Only 5% of babies are born on their EDD ( Estimated Due Date )
We knew that very well going into Madison’s pregnancy with baby. Her due date was 8 days into September, but her entire pregnancy, she felt that her baby boy would make an appearance earlier than expected. Sunday night I was up late printing birth preferences for Madison and Drew (just in case they needed to be transferred from their birthing facility - the Hollywood Birth Center, to the hospital, (Joe DiMaggio Hospital) for any reason, so that the medical staff would know that we are grateful that she can deliver at their facility and willing to work with them as a team). I knew it in my heart that Madison was going to labor and birth smoothly, my intuition was telling me that we wouldn’t need to pull the birth preferences list out, but I always like to be prepared just in case.
Madison and Drew became a very special couple for me through their pregnancy. They carried an energy with them as first time parents. They are the sweetest couple that lived next door to each other for 18 years, blissfully unaware of the radiant future that awaited them. But they are completely and utterly the ‘girl next door’ fairytale that we all day dream about.
From the first time I met her, I loved how she said to me how important pictures are to her.
I know that because I’m a photographer that its expected for me to say pictures are important to me too. But even before I ever became a professional photographer, pictures have always been such a vital part of my life. I have albums from before I was born from eastern Europe of my families on both sides. Albums from my childhood, from my first school dance, from Christmases for decades, of my own children. I look through photos constantly and love to think back on those memories. For me, my albums and my pictures are priceless.
So these powerful words from Madison “pictures are really important to me,” completely resonated with me.
And just like that, as part of this mama’s intuition, two full weeks before her estimated due date, labor went into strong contractions 5 to 6 minutes apart 2:30am.
(((As I sit here, thinking back on the night of August 27th, just two days after my second daughter turned 3 years old, and write this blog post, I find it completely makes sense that my notifications for my Instagram app pop up on my phone, that in this exact moment, Madison shared a photo from her birth story on Instagram and tagged me. Sharing a wave length! This mama is SO special to me!)))
I drove to meet them at the birth center and walked in at about just before 7:45am, about 15 minutes after they arrived. I see Madison experiencing the full, raw, pangs of labor, surrounded by waves of support coming from Drew and his sister Daye. Midwife DellaReece filling up the birthing tub with warm water. The sun aching to rise from the horizon.
Despite the intensity of the waves of labor, Madison breathed and swayed fluidly through each, almost as if she was a third time mama.
She was surrounded by the flawless support of her birth team.
Fully trusting in them and in her laboring body.
She knew she would be meeting her baby boy soon.
Only minutes later she asked if we could turn off the lights.
Nothing made me happier.
I cannot tell you how much I love working with the natural, available light in a birth. Photography is the art of working with light, and when I am looking for light sources to tell a story, it is when I am at my best and most magical.
What made this room so special is that Madison chose the room in the Hollywood Birth Center that faced the East, the ocean. I know how special that is to her, because she is a child of the ocean.
For me, it was the room that faced the birthing sun of August 27th, 2018.