Saturday, April 23, 2011

Photo Essay: A Santa Lucia Birth Center Birth

Parker Wilson became a part of one of my favorite familys on January 14.
Between Heather and John, brother and sister, I have been honored to be included in 4 of their family centered births; one at General Hospital, two at home and this one at the new birth center.

Peace Before the Storm

Shortly after arriving Mom and Dad settle into the birth tub. Candles, a beautiful serene room and a warm tub to relax in; exactly the experience Heather and Mike were looking for.

Moments Old

After an intense pushing phase Parker enters this world surrounded by family. Everyone crowds around the big double bed as tears of joy flow freely from Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunt Emily and Uncle John. Still wet with amniotic fluid Parker is placed in Heather's loving arms to warm and dry.

First Step Toward Independence

After Parker has made the change to oxygenating his own blood, Dr. Dietrich, Licensed Midwife, deftly guides the new Dad through the ritual of cutting the cord that connects Mom and baby.

Precious Moments

Mom, Dad and Parker undisturbed together in the big bed with hearts over flowing. Time stands still. Disbelief that it is over quickly turns to awe.


Heather and Mike tenderly get to know their new son. Amazed at his size. Wondering, at how vigorous, alert and healthy he is. The first hour of smell, touch and taste unwinds at its own unhurried pace. Loving gazes and excited exclamations of, "He has your nose" and "Look how long his fingers are" draw the new baby into the family.

Vital Statistics

After sufficient time has passed Dr. Dietrich starts the newborn assessments with the traditional weighing followed by a complete health screening of the new arrival done on the bed with Mom and Dad close at hand.

Life Begins

After only 3 hours Heather, Mike and baby Parker are ready to head home to start their new life together. They will be visited tomorrow by a midwife to make sure they are settling into their babymoon.

As a doula I am blessed to meet and work with many families. I met Heather 9 years ago when she needed someone to guide her and Valerie, her mother, through the birth of Heather's second son. This wonderful extended family accepted my help with open arms. Each birth has been unique. Each experience has had its own challenges along the way. My only regret is that I think this will be the last birth for a while. I'll have to wait for the next generation to start having babies but when they do; I'm there!

1 comment:

  1. from Heather via face book: Aunty Emily was the photographer. Our roles in each of the family births may have changed but the constant has always been your gentle but firm support. We, I am forever grateful to have you in my birth memories. Thank you!