When we first met to talk about documenting her next birth, Tabitha told me that she would have a fast birth as her four children were born the same way. She was prepared to deliver at the hospital but knew that it would be a challenge to make it there on time. Her luggage was packed, and there were more bags for all of her three children. They would have to go to the hospital, too. I knew, Tabitha as a doula would have loved to deliver at home which would have been more comfortable for the whole family but she was not able to find a midwife to control the delivery.
I met Liz from Otero Birth (Please check out her website and Facebook) on May 19th, Tabitha’s due date, at the Plateau Espresso in Alamogordo. Liz Derry is an experienced midwife and just moved to Alamogordo a week before. We talked about deliveries and her work, I shared my experience as a birth photographer with her before I told her about Tabitha and her family. Liz was open and offered her service as a midwife. So, Tabitha and Liz got in touch. There was no time left to make big plans.
On May 24th, at 7.15 a.m., Tabitha called me and said that she had been having contractions off and on since midnight already and she said that the baby would be delivered probably during the next two hours. That was my signal. I sent my son to school and went on base, HAFB, to Tabitha’s house. I took the first photo there at 7.49 a.m.
Tabitha got strong contractions, Liz who also arrived a few minutes earlier than me, helped her massaging the contractions away. Everything was installed for a homebirth. The bathtub was filling with warm water.
The kids just got up and were already excited to watch TV and play with their tablets.
Liz checked on Tabitha, temperature, contractions, etc. She worked very quiet and professionally.
Next contractions arrived and Tabitha told us she wanted to sit on the toilet. That was the sign for Liz that the baby wanted to arrive. Quickly, Liz got her huge bag and took out everything she needed for a sudden delivery. All of us helped getting everything in place.
When I arrived at this tiny little bathroom, Tabitha was not able to get up by herself from the toilet. Her husband had to move her to the floor. There was no time. On all fours, she pushed a few times, and baby Maxtin arrived in this world. I only then realized that all of us were squeezed into a tiny bathroom, Liz and I were in the doorway, the corridor was very tight, too. Tabitha’s husband was sitting on the toilet seat to help his wife during the delivery. And sometimes the other children squeezed in behind us asking questions, only kids would ask.
Liz managed to get the newborn towards the front of the mom and the dad. These were the happiest moments for everybody of us before Tabitha took Maxtin into her arms.
Boom, at 8.06 a.m., May 24th, Maxtin Andrew Ryan, 8.3 lbs and 21.5 inches long was delivered very quickly.
All of us including mom were super surprised about this speedy birth.
The bathtub that was supposed to be used for the delivery was not yet filled up with water, even after delivery. The children came to see their mom and the baby and could not believe that they got a new little brother that fast. The family came together to touch and cuddle on little Maxtin. Liz did her last exams on mom and the baby and then we left this happy family of now six by themselves, getting to know little Maxtin.
Once again I want to thank you Family Ryan for choosing me as your birth photographer, I am honored to create these beautiful memories and being part of this amazing birth story.
I also thank Liz for the wonderful work together. She gave me the right signs to capture the most important images during the birth.
My passion is not only photography, my passion in photography even grows every time I attend a birth and create these families’ birth stories.
Mom has written her own detailed birth story that I want to share here with you. Please check it out. There are amazing photographs and very detailed information: http://theryans-keepingtabs.blogspot.com/2016/06/in-womb-from-beginning-to-end.html?spref=fb