motherhood

Our Stories of Breastfeeding

Our Stories of Breastfeeding

A raw re-telling of Motherhood from many different moms and the journeys of breastfeeding they experienced.

This Month of August has been another beautiful National Breastfeeding Month! So many moms have reached out and shared both their highs and lows of choosing and not choosing to breastfeed their little ones, all over the world. This month we acknowledge both the sacrifice and celebration of choosing to breastfeed and also honor the moms and families who were unable to breastfeed or who’s choice was not up to them. During August we have both International Breastfeeding week (August 1-7) AND Black Breastfeeding week (August 25-31) which are both amazing weeks where we shine a little light on the needs in our community for breastfeeding mothers and moms-to be!

In my own little corner of the world I connected with my community of followers to talk a little more about the stories we all carry about breastfeeding.

I think so many of us hide our experiences in the shadows. Whether it’s Because we couldn’t breastfeed, didn’t love breastfeeding or didn’t have the support needed. I also know many moms who Loved breastfeeding but haven’t yet been given the confidence to share their positive experience either. Each story is beautiful and unique and that’s something I’m trying to express in all of my art. It’s the realness that we share that makes our stories beautiful, not the perfection or easiness of the season but the truth.

So I collected just a handful of stories from the women that surround me. Written in their own words with their own emotional inflections. Honoring the long, hard and beautiful seasons of breastfeeding, the journeys that ended sooner than expected and the moms who are still on the path of breastfeeding who need our listening ears now, more than ever.

We are not alone in

Mastitis, Thrush, Lip Ties

Nipple Confusion, Low Milk Supply,

Having to go back to Work,

Premature Births or Breastfeeding journeys that ended too soon.

If you breastfed for one day or 3 years, you are celebrated and your story deserves to be shared.

If you wished you could have one more day or were glad to put that season beyond you.

These are the stories of motherhood, the stories of late nights and painful breasts. The stories of emotional lows and bonding highs that are easily forgotten or ignored by a “perfection seeking” culture. I hope that the diversity of stories and experiences both inspire and encourage you wherever you are in the journey with breastfeeding.

Our Stories of Breastfeeding | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth and Family Photography

Alison’s Story

My first thoughts about my breastfeeding journey would definitely be that it’s hard but so beautiful. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. I’m so thankful for that time.
My greatest support came from my husband and my sisters. My sisters and mom answered every question I had and my husband was gentle and kind. He brought me food, he listened to every little thing that my body and brain was going through, and he would encourage me every step.
I think the hardest thing for moms and breastfeeding is recognizing that the experience can be very different for every mom. And that’s really ok!
I breastfed two of my three babies. My first had complications and some delays so I started breastfeeding only with my second. Those first few months were so hard I was determined to succeed and I after time fell so in love with breastfeeding. It got easier as I went but the whole thing was so beautiful it made the process a wonderful time that put us in a precious bubble.
But I think it’s really important to say the time I spent with my first was just as beautiful and bonding as the time I spent breastfeeding. I fed my children the best and most healthy way for them. I am so thankful for the nine months I had breastfeeding my second and third little ones and I wouldn’t change that for anything but I do think it’s important to recognize and validate the bottle feeding mamas and the work they do too.
I also believe though without full support from family and friends it becomes increasingly more difficult to breastfeed. Not impossible just different
The wisdom I would give to expecting moms or moms struggling through breastfeeding is definitely COMMUNICATE. Talk to your partner talk to your friends. Tell them how you’re feeling. Then find someone who’s going through it too. If you’re struggling I guarantee some one else is too

I was honored to capture both of Alison’s breastfeeding journeys and the postpartum season of all three of her babies in one way or the other.


Our Stories of Breastfeeding | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth and Family Photography

Karen’s Story

This is of my own mothers breastfeeding journey!
She breastfed from 1986-2000 on and off with 4 babies, she is a strong believer in the power and bond of breastfeeding but also a true realist on the struggles that come with it.

So my first thoughts on the concept of breast feeding is to relax. In fact, I feel breastfeeding is one of the only times in my life that I was forced to let go of all my plans, the things that needed to be done, the indulgences I wanted and stop. To give completely my time, my comfort, my mind and my nourishment to someone else.

I breastfed babies in the 80’s and 90’s so there wasn’t any internet or smart phones, but I had distractions. Putting aside the time that is for you and baby and no one else will be the most valuable time you will ever have with that little person. Ironically, they probably will never remember one second of it, but if you relax and experience it the way God made it to be you will never forget it.

I have vivid memories of a quiet, dark house, the snuggling and gurgling sounds, the warmth and the smell, but above all the intimate bonding. Every person is different and every baby is different. However, babies are born knowing what to do and how to do it.

I remember the hardest times being when I would try breastfeeding when I was focused only on the discomfort and didn’t take time to get into the mental state. My first baby was like that although I managed about 3 months. Baby 2 was so different. I just let go and it happened with literally no effort from me. Babies 3 and 4 were easy because I learned to relax and enjoy the experience. My longest breastfeeding was with number 4. By that time I was completely convinced that the experience and health benefits far outweighed any other issue. I went about 19 months with that one.

My mother was a great resource for me (having breast fed all her kids in the 60’s) she always encouraged me and reminded me of how next to giving birth this was the ultimate example of unconditional giving. I also had a great friend who was breastfeeding at almost all the same times as I was, who encouraged me to relax and freely breast feed in public. I think if you feel overwhelmed or anxious you just need to tell yourself over and over, I can do this, billions of women before me have done this and I am the best at doing this right now. Even if it hurts! ❤️ warm tea bags are the best remedy and the pain WILL go away.


Along with sharing her words above, I put together a very short (30sec) film from my own 1991 birth video! Yes they did do a video of my birth (or at-least the 30 minutes after I was born)


Our Stories of Breastfeeding | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth and Family Photography

Courtney’s Story

My first thoughts about my breastfeeding journey would be nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster. Specifically one of self doubt, alienation, bouts of joy, stress, anger and fighting to live up to being a perfect breastfeeding mom. My failures were ones that I created by not taking the time to trust my body, baby, living up to family members views and guidelines to breastfeeding or not and lastly not embracing my leave time with baby.

The hardest thing would be believing in yourself as a provider for your little one. I was always worried that I wasn’t doing it right or that they weren’t getting enough or I wasn’t doing all that I could. And this was through sleepless nights, bouts of mastitis, going back to work, being an Army wife where the hubby was gone often and dealing with babies that were pre-term. Breastfeeding was one thing that I fought so hard to be good at yet the struggle was real. It was much harder than I thought and what I saw on brochures and commercials. It was work and some days it was just so hard especially out in public where I had to cover up and be afraid that someone else was uncomfortable with me feeding my baby. I once had a flight attendant throw a dirty airplane blanket over me as I was nursing. Mind you, I already had my baby covered. But because someone could see my daughter feet wiggling and hearing sounds of nursing, she figured the extra cover would dull the sounds and her feet.

The most support I got was when I got mastitis. I had no clue what I was doing with my premature baby. I delivered 5 weeks early, my milk did not come in for 2 weeks. She was on donor milk fed through a feeding tube syringe. When my milk finally came in, my body was just in shock and my little one could not empty the breast so I never got relief. Turns out her sucking complex was ineffective during my breastfeeding session. And thus, mastitis. When this happened the support started pouring in from the doctor, the NICU staff and even my husband who felt bad for me.

My mom did not breastfeed so I did not have a wealth of knowledge about it. But my mother-in-law successfully breastfeed three children. So she was eventually my sound board(my help) . And even she too, admitted it is a beautiful bond with your baby. But the journey to get to the point of joy, is hard one. Also to not give up if it is what you really want for you first and then your baby.

I have breastfeed four babies.

Baby 1- Born preterm at 33.5 weeks. Struggled a lot to even breastfeed. Only lasted 2.5 months. The stress and the realization of failing my baby took its toll on me (emotionally). Not to mention she was not thriving and so I took the option of formula feeding her. She bounced back and I was just happy that she was okay. I had a lot of tears trying to understand the issues and needs of a premature baby.

Baby 2-Born at 35.5 weeks still deemed preterm. Baby latched on immediately after birth which was great. But I suffered some damage to the breast based on her latch and actually had to nurse her through a breast shield for about 3.5 months. I stopped breastfeeding at 4 months due to supply issues and returning back to work. She was born in June and I went back to work August 1st. I felt redeemed a little with my second time around experience.

Baby 3- Rainbow baby. My saving grace for motherhood. Nursed immediately after deliver born at 36 weeks. I felt the most comfortable with him nursing. And I learned by then that everyone can butt out of my breastfeeding journey. I no longer was going to let every little thing bother me. I was going to do it my way. And this included nursing in public as well. He nursed for 5 months and then it stopped due to him being hospitalized for RSV. He had difficulties nursing and the hospital staff had to inform me of the true realities dealing with my nursing abilities with him. I struggled with harsh reality that it was over and not on my terms. 

Baby 4- We are two months in and I have already gotten double mastitis and have been placed on medications for it. Of course, I had to fight for breastfeeding approved meds which are few and far between by the way. I currently have my good days and bad days. Not sure where my journey with her will be. She is my surprise baby and my last baby. My kids are now 6, 4, 1 and 2 months.

What wisdom can I give moms? 

Well wisdom is funny. Funny because it has to be learned. I guess I would say it’s more of wisdom in the since of active and positive support as well as realizing you know what’s right for your baby. Don’t let others push your feelings and views aside to agree with them, to give up or in for them. Your breast, your story. Advocate for your breastfeeding journey!

I was honored to capture the birth of Courtney’s third little one and first baby boy, including their first latch! You can see the full story HERE.


Our Stories of Breastfeeding | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth and Family Photography

Lindsay’s Story

I have breastfed all five of my children and I’m currently still breastfeeding. Most of my boys I breastfed for 18 months give or take a month or two. I’m hoping to make it two years or more with my fifth. I have been pregnant and nursing before, but I’ve never tandem nursed. I was never against tandem nursing, but I didn’t know anyone who did that and I wrongfully assumed baby would need to be weaned before the next baby came along, so that’s mainly why I weaned. Weaning was never really hard for me or baby. We always did it very gradually.

I began breastfeeding in 2007 before I was on Facebook and really had no support other than the midwives who helped me at birth. I knew lactation consultants existed, but thought they were only for moms who needed help on learning how to breastfeed. My first baby was diagnosed with a mild tongue-tie, but seemed to be breastfeeding fine, so we never did anything about it.

The hardest things I’ve experienced in my breastfeeding journey were PPD and a nursing strike. Less than one month after giving birth to my third son, my grandmother passed away. I became very depressed and was definitely struggling in many areas of my life, but too proud to ask for help. My baby sensed my stress and went on a nursing strike, refusing the breast. This was a breaking point for me because I felt like a failure who couldn’t even feed my own baby. It was a vicious cycle that caused more stress, therefore stressing the baby, and not being able to breastfeed. I was able to pump through this time and did go and talk with my midwives who were able to get me though this bump in my breastfeeding journey.

I’ve also had a baby who decided at 9 months old he would only nurse from one side. Again, I just wanted somebody to tell me that it would be okay. I was so worried that if I stopped pumping my other side, my supply would dry up and I was not ready to wean. I finally gave in to one-sided (AKA lop-sided) nursing and baby was much happier this way, and nursed for more than a year after that on just one side!

Now that I’m nursing my fifth child, I have much less worries and much more support than I did when I began my breastfeeding journey 12 years ago. When I first began nursing I was a new mom who didn’t know any other moms, much less any breastfeeding ones, so there was nobody I could turn to for questions. Now I have many mom friends and know several breastfeeding moms I can reach out to day or night when anything comes up with me or my baby. Finding your breastfeeding village is definitely the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby if you plan to start/continue your own breastfeeding journey.


I was honored to capture a full
Year in the Life of Lindsay as she brought her 5th little one into the world capturing her breastfeeding journey from first latch to 3 and 6 weeks postpartum.


Our Stories of Breastfeeding | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth and Family Photography

Carlita’s Story

I love nursing my daughter. I love the snuggles and the quiet moments together. I love how now that she’s at a more interactive age, we have a moment to reconnect, make eye contact, and even play little games. I love how it calms her when she’s upset and is able to lull her to sleep (which means I get to sleep too!).
I’m currently breastfeeding my 12 month old daughter with no end in sight. My husband and the breastfeeding mama community I built got me through those crazy early months. It was smooth sailing for us from then on!
But It was so hard for us when she was first born. It took us a while to get a comfortable latch so I had some very raw, painful nipples and engorgment that led to mastitis. I wanted to give up.
Honestly, I knew very little about breastfeeding before my pregnancy. I did hear from moms that the early days can be difficult. When I was pregnant I went to a local La Leche League meeting. I wanted to meet the leaders and other mamas. I built a community that I could reach out to during those crazy cluster feeding days and nights and when you are worried that something isn’t right. I think that was what helped me survive. I knew I wasn’t alone and what me and baby were going through was normal (or not normal, in regards to mastitis and painful latch).
But I got the most support from my husband. Without him I wouldn’t have made it through those early days.
I definitely think you need support and education to make it through the breastfeeding journey and I see a lack of education a lot of the time . For example, a lot of mamas and families are shocked when babies cluster feed. It makes them believe that their breast milk isn’t enough for baby or that their milk supply has dropped. None of that is true! But since most don’t know this, the mom may be pressured to switch to formula.
Just remember first 40 days are definitely the hardest, but it truly does get easier! My advice for moms starting/continuing to breastfeed is, “Don’t give up on a bad day!”

I captured the powerful day that little Ayara was brought into the world and got to capture all the joy that came along with her first latch!


Our Stories of Breastfeeding | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth and Family Photography

Maggie’s Story

The first thoughts that come to mind when I consider my breastfeeding journey are Pride! And gratitude.
After a really difficult pregnancy and birth, including a NICU stay, I was so grateful that breastfeeding was something that came fairly easily to us. We still had our fair share of issues: oversupply, engorgement, mastitis, and plugged ducts but with the right support we were able to navigate all of those obstacles without any trauma. I’m incredibly proud of the time, energy, and nourishment I have been able to give to my daughter through our breastfeeding relationship. I’m grateful for the ways it forced me to slow down and be more present with her.
I am still breastfeeding my 2.5 year old and as of right now plan to allow her to self wean whenever she decides she is ready.
But I only got here with the support from my doula, my sister, la leche league, and my intuition! (when I could quiet my fears and insecurities down enough to listen to it)
I think the hardest thing is this expectation to do it all (and do it without education or support). There is an expectation to breastfeed for at least a year while jumping right back into work. As a culture we do not recognize and honor the toll breastfeeding can take on our sleep, energy, and time. We don’t give birthing people space to heal from birth and time to learn how to breastfeed. We expect others and ourselves to jump right back into life but just with a baby on the breast. That’s not a realistic or fair expectation.
What helped me get through those hard first months started with practicing mindfulness and meditation while breastfeeding. Setting limits when I needed to honor my mental/physical health and respect my own limitations. Celebrating and loving my body for all that it was doing for me and my baby. Taking self care very seriously - nourishing myself with healthy foods, getting as much rest as possible, and staying hydrated.
The wisdom I would share with expecting mommas or mommas working presently on their breastfeeding journey would be,
Learn about breastfeeding in pregnancy. Read up on the science behind it - understand the benefits you are giving your baby but also recognize and learn about just how much it requires of you physically and mentally. Always allow yourself the freedom to stop if you feel that the stress of it is negatively impacting your mental health and ability to connect with your baby. Don’t just ask for help - DEMAND help and support. Although in an ideal world you wouldn’t have to do this - educate those around you on why breastfeeding is important, why it requires so much of you, and why you need their help. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and your baby.

I’ve known Maggie and her husband, Zach for more than 15 years and they’ve walked with my husband and I through some of the biggest parts of our journey from capturing our wedding and recent maternity photos. Maggie herself is an incredible Birth photographer in Asheville, NC and I was honored to capture her journey of breastfeeding with a family session earlier this year!


Our Stories of Breastfeeding | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth and Family Photography

Katie’s Story

I never planned to breastfeed. In fact, I just thought it was weird. But when I was pregnant with my firstborn I lived in the middle of the Appalachian mountains and was perceived as the weird one in birthing class because I planned to have an epidural and use formula.
Then my husband was laid-off. It was the crash of ‘08, I worked for the same development company he did and my job wasn’t exactly stable. I breastfed because my milk was free.
And I think because I didn’t have this self-imposed pressure on myself, like so many in my birthing class did, it came relatively easy to me. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all fairytales - when my milk came in the very first time it was as if my breasts were a foreign extension on my body. Then there was the leaking and engorgement. With my second baby I had mastitis in two quadrants that I nursed him through instead of taking meds and with my last baby, her suction was so strong that she sliced one nipple wide open.
But I nursed for 22 months, 26 months and am still going at 12 months. I also pumped to feed my child when I was working and have donated hundreds of ounces of milk to WakeMed. My breasts have shrunk a cup size with every baby and there is no buoyancy left in them, but I’m proud of the “work” they have done.
And it truly is a personal experience because no one - not even your baby - will ever understand or appreciate the effort it takes. And when your kid walks into kindergarten, no one except you and your partner, will know if s/he was breastfed. So while I support breastfeeding, I ultimately support mamas feeding their babies in whatever capacity that works for them.

I got to capture all the first latch joy as little Lainey made her epically fast entrance into the world and you can read the full story HERE.


Our Stories of Breastfeeding | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Birth and Family Photography

Anonymous Stories and Shorter Story Shares

I thought I’d share my breastfeeding experience since I haven’t heard it voiced before but I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Breastfeeding was the right thing for us, rather than switching to formula, but I never fell in love with it. It wasn’t until I stopped at one year that I even felt like myself again. It’s not something I look back on with fond memories, it was just part of early motherhood for me, and one of the things I’m happy to leave there.
I don’t think you have to love breastfeeding to choose it or persevere in it, or to have a valid experience, or to love your child, or to treasure those moments.”


With my firs,t she was too immature to latch due to being 34weeks so I pumped for three months. For my second, also 34 weeks they never even had me try in the NICU. But one day at home I found she latched and so I nursed her a bit but mostly pumped. Having preemies makes you concerned about how much they are eating, gaining, etc. With my last I was able to carry to full term and breast feed. He's been a trooper and is in love with boob. He was small too but gained weight like clock work so no concern. I also pumped with him so that my husband could take a midnight feeding or times when I wasn't able to feed him. We are starting to supplement formula for him cause my supply is just not keeping up with demand. He'll be nine months soon and is currently nursing as I type. I truly love the saying fed is best.

- Carlene’s Story


Breastfeeding has been a saving grace in my postpartum journey with all 3 of my babies. I get terrible PPD and PPA, and those endorphins from feeding babe help so much! I’ve been very lucky to be able to nurse my babies as long as I did!

- Kait’s Story


I vividly remember leaving the hospital after my oldest was born, expecting to feed "every 3 hours," just like the nurses told me I should.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAAAHHAAHAHAHA.

Eight years and three babies later and I look back at poor new mama me and want to hug her and say, "it's ok! She's eating every 40 minutes because she's hungry/tired/sad/lonely/scared or just wants to be near you! Feed her mama. Feed her and enjoy this time

- Bri’s Story


Alicia F. Maternity Story

Durham,NC Maternity Photography

Alicia, Chris and Ori celebrate baby number two and Mom’s beautiful growing Belly

in Durham, North Carolina

Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill Birth and Family Photographer

This past year I got to truly follow along with this beautiful family from Maternity, birth to Newborn! They were team green on baby number two and I just love capturing all the joy and anticipation that comes along with waiting. Big sister Ori is one of the best and biggest little personalities I’ve come across, she made this session such a blast. Even when things started off a little emotional it did not take long for her excitement and silliness to win out as she got comfortable in front of the camera. Her curiosity and love for her little baby sibling were beautiful to see. It was fun to just take these three out to a favorite little park and really celebrate that this precious family of three was growing by one. Chris and Alicia took so many beautiful moments to just connect and reflect as they awaited their little one and of course laugh at their precocious little girl. We celebrated that growing baby bump too which I am obsessed with. Our bodies grow and change in such a unique way during pregnancy and I wish every mom wanted to flaunt that courageous motherhood bump. I can’t wait to continue to unfold their sweet family story and share the powerful story of birth that brought their second little one into the world! (So stay tuned…)

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Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
If photographer is unable to perform this contract due to sickness, emergency, or causes beyond photographer’s control, the photographer and client shall attempt to schedule a replacement session (fresh 48, newborn session, etc.…). If an agreement cannot be reached by photographer and client, the photographer agrees to return payments made (minus the retainer). The photographer will have no further liability. If the photographer is not able to deliver the agreed upon images due to a technical malfunction of her photography equipment, the photographer’s liability is limited to the price of a birth session.
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer
Alicia F. Maternity | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photographer

The Motherhood Project: Part Four

A Year in the Life of Motherhood Project:

Part 4

The Birth Story of Hayes

Well if you are just jumping in then I suggest you first go check out Part One, Part Two and Part Three because watching this Motherhood journey from the beginning is SO beautiful and so worth it. In 2018 I got the opportunity to follow along on the journey of one incredible mother of 5! I watched as she grew a tiny human, loved her 4 older boys and husband unconditionally and stayed powerful and stunning in her womanhood. L’s story has been one of the things so many people have reached out to me about and so many people last year followed along to see. I’m so sorry for my lateness in sharing the next installment of their story and debatably the most epic. Today I’m excited to finally share the birth story of their fifth baby! In all its raw beauty and power!

Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography

After 4 births with all different arrival dates Lindsay was pretty shocked when this little one decided to keep us all waiting almost a week past his due date. That’s pretty typical for moms but when you’ve had a few early and few a on time I know we were all shocked when this little one was pushing us to 41 weeks.

I got the text/call late one Thursday night that L. was barely feeling contractions. Now this still meant a lot for me because with a fifth baby literally any sign could mean we are close to this little one slipping out :P I got myself ready, dressed and out the door by the time they texted 15 minutes later to say they were heading to the Women’s Birth and Wellness Birth Center.

When I arrived i was actually there right before they made it and we all walked in together. With them was L., Her husband, 4 boys, both grandmas, a great grandma and one grandpa. It was a party to say the least :P Most family sat in the waiting room getting the boys situated with places to sleep or just wait while L. went straight into the birth space.

L. is a Hypnobabies coach and total goddess when it comes to meditating through her birth. She was already in a state of hypnosis when she arrived with her headphones in. With every wave she breathed in and out like she knew exactly when and where this baby was coming down the birthing canal. She was so connected with baby and so in tune with her needs throughout. She knew when she needed a cold cloth, a hand hold and for everyone to just give her space. She described this part in her own words this way,

“Even though my eyes were closed during most of transformation I just felt so loved and supported by my birthing team.

My doula was reminding me to use my cues and telling me how amazing I was.

My nurse was helping to keep the ice water as stocked as possible.

My midwife was sitting on the floor just watching the birth unfold and telling me that I was doing a great job.

My husband never left my side and was holding the cold rags on my forehead.

During this time I was focused very inward so I could remain in my hypnosis and stay very comfortable…

I would think to myself how amazing this must be for everyone to watch.

I was totally rocking my birth and I knew it! I had never experienced having a birth photographer before and I was so excited for these moments to be captured so I could get to see what everybody else was getting to watch. With my eyes mostly closed and me focused on my hypnosis it wasn’t something I could get a sense of in my prior births.”

I may be remembering this wrong but I swear we were not in the birth suite longer than 20 minutes, I was still deciding whether i was going to turn some more lights on or pop out my flash, before L., sitting on the birthing stool, reached down and lifted her fifth baby boy up into her arms. I was standing right in front of her trying to grab each detail and moment in almost the complete dark. I looked down and saw babies head and knew it was time and seconds later L. had already gasped out her “i just birthed my fifth baby” breath. In all the commotion grandma or doula ran to yell for the whole family to come in (they had all planned to be there to witness the moment of birth) but since baby came out so fast they were all rushing in when baby was being lifted up. Here is how L. described this epic moment,

I brought the baby up to my chest and just stared in amazement at this new little life. My oldest son was first into the room and he saw me bringing the baby up to my chest.

The rest of our children and family came in right behind him. I remember saying, “My precious baby! You are finally here!”

My husband gave me a hug and a kiss, and we took a few moments to take it all in before looking down to discover we had another son!

What a blessing! What a miracle! We were just overjoyed!

L. and her husband wanted to be the first to announce the gender and if you watch the video, I’ll post at the end of this series, you can watch their live reaction. Oh so much love, shock and joy filled the room when they said, “it’s a boy” All the brothers gathered around like they had gotten their wish, filled with so much laughter and begging to hold him. It was a pretty amazing to witness.

L. just sat taking it all in, absorbing all the energy surrounding her, the oxytocin clouding the space and smiling at her strength to bring another little one into the world. They named him Hayes something they had taunted us all with saying, “girl or boy the name starts with H” So we had all come up with a million ideas but perfect little Hayes was it. As he snuggled close each boy got a chance to hold him and shower him with love. The room filling with excitement was truly infectious to us all.

I was so honored to first of all make it to this birth but to get to tell this incredible story of what it looks like to birth her fifth little boy amongst her family tribe and to feel so much power in your body that you literally reach down and bring your own little boy up into your arms. L. is a badass goddess and her birth story was one of my favorites to tell!

Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
IMG_8799.jpg
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
IMG_8852.jpg
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography
Hayes O. Birth Story | Motherhood Project | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth and Family Photography

And Definitely check out their Birth Film below!

Alec N. Birth Story

Durham- Chapel Hill Birth Photographer

The Birth of Alec

and the Motherhood Journey of Lauren

An exciting family focused birth center birth

at Women’s Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer

Births come in all different shapes and sizes. I’m often overwhelmed over being a birth photographer after a long all nighter waiting for a little one to arrive. Those stories are powerful and beautiful in so many ways even in the waiting but there is nothing that gets me back on my feet and ready for the next birth journey than witnessing a birth that is whirlwind fast and exciting.

I got the “maybe its labor, maybe I can sleep on it” type text right around midnight. I quickly jumped in bed (i know all the mixed sleep patterns leave me a bit of a late nighter now a days :P) I was hoping to grab any bit of sleep I could because I knew from Lauren’s first birth that when things pick up, they could go fast. Her first birth had everyone surprised and her photographer made it just after her sweet first boy was born. So I didn’t want that to happen at all so I was definitely on edge trying to grab some sleep.

Not 2 hours later and I got the second text that they were all headed to the birth center, but weren’t sure if things were really that progressed. Me and their wonderful doula, Sarah Stanley, both felt the same way and waited only a bit before just jumping in our cars and heading her way. better to be safe than sorry with a mom with a fast labor history.

I arrived about 15 minutes later to see momma already in the tub breathing through her labor like a total goddess and her sweet sleepy boy curiously watching on as mom happily explained that baby was coming. Typically moms aren’t encouraged to get into the birthing tub until active labor is for sure so seeing her there was a good sign that I had made the right decision to just go and meet them there. Lauren was handling things so peacefully that you would have guessed we had hours to go. We all settled in and Sarah arrived to give their little boy some sweet sibling doula love. They were in and out with his curiosity until he pretty much fell asleep in the birth-center’s family waiting area, where i have spent many a night (way more comfy than a hospital waiting room, so thank you WBWC)

As we all sat in the room it was quiet with the occasional laugh filling the room as Lauren worked effortlessly in the tub. At one point she decided to get out, I can’t recall whether it was to try something different or use the restroom but she just stood up. Things got extra intense all in that moment. She moved to the bed to lean over some pillows and work through labor in a different position. I was there with her but still thinking this is simply just a change of pace. We all thought this was just a moment of contractions intensifying so much that her sweet partner went out to check on their little boy and see if he could switch with Sarah to come and help do some hip squeezes to help Lauren through these intense labor waves. Within moments baby Alec was born, right into the arms of their incredibly ready midwife, Emily. I was in the perfect place but pretty much in shock because it was not until the splash of her waters breaking that I even looked down to watch as little Alec came fast furiously into the world. Lauren was even in a little shock asking for a couple breaths and pause before lifting her sweet little boy up to her chest for the first time.

Daddy rushed in moments later to the perfect smile of pride on Lauren’s face that said everything with just a look of, “meet out little boy.” It was everything just to get to watch their joy fill the room as they loved on this precious new life. He was a little bruised from his fast entrance into the world but already so calm and sweet and ready for cuddling. After an hour or so of mom and dad bonding they woke Alec’s big brother to come and meet him. Not so sure about this new little bundle of joy, Bryce watched with sweetness as he saw his whole world change. We all watched as the wheels turned in his head with curiosity. I’m so glad I got to check in with them a few weeks later to capture their sweet family session! I promise to have that up soon :) but for now I just want to bask in this incredibly and fast and beautiful birth.

The adrenaline of fast births is really unlike anything else, it’s so hard to come down to the real world :P With every story I tell and life i get to witness enter the world, I’m blown away and honored by this job. Thank you to this beautiful family for openly sharing their journey for others to see and experience. All births are unique and beautiful and the more we see and know the better prepared the next generation of capable strong women will be to meet birth with their innate power!

If you are expecting in the next 3-9 months please reach out! I would love to talk with you, answer questions and truthfully be apart of telling your unique journey of birth.

Click here to reach out today!

Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
IMG_5992.jpgAlec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
Alec N Birth Story Birth Center Birth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer

The Birth of Eve

Raleigh-Durham Birth Photographer and Videographer

The Birth of Eve &

The Motherhood Journey of Chiara

An Empowered Homebirth at Windy Hill Farm

Birth does not fit into a box.

Birth is powerful in it’s unpredictability.

Birth can be long.

Birth is beautiful.

And Birth has a plan of it’s own sometimes even when we really wish it didn’t.

The Birth of Eve The Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Hanna Hill Photography | Raleigh Durham Birth Photographer
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography

In the wee hours of the night I got the call that Chiara was in labor. Things were progressing gradually and her incredible doula/sister had a feeling baby would be there soon. When I arrived at the farm I was overcome by the beautiful setting. The sun still hadn’t risen but you could hear the early morning birds and feel the cold morning chill. When I entered the farm house I was hit with the incredible smell of homemade soap, wall of family photos and only the faint sounds of Chiara progressing beautifully through labor.

The room was in almost complete darkness as Russell and Chiara held one another and Johanna (sister/doula of Loving Hands Doula Care) constantly sat by their side. Along with the 4 of us we had present Chiara’s mom (also a practicing hospital midwife) and Deb Fiore and her team from Carrboro Midwiffery. Basically it was a house full of birth loving strong women, Russell who was literally one of the most supportive husbands around and curious cats! The birth sisterhood energy in the room though was palpable!

Soon after I arrived Chiara decided it was time to get into the pool. She worked gracefully and intensely for several hours as the sunlight spilled into the space. Contractions started to slow down though so she was encouraged to get up and move around a little. Chiara had talked about how much she wanted to labor outside and have photos outside. I was so excited when the weather was warm enough and perfect for her to take multiple strolls all over the property.

When baby was still not descending in the late afternoon it was time for rest, get off her feet and try and let her body relax for the hard pushing to come. She had been trying so many different positions and movements over the last 20 hours that her body needed to just restore. All of her support women and me just sat about quietly and shared stories on the porch swing and waited.

It felt like a very long day and I know Chiara was feeling discouraged and exhausted. She was doing absolutely everything she possibly could with strength and peace but that baby was just in the wrong position (though we didn’t fully know it at the time) There are some births that just weigh heavily on your heart. Chiara’s journey was definitely one of them. Because after more than 40 hours of labor (I was present for about 30) it was decided baby’s position was longer head down. Mom had to make the very hard decision to go to the hospital to get checked, knowing that most likely she would be sent for an emergency Caesarean upon arrival. After all this planning and hope for a beautiful farm homebirth I think everyone felt that loss for Chiara. Thankfully everyone was healthy and little Eve was born in the early hours of the next morning.

I was personally unable to be in the OR for this little one’s birth, it felt emotional for me that we had come this far and I was having to go home. But at the same time I knew Chiara and Russel needed to process this for themselves, surrounded by the support of their amazing doula and family.

I was able to revisit them together on the farm a few weeks later. I wanted to capture a moment for them reminiscent of their birth story. So we did a little recreation of the “baby being placed on your chest” moment. I got to meet baby Eve, see her little curls and celebrate this new life with her and her beautiful strong parents.

I will always keep a special place in my heart for this story, some of my favorite images I’ve ever taken are from this birth but mostly because that day is one I’ll never forget. There was something about the beauty in her power the sisterhood peacefulness and the shared emotion of waiting that keeps me coming back. I just love that in birth, I know I will always learn something from the experience. I’m constantly growing and receiving the knowledge of the women and mothers who have gone before us, who have poured out their wisdom so that we can know the beauty and power in the way they bring life into the world.

The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography

The Birth of Eve Film Story

 

After choosing a Caesarean and being taken to the hospital through ambulance. because of the emergent nature of the situation, I was unable to be in the OR and we decided that I would give Chiara and Russel time to process and heal.

They brought a healthy and happy baby girl named eve in the wee hours of the night.

I got to catch up with them a few weeks later at there cabin (also on the farm property) where the have been making a sweet home together.

The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography
The Birth of Eve and Motherhood Journey of Chiara | Farm house homebirth | Raleigh Durham Birth Photography and Videography