Once upon a time, a little while ago, I had 3 days off. My life is weird. I don’t get 3 days off. In the middle of wedding season. I had literally nothing planned but sweatpants, the couch, and overdue Redbox movies. But then Winnie came.
My friend Danielle is a Doula. And the best Doula in the entire world, if I could cast my vote. She contacted me a while back about some photos for her website as we have worked together with births in the past. So I told her, “let me shoot a birth, and I will do my best to focus on you so I can get you extra images for your website”. She tells me she has a couple babies due soon, but there is the PERFECT young couple and she’d have to ask them about it. So, a few days pass, and it turns out that this fantastic couple she is telling me about is the BROTHER and wife duo of a bride of ours last year! What. Are. The. Odds?! I was GIDDY because I remember that they had just found out they were expecting at the wedding! I also remember being very aware of them as a couple at the wedding. To this day, I feel like The Big Man was stirring the pot for us.
So, long story short…a month or so passes and it kind of gets to the point where I feel like Kate and Drew maybe had their baby already, and decided they didn’t want a birth photographer anymore. But, then in true form with Danielle and I…I hear that Kate is finally in labor (and has been already for nearly a day)! I’m pumped. It’s a Monday. Things don’t start picking up until late that evening. I pop over to their house a little before midnight and start documenting Kate, Drew, Danielle, soon-to-be Winnie, and I’s adventure together. She labors and labors at home and then around 3:30ish am Tuesday morning, they decide it’s hospital time. So off we all go, caravan style, to deliver a baby. After several hours at the hospital, things slow down, and they decide to go back home. Tuesday afternoon comes, no progress. She’s still laboring hard, but we’ve got a patient baby on our hands. So we wait. I fall asleep that night cautiously. I wake up the Wednesday morning in panic mode because I hadn’t heard anything yet to come back in, so I’m sure I’ve slept through it at this point. Then the texts from Danielle start coming again. It’s go time. I slap on some clothes and fly out the door. And then, the most notorious text of them all from Danielle comes. “Jam.” We laugh at this, because the last time she told me to “jam”, the baby practically delivered itself, and I missed it by seconds. So, “jam” I did, and I made it! I made it! I made it to not only witness the incredible finale of a 3 day (4 days for Kate) birth, but I got to watch Drew deliver his daughter. It was completely amazing. Uh, by the way, Kate did an all natural birth. For 4 DAYS. She is my hero. She was phenomenal. And I’m so proud of her. And there my folks, Winnie was introduced to this crazy world. My “3 days off” was the complete opposite of that, but truthfully, the most heartfelt and amazing 3 days I’ve had in a very, very long time. There’s just something about witnessing this real life stuff…
Drew and Kate. I will fall short in everything I say about you two. You guys are kind, funny, so strong, and the best team I have ever seen. Documenting this little sliver of history for you guys will be a memory of my own forever and THANK YOU for letting me barge into your life for a few days. You are incredible parents. You were made for this. Winnie is the luckiest girl alive. The love radiates off of you guys.
Winnie. You are a teacher of patience, my dear. Winnie means happiness, and you certainly have done that without saying a word. You have the most amazing parents, and I hope you always, always feel the love they have for you, because it is real, and flawless.
Danielle. We did it again. Watching you guide these parents into a new life is the most amazing thing to watch. You are soft-hearted, open, caring beyond belief, and sometimes I just want you around to fan me, rub my legs, and make me breath right, because you know it’s good for me. ;) You are simply amazing.