Mikela's Backyard Home Birth

Early in the pandemic, my friend Mikela confided that she and her partner Mike were trying to get pregnant. It was a moment of bleak uncertainty in the world, but there was something incredibly hopeful about the possibility of welcoming a new life. When she eventually shared the news that she was pregnant, I was overjoyed for her growing family. I was especially honored when she asked me to be present to document the baby's arrival. She was planning a home birth in her dreamy backyard tub and I knew it was going to be a unique experience.

As it often goes with birth, babies are on their own timeline and it can be hard to plan for a session like this, especially since I live about 30 minutes away! I checked in frequently as the due date approached, and we came up with our plan for labor (including sleeping with my phone ringer ON!). Finally, the day arrived and I got the text - labor had begun and the midwife and doula were on their way. I just finished an appointment so I zipped home to grab my gear and headed out to their home in Pasadena. Mike was laser-focused on attending to Mikela's contractions and the whole vibe was calm and soothing. Big brother Gus soon arrived home from preschool and was beyond excited.

The sweet relief and sheer joy of hearing that first cry! Everyone was fully present in the moment (something I love about doing birth photography - the parents can focus on the experience without worrying about capturing photos!) as Oscar took his first breath. After a few minutes of transition in the tub, Mikela made her way to the comfort of her bed for some warm skin-to-skin rest. I loved getting to sit with her and process the exquisite birth that had just taken place while Mike got to work making a recovery smoothie and Gus naturally fell into his role as the big brother.

When little Oscar made his debut outside the womb, it was almost a year to the day that the pandemic began. It was such a redemptive moment for a world that has been in turmoil. Oscar's arrival renewed a sense of hope and love - we needed this moment of healing and celebration. Mom, dad, and big brother were over the moon to welcome him into their family, with the support of an incredible birthing team. It was an honor and privilege to witness and document this sacred moment. Thank you for bringing me into this space and into your lives.



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