There is something magical, intense, emotional and completely raw about witnessing a home birth. For me, it's something that never gets old. There's so much emotion and wonder, even in the waiting for baby to arrive. There's a peace in the home even with the pressure and pain that comes with labor and childbirth. It's an experience so completely different from any hospital birth I have ever witnessed. No matter how you go about giving birth to your child there is an incredible amount of strength involved in bringing a new life into our world. For me, seeing a woman do it completely free of any medication, iv fluids, a team of nurses and doctors, etc. is something completely beyond. When my clients ask me to be part of this, one of the most important moments of their lives, it just makes my heart sore. Being present for their baby's very first moments on this earth is an honor and a blessing for sure. I always find myself holding my breath, near tears and just as anxious as the family members.
Jenna let me know she was expecting right away. I have shot her family a few times now and they are very precious to me. If you know Jenna even a little bit, it should come as no surprise that she wanted a natural, home birth. When she asked me to be present and capture the birth of her newest addition and her first home birth I was ecstatic. This was a no brainer...OF COURSE I would be there!!! Her family is so sweet and I have loved spending time with them during our shoots.
We met for her maternity session and we discussed what to expect the day she goes into labor. She told me the baby would come fast once hard labor began, that she would go into labor almost exactly on her due date and that her babies ran around 7 lbs. or so. However, we all know if you tell God your plans he will laugh at you. That is just exactly what happened in the case of little Boone Thayer Popham.
Boone came into this world in the water being caught by his mom and dad both with Jenna's midwives Zaina and Ryan (Sacred Midwifery) close at hand to take over if they were needed. He took his sweet time and came at his own pace. He came almost two weeks late, he was Jenna's longest labor at around 7 hours and he was a whopping 9 pounds, 4 ounces and 22 inches long. Toulouse cut his umbilical cord only after it stayed attached long enough for him to get every bit of vital blood that Boone could get from it. His oldest sister, Eliza (8 years old), was present in the room and shortly after he arrived his other sisters, Odette (4 years old) and Iselle (2 years old), came in to meet him. There's no doubt in my mind this little lad is going to be fiercely loved and protected by his three doting older sisters who adored him from the minute they laid eyes on him. Zaina and Ryan did Boone's first vitals and statistics after he had his first skin to skin contact with both mom and dad and had a little time to just be in the world.
Here are some photos from that very special day.