Soren | A Birth in Pictures

As a part of my busy month of July, you can chalk up my first time attending a birth not transpiring in my own body and photographing that birth. Pretty intense if you ask me!

Birth photography was something extremely important to me when preparing for my son Isaac’s birth and my husband and I aligned services from Melissa with Moments in Time Photography. It was unfortunate in only one way that Isaac made his arrival so quickly [less than two hours after being admitted to the hospital], we made an incorrect judgement call in telling Melissa to stay home. We did not get photos from Isaac’s birth and if I hadn’t reminded Tony to grab the point and shoot, I’m not sure what pictures we would have at all!

That being said, when I was approached by my friend Randine to photograph her upcoming home birth I jumped at the opportunity. When I received the phone call from her doula early one morning and distinctly heard the deep groans of labor in the background, I won’t lie, I wondered what I was getting myself into.

Once I was with Randine though all of my energy was focused on shooting and praying, there was no room for timidness. There was no room for fear either, as Randine was the picture of control.

Randine is a birth advocate, quick to recite “Trust Birth,” and had planned so many aspects of her birth. The water birth, her friend Jenny acted as her doula and Vanessa’s limited action as her midwife allowed Randine to advance her birth just as her body told her. Her husband Chris never ceased to show Randine support.

Also important to Randine was including their daughter Gracie, who did so well and so much compassion for her mother.

Randine flew through early and middle labor, which I’m sure she’ll hate me for saying. I was so incredibly impressed by her composure.

After that though . . . transition hit and it hit hard. There were a few short minutes between contractions that would result in furtive requests by Randine to be done, but there was no desperation or conviction in her voice. She knew that if anyone was in control, that she was.

There were few periods of rest now and the anticipation of a new life was thick in the air, just as Randine attempted to muffle her screams of pain.

Words of comfort, placement of hands to provide counter pressure and the like were useless. Randine was on her own while we all watched. She was alone in her pain, but knew there was only one possible outcome: her child’s arrival.

And with one final enormous effort, [yes, she’s biting the side of the pool], he was present. It almost seemed to simple.

I’ve never experienced anything so touching that I wasn’t directly involved in. It was absolutely spiritual and beautiful. I’ve never been so proud of someone that I call a friend.

Congratulations again Randine. I can’t thank you enough for asking me to go outside of my comfort zone and attend Soren’s birth. You were a true inspiration. I know that some of the true labor pictures are difficult to view, but please know even in your few moments of weakness, you were nothing less than inspiring to me. The strength and dignity that you showed? Absolutely incredible.


  1. Andrea says:

    Beautiful, Leah!! I'm so glad you got this opportunity. I can't imagine a more emotional experience this side of the camera

  2. Jasmine says:

    Beautifil photos! Birth is awesome!

  3. Jeannie says:

    What a beautiful…amazing moment to have been a part of. Great job Leah!

  4. Jamie says:

    Leah – you have a wonderful gift for capturing life's most precious moments. These photos are nothing short of amazing and inspiring.

  5. emilyhansen says:

    How much do you charge for a session like this? I'm already going to have my mom, possibly my mother in law, my two midwives, my man and my daughter there so more might be too much but after seeing these photos I'm tempted to invite you to our next birth as well. Let me know lady! Excellent job.

  6. Miss says:

    wonderful job! I love the one of the dad leaning against the wall as she is in obvious pain in the tub….such a quiet photo. I can just FEEL it.

    Births are my FAVORITE thing to do. I am not only proud of you as to how good you did, but that you did one while recovering yourself.

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