When one of my best friends announced her pregnancy, with her third, she asked me to photograph the birth of this bundle of joy. I was nervous, and excited. I have never witnessed a birth before, though I have birthed my own daughter, it was via c-section and I was knocked out under general anasthetic. That’s a whole other story, and it’s a very different story than this birth. My dear friend Jen seems to be somewhat of a very efficient baby grower and always has them just a wee bit earlier than the fully allotted 40 weeks, and in less than 12 hours. When the doctors decided to break Jen’s water this time, she predicted a 3 hour labor afterwards. She was right on. Husband, and also good friend, James, called me at 10:30 and said “Ashton will be here in about 4 hours”. I arrived to the hospital in time to witness the water breaking at 11:30pm. So Jen began a slow incline in contractions.

Her contractions became harder and she tried walking briefly. She concluded that the walking wasn’t going to do much since she felt it wouldn’t be long already. Every contraction Jen had was clearly very efficient.

About 1.5 hours after Jen’s water broke, she felt a drastic change in her pain levels. Her worried team members looked on. Her mother, sister in law, and husband soothed and coached her 100% of the time.

Jen quickly approached transition, and blew past 8 and 9 centimeters. The doctor rushed in just in time for Jen to push.

With her support close by, and about half hour of pushing, Ashton was born at 2:27am.

A beautiful moment. It was intense, joyful, relieving, awe-inspiring!

He’s here. He’s here! His face, his hands, his toes! They are all here! He is beautiful!

He’s also huge! Almost 9lbs and he was 3 weeks early! Daddy was enthralled. He was getting used to this meeting babies thing.

This experience was truly like no other I have had. I love these photos, I cry when looking at them. I feel BLESSED to have been trusted with this extremely delicate intimate moment in time.