What is Birth Stories?
Birth Stories is a book. Inside is a collection of 20 birth stories collected and photographed by me. I photographed each mother’s fresh 48 hospital photography session or in-home lifestyle newborn session.
In the Fall of 2018 an idea sparked in my brain while laying in bed one night. I knew I wanted to gather up the stories of the babies I had photographed the past year and make a beautiful, rich coffee-table worthy book that each mother could have. I believe that giving context of each story surrounded by several other similar stories would add a beautiful texture to the specialty of their story.
With the help of 20 awesome mothers, I designed and printed this one of a kind book for them to cherish and their child to have as record of their birth story.
Each story is a first-person account of the days leading up to and delivering their child. They are all written by the mother of the newborn in the story. Some of the stories are just a paragraph or two long. Other stories are 4 pages long.
Each birth story section is 8 pages long and includes 4-6 images from that session. The book has 176 pages, including an introduction, and index and other additional sections.
To purchase a copy of the book, you can do so below.
Book price $43 + $7.95 Flat rate shipping
Please note that these books are not produced on a print-on-demand basis.
I will make one print order monthly and will distribute/personally mail each book after receipt of the order.
If you wish to donate towards to cost of creating the book, that would mean a lot. The total cost of producing and printing the book was $570.
There were many mysteries preluding the birth of my son. I planned to have a water birth at home… yet… how many women plan for births that end up with very different stories? Would I go into labor on my own? I was 41 weeks and 3 days. Would my labor progress well enough to have him without intervention? A couple of years ago, my daughter needed Pitocin to activate labor after my water broke. Would I be comfortable in our tub? We didn’t rent a birthing pool. Would my midwife and husband be enough support? I didn’t have a Doula this time. The doubts and fears crept in as the days continued to pass without my baby coming out.
Finally, in the wee hours of night, I shifted uncomfortably in bed. I was already on the edge of awake feeling fiery contractions that had been ongoing. With that small adjustment I knew something changed, and the next movement definitely confirmed, my water broke! I had been surviving in the space of disbelief that this baby would ever come out, so I wasn’t prepared. I had to grab a blanket and waddle across the house and down the stairs to the bathroom. I was excited that something was finally happening. I did my best to go back to sleep, but I knew that this was different than the first time. I just knew labor would progress. Around six in the morning my husband and I took our daughter downstairs to watch a movie together. She was 2 1/2 and usually slept in until nine. She must have felt the energy shift in our home too to wake up that early. At 8 o’clock, my husband took her to my sister’s house because I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus on labor until she was being cared for fully.
Not too long after he came back we decided to go for a walk. I wanted to make sure things kept progressing. No stalling of labor for me! It was my perfect type of weather; a gray and drizzly spring-like day. Very much like the weather I loved when I lived in Seattle. The river is near our home, so we walked along the levy with our umbrellas. I knew that if I got to a place with my contractions where I had to vocalize, then I knew my home birth would be possible. On our way back to the house, almost an hour since we left, I had to stop near the train tacks and groan through a contraction! Once home, I labored on the birthing ball for a short while, and then laid on the couch. I was getting more uncomfortable, so my husband texted the midwife to see if the timing would be good for me to get in the tub. When I labored with my daughter, the tub provided great relief. I had spent a great deal of time in there during my Pitocin-laden labor. We got the okay and I was excited to feel some ease.
We had even renovated our bathroom for this very occasion. As soon as I got in I didn’t feel comfort though. I thought I must’ve gotten in awkwardly and couldn’t quite find a good position. The groans were quickly replaced with the mantra I took up with my first birth, “owwwww.” Intense discomfort. Let’s just call it what it was – pain. Then compulsory pushing at the end of my contractions started happening. What?! So soon? Surely, I was just at a wrong angle. I made sure my husband had told the midwife I was pushing. Maybe she should come over soon… He would come in the bathroom and then quickly leave. I’m not sure what he was doing. Disappearing into the mysterious place birth partners get to go. Not Labor Land. Ha!
With great relief (to both of us) my midwife and her nurse showed up. They listened to the baby’s heartbeat in the tub, and said he’s not responding well to my position. With great effort I move from the tub to a bedroom. First, I made sure that he was on his way out. That this pushing was actually pushing him out and not the beginning of a long drawn out labor. They confirmed that, yes, he was coming out. Once in the bedroom I believe he came out in less than ten minutes. Caught by his Papa! As they passed him to me he grabbed a blanket and then quickly pooped. Ha! From the beginning of active labor until his arrival the total time was less than four hours. Muir Hyacinthwas born at 1:47 p.m. on a gray and rainy March 16, weighing in at 10 1/2 pounds. I wasn’t able to go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade the following day but felt like it was a pretty good trade off. Our mysterious little fellow made all my lucky dreams come true.