber stealthily move around the room and capture life altering moments is just something special.
Just FYI, you can click on each image to make it larger if you prefer!
The Midwives: I have so loved working with Jaymie and Dr. Lori! This was my first time working with Jaymie and she's so sweet and just has a wonderful presence. And Dr. Lori is simply amazing. And she's always smiling! I've had the pleasure of photographing 3 home births with her. If you are looking for a midwife on Oahu, definitely contact these lovely ladies!
Midwife: Jaymie Lewis from Hanau Pono. http://hanaupono.com
Assisting Midwife: Dr. Lori Kimata from Sacred Healing Arts.
Placenta Encapsulator: My client had the best things to say about her placenta encapsulator!
Kiersten Homalon of Essence From Eden
Amber is the photographer at Amber DeCicco Photography.
AND one of the birth photographers here at Hawaii Birth Collective! Want to see what else she is up to? Check out her website here: