Birth Story of Peyton Rose: Gina + Chris
Birthing photographing is one of the most amazing experiences I've had as a photographer. I fully believe everyone who feels like they may want it should aboslutely do it. It's not about the coming out, it's about the butterflies before and the love after. I am very naturally comfortable with intimate moments - what about life isn't intimate to being with? - and I love my brides. So when one of my most go-with-the-flow, enjoyable couples contacted me about photographing their birthing, I was all in. I've done Birthing Center births before (if you need references email me!), but this would be my first hospital birth. Whats more, it was not quite local to me in Riverside, but set for the quite beautiful PIH hospital in Whittier. I let Gina know that distance like that could be an obstacle to our goal, but that I was down to go for it and try if she was. And of course, Gina is amazing and full of faith and we set it up.
Being "on call" for birthings is a large commitement to begin with. You have to rethink any out of town plans and carry your equipment with you whenever you are more than a quick drive to your home. Birthing Photographers always enourage full communication and updates and Gina was awesome. She texted me a week or so before THE CALL letting me know she may indeed induce early. She eventually set a date with the hospital, but of course, birthings run on their own schedule and I found myself canceling my Friday job and driving to the hospital heart pumping on a Thursday evening. I walked into the beautiful hospital and met for the first time since their wedding, Gina and Chris, who were full of warmth and excitement. It was definately not yet "the time" but since Gina's last birth progressed very quickly once it started, the nurses said it easily could be the same case with this one. Evening progressed into the night and we found ourselves sleeping over night in the hospital.
The next day still no big movement. We ate and laughed and waited patiently. Gina and Chris were serious troupers. Great souls and a pleasure to go through such a crazy experience with. I had a wedding on Sunday so I knew I had one more day and night to see this through. This was way more of a commitement than I had ever experienced, but birthings bring about patience and loyalty that I truly love. They detatch you from any sense of schedule and sense of power or choice. All you have is love, loyalty, patience and courage to pull from. I have felt this in my other birthings and this was no exception. I decided to get a hotel room around the block and we all waited during the day and into the night. Gina felt sure it was going to happen before morning. I had my phone on high in a crazy ringtone and hoped so much she was right. And then. 4am (I think?) I get a call from Chris and hear those glorious words "It is time!" I got there in under ten. It was late, and believe it or not, the one doctor on call was busy delivering another baby.
Just in time, the amazing doctor came and this baby, who had everyone waiting for days, was so finally ready to come out it was over it a moment. Peyton Rose. She was perfect. Gina was beaming. Peyton was crying and immediately beautiful. Dad cut the cord. A new life was born. Even now it fills me with emotion - I always describe birthings as surreal and powerful, like nothing you've every quite felt. Peyton was their first baby girl. Yes, Peyton came into the world with FOUR OLDER BROTHERS. The hospital nurses were amazing and conducted all their checks and helped get everything moving for Peyton. She was perfect. Healthy. Beautiful. Dad got to hold her, helplessly and hopelessly in love.
Gina and Chris were soon moved to a second room so their boys and family could visit. I loved every minute of it. Her brothers bright gifts and hugs. They were wonderfully bashful and excited. Chris went out for breakfast (and coffee) and a sense of noramlity began to come back into our worlds. I began making plans to return back and prep for my wedding the next day. The last pictures were taken, gratitude exchanged, and I was on my way back to Riverside after three days of waiting and being rewarded with a beautiful healthy daughter. Peyton Rose, you were absolutely worth the wait. Gina and Chris, it was an honor. I couldn't have imagined this experience with anyone else. And I can't wait to see her grow. My real thanks and feelings of course are in the photographs below. Enjoy and thank you...