A Pittsburgh Birth Photographer's Year Review: The Best of 2016

Pittsburgh Birth Photographer - Hospital Room

THE BIRTH WORLD OF PITTSBURGH

2016: Quite an interesting year. There was a lot of events that took place this year - the good, the bad, and the ugly! As I reflect back on the year and move forward to the next I have been able to find so many amazing moments and memories that took place in both my personal and professional life. I was fortunate to have had a very successful year capturing some beautiful birth stories. Each and every one of the families I served this year I believe deserve special recognition because I see so much strength in all my mothers.

My expectations were fairly low having just moved from Denver - an amazing, yet cut throat competitive birth area. To my surprise I was able to serve 3x as many families as I expected to! It was also the year I started my journey as a birth photographer. BEST decision EVER!! I have grown so much as a doula and especially as an artist and birth photographer. One last pleasant surprise at the end of this year was that one of my birth stories got picked up by BabyCenter and The Stir! It was so exciting to be published for the first time.

THE BEST BIRTH PHOTOS OF 2016

Here are some of my favorite pictures from my births I captured this year. Which ones are your favorites?

MARCH | A Family-Centered Cesarean Story

This family is very special to me. They were my first couple here in Pittsburgh! They hired me as their birth doula but also generously allowed me to capture their birth story. I was confident in my doula skills but didn’t know what to expect trying to also be a birth photographer. I fell absolutely in love! Even though this family went in again for a second cesarean it was their choice this time around and they were able to have a wonderful family-centered birth experience.

Pittsburgh birth - magee - labor
pittsburgh birth photos - magee - doula
big brother - sibling - photo
Reflection - birth photos
Cesarean birth - Pittsburgh - photographer
Magee Birth - Birth photographer pittsburgh

APRIL | The Perfect VBAC

I just knew this mom was going to have her VBAC from the beginning! I also learned a few new skills learning the HypnoBabies materials and methods. This couple was game for anything and everything birth photography. They were my ideal clients! She labored at home until far into labor and made it to their hospital while in transition. I asked her in labor if it would be helpful to show her through my camera pictures of the baby crowning. She and her OB thought it was a great idea and it gave her the motivation to push up and over the cervical lip that was slowing her down. She was amazing! 

Pushing - Jefferson Hospital Pittsburgh - VBAC
Born - Baby in Pittsburgh - Photography
Dad Kisses - Birth in Pittsburgh
Crowning - Birth Photographer - Doula
Postpartum - VBAC Photography
Big Sister - Pittsburgh Family - Doula Photographer

MAY | 10 Lbs Ain't No Big Deal

This family had circumstances at the end of their pregnancy that risked them out of The Midwife Center. She was scheduled for an induction but baby had other ideas. She went into spontaneous labor the day before her induction date and this first time mother whizzed through the motions of labor and delivered a 10 lb baby boy vaginally like a champ! It was such a beautiful birth to be a part of.

big baby - pittsburgh born - photographer
Midwifes - The Birth Center - Pittsburgh
father and baby - pittsburgh family - newborn
baby boy - doula - pittsburgh birth photographer
Father looking - doula - Mercy
First Latch - breastfeeding - IBCLC

JUNE | A Classic American Birth Story

This birth was so textbook perfect! I loved this sweet couple and they were game for everything I suggested for comfort measures. I also really hit my stride in this birth as a photographer. It is one of my favorite stories I captured this year. I found a lot of confidence in myself and was a big turning point for me as an artist. I love sharing images from this beautiful birth.

Magee hospital - labor - birth photo
Epidural - birth in Pittsburgh
Labor - Pushing - birth in pittsburgh
Baby Newborn - Pittsburgh born - doula
Shower - laboring - pittsburgh photos
Transition - Pushing - baby at Magee
Born - OBGYN - Pittsburgh Photography
latch - breastfeeding - postpartum

AUGUST | Long But Absolutely Worth It

It is difficult when labor comes and goes and comes and goes. It’s confusing and exhausting! Mother gave it her all and she should be proud of all she did. She labored with Pitocin for a while before getting an epidural. Things were slow but steady and she was able to have a long awaited birth a day and a half later. It was crazy tough on all of us but well worth it in the end!

Husband and wife - labor - induction
Laboring - birth - pushing
born - seconds old - postpartum - doula
First moments - skin to skin - pittsburgh baby
Placenta - photos of placentas
Baby alert - hospital birth - pittsburgh

SEPTEMBER | A Loving, Connected, and Strong Couple 

This mother knew she wanted her story captured very early on and hired me while still in her first trimester. She was a third time mom hoping for a VBAC this time around. She had a wonderful spouse who really was her rock in this labor. He did everything he could for her and it was truly beautiful to watch. She did walk into the OR again in the end but was finally able to be the most present for this birth than any other and was able to touch her baby before any other family member and have skin to skin for the first time.

birth - loving spouse - jefferson VBAC
Jefferson - family cesarean - pittsburgh birth
Support - cesarean birth - birth photography
Father in cesarean - birth photography in pittsburgh
Cesarean meeting - love - jefferson
born - postpartum - photos of newborn
birth room - family

OCTOBER | The Breech Baby Who Started Labor On His Own

This couple was so smart and prepared. They did everything I would have done if I was preparing to have another baby. They had all their plans in place and was expected to deliver at The Midwife Center. We then found out baby was breech and though they did everything possible to turn baby he was snug in there comfortably and tight inside. She was scheduled for her cesarean but baby thought it be a better idea to allow labor to start on its own the night before. It gave her the opportunity to feel and go through some of the motions of labor, which was perfect for her before walking herself into the OR.

breech baby - Mercy - pittsburgh photos
OR Skin to Skin - Breech baby
Dad and baby - mercy hospital - newborn
Newborn Exams - cesarean birth - photography
Baby in OR - Birth photography - Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh family - photos in pittsburgh

NOVEMBER | The Incredible Natural Childbirth on Pitocin

This second time mom hoped that her second pregnancy would be slightly different than the first time around. Her induction with her first was long and trying and she did it all naturally on Pitocin. The second time around started to play out much like her first. She was scheduled for an induction and went into labor on her own instead. She showed up to her induction and they did put her on Pitocin. She once again labored like a champ naturally on Pit – not for the faint of heart. Fortunately for her, this labor proved to actually be different and they turned off her Pitocin and her body did everything in the end on its own and very quickly!

Belly - Birth - Essential Oils in Pregnancy
Happy Mother - Natural Childbirth - Midwives
Happy mom - postpartum - newborn
Birth of Baby - pushing - West Penn
Baby mom and dad - west penn hospital - pittsburgh
Pittsburgh family photography - lifestyle - natural

NOVEMBER | Unplanned Unassisted Living Room VBAC Delivery

There will absolutely be a special place in my heart for this experience! I’ll never forget that phone call of my mother in a panic saying her water had broke and that she was alone and things were getting very real! I expected to show up and personally take her to the hospital on my own accord but what occurred was me on the other side of a locked door – coaching my mother that she was going to be okay and that she could deliver her baby! Unplanned, unassisted and amazing! She definitely got her VBAC and I think she will be a lot of strength for many local ICAN mothers here in Pittsburgh striving for their own VBACS. 

VBAC - Unassisted delivery - home birth
Father at home birth - unplanned delivery - natural
Hospital Transfer - pittsburgh home birth - photography
Paramedics Dormont - natural childbirth
ICAN birth - VBAC - Pittsburgh
Father - newborn exams - natural childbirth
newborn exams - pittsburgh magee - newborn photographer
postpartum - baby sleeping - unplanned - unassisted