A Peaceful Hospital Birth in Chapel Hill, NC
| Noah M. Birth Story
Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth Photographer
I'm constantly being blown away by birth photography and it's ability to truly connect people. I've had the joy and honor of capturing so many beautiful and strong women go though the process of birth and I still feel bonded to them years later.
There is a glorious moment with each birth when I'm welcomed into the space and without even being in the photos I'm now apart of the story. And when you are apart of a birth story even as a silent participating photographer, you are experiencing something once in a lifetime for this family. Never again will they see their little one for the first second, hold them close, ooh and aww at their lips and toes. For me as the photographer capturing those once in a lifetime moments and for the family experiencing them it feels in some way like an invisible tethering. Forever they will tell their little ones as they look through their birth photos, Hanna was there capturing these moments for us. It an honor that drives me and picks me back up when I'm exhausted from back to back births or sad I'm missing a family vacation.Those moments of birth and life are enough to make all of the sacrifice worth it.
When I met Courtney earlier this year we had been emailing back and forth for a while. Talking about her story and pure hope for birth photography was such a light for me in a pretty slow couple of months. When we finally got coffee together it was like two old friends catching up and i knew from that moment I wanted to be apart of her story. Even just as a silent participant, her story of hope after loss and joy in the unpredictable seasons of life were such an inspiration to me.
The morning I got the call that little Noah was making his way into the world I was honestly a little shocked, I wasn't supposed to go on call for another week and had just gotten back from Kansas City the day before. It was honestly perfect timing though. I got a text around 5:00am and slept through it :( [right around 38 weeks my text ringer goes up to eleven :P no but seriously the volume could wake the whole house, but when i'm not "on call" I shut that baby down. Otherwise i would wake to every text my crazy insomniac friends would send and never sleep. But to clarify my phone ringer when you call is always on high so please don't call me in the middle of the night unless you're in labor :P]
Ok back to the story, when I finally woke around 8:00am to see she had checked into UNC Hospital I shot out of bed and started texting her, praying I hadn't missed anything. The wonderful birth gods were on our side, when she got back in touch she was at a 6. Thats right about the time I head to any birth so I grabbed some coffee and my birth bag and headed to her side.
When I entered the room It was a beautiful peaceful space with gorgeous morning light streaming in. Courtney was working through her contractions like a total champ. I think I was there maybe 2 hours before she was at a 10 and began the pushing process to bring little Noah earth side. Courtney moved fiercely through each breath with her sweet husband by her side, there to support her as she needed. It was a beautiful thing to see her focus and strength in those moments. I will never forget the face of pure relief, joy, a little shock and aww that overcame Courtney the moment little Noah was placed in her arms. It was like the heavens had opened up and placed that sweet baby in her life. Within literally 30 minutes or so Courtney was back to laughing and making jokes to her husband and nurses.
What a glorious moment! Courtney finally was holding her sweet rainbow baby in her arms. her first boy and unexpected miracle. After experiencing such a hard loss, to finding out she was pregnant again, was definitely shocking. She worked through and processed this new little life growing inside her with open hands for a while. Before finally telling her loved ones that this little boy was coming. To hear her story of what felt like a long up hill climb, the moment little Noah was placed in her arms felt like a pause, a moment to breath. She could all in one moment recognize the little one she had lost and still celebrate this precious child she was holding.
Right before I left the birth space, Courtney insisted on having me hold little Noah just for a quick photo. You would be surprised how rare that is in my line of work and i was so honored to get to see his little entrance into the world and feel the weight of his life in my arms.
I got in my car and shed of few tears of joy. Within a week she had already sent me a little update video and i cried a little more. That bond you create by being a part of someone's story even in just a small way is irreplaceable.