I’ve been excited about sharing this post for a while now. Many of you, my sweet friends have known how excited I was about becoming an auntie to a sweet little girl. Well, after 41 weeks of spoiling her while she was in the womb, the time came for my sister to give birth to sweet Abella June. She’s really my sister-in-law, but who needs the in-law part..besides, we’re like sisters anyways!
The days leading up to Abella’s arrival were full of excitement and lots of impatience. We spent lots of time googling about signs of labor and home remedies to bring upon contractions. You name it, we tried it: walking, hiking, essential oils, pressure points, spicy food, exercise ball, hip openers, and the list goes on. I carried my phone with me constantly, making sure that Kelley was ok and “checking for updates” as many of my texts so often read. Kevin even made fun of me because I gave Kelley her own ring & text tone; every time she would text me (which was a lot), an annoying sound would play. I wanted to make sure that the sound was annoying enough that if I was dead asleep in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t miss her call!
We talked a lot about birth before Abella’s arrival. I knew that Kelley wanted her birth to be as natural as possible. What else would you expect from a hippie, yoga child? I also knew that Kelley wanted me to be in the hospital room as her sister, but also to capture some raw, intimate moments with my camera. The beauty of birth photography is the tiny, emotional moments that tell the entire story of the arrival of a child into the world. Its totally different than photographing a wedding, but at the same time its just as exhilarating. Getting to witness a life being born, the labor, the tears, encouragement, excitement and anticipation that comes with it is one of the most rewarding experiences.
I was so honored to be standing right beside Kelley as I watched her birth sweet little Abella June. Kelley was strong and fearless. She knew when her contractions were coming and she embraced and endured the pain, a bittersweet sight to watch. Watching Kelley in pain wasn’t easy, but knowing the reward awaiting her at 10 centimeters made it all the more beautiful. Here’s what Kelley had to say….
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous as I was while being wheeled up to the room where I would have Abella June. When we first arrived at the hospital I was filled with nothing but pure joy and excitement, but as soon as they sat me down in the wheelchair I knew that my world as I knew it was about to change forever. Once we got to the Labor and Delivery Floor and they opened the doors, I grabbed Santi’s hand and we headed towards the room they had chosen for us. I think the part that I dreaded the most during this whole thing was the fact that I was going to have to wear a hospital gown and that I knew at some point my butt cheeks were going to show. Once they gave me my IV and I got comfortable in bed, it felt like time was beginning to fly by. Although I was supposed to be induced the following morning and the doctor was telling all of my family members to head home for the night, something told me things were going to go differently. Only a handful of family members stayed but I was so glad that they did. Around 12:30 AM Tuesday morning I felt what I thought was my first contraction and BOY WAS I RIGHT! They were two minutes apart and with each passing minute they got worse. Before I knew it, I had been in labor for two hours. At that point we were yelling for the nurse telling her that my baby was coming that morning. Of course she was skeptical because the doctor had said it would likely be a slow process. Once she saw that I was seven centimeters dilated after less than 3 hours of labor, everything changed. Before I knew it they were preparing me and the bed for birth! After that point, I don’t remember very much until Abella was born. It was crazy; everyone was running around preparing for Abella’s arrival, the nurses were yelling for the doctor to hurry because “it was time”. My family members that were in the room said that I only pushed four times and she was here! I remember tons of “ohhs and ahhs” and then the doctor asked me if I wanted her. Of course I did! After 9 months all I wanted to do was hold my baby in my arms! When I saw Abella June I knew that the waiting and all the pain was worth it. She was worth everything. At 3:41 AM on Tuesday, December 16, my little flower arrived and my life was forever changed….for the better.”
Kelley & Santi – You guys were rockstars in that delivery room. Thank you for letting me photograph the entire birthing process & for giving Kevin & I the sweetest little niece in the whole wide world. I can’t wait to watch the two of you grow together as parents and lovers!
Abella – Oh, little one….you are loved so much already. Uncle Kevin & I can’t wait to see you grow into an even more beautiful little girl & to share all of life’s happiest adventures with you and your mommy & daddy. We love you so so much today & will love you even more tomorrow!