The Birth of Baby Isla ~ Spokane Birth Photographer

Spokane birth photographer, hospital birth photography spokane, natural birth spokane, newborn hospital photos Spokane, CDA birth photographers, Cheney birth photography
Spokane birth photographer, hospital birth photography spokane, natural birth spokane, newborn hospital photos Spokane, CDA birth photographers, Cheney birth photography
ore she was .
Charlie reached out to me months before she was even expecting to chat about my birth doula and photography services, and shortly after she became pregnant, reached out again to hire me. We first met during a breastfeeding group photo that I hosted for World Breastfeeding Week, and little did I know this would lead to the honor of being invited into her birth space. I so admire Charlie’s strength and courage throughout her pregnancy, and birth; she took the time to thoroughly research and prepare herself for a positive birth experience in spite of the challenges that arose.  It brings me much joy to share her incredible story.
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{Please note: all images shared were chosen and reviewed by my clients ahead of time to be shared publicly. I give utmost respect to my clients’ privacy and comfort, and I do offer full-privacy on birth galleries for anyone who prefers to keep images private. Thank you so much to Charlie and Chris for allowing me to share the beauty and miracle of birth through your story.}
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I’ve never really shared how I felt about Jack’s birth with anyone except a few good friends. I love my son so much, but his delivery was not ideal. I was induced at 39.4 weeks due to high blood pressure. When I got to the hospital at 8pm I was started on an IV and pitocin, the nurses that were helping with my delivery never told me I could get up and walk around, they never suggested utilizing the tub. I had no idea how to labor or birth a baby as it was my first time. I was then encouraged to get an epidural way too early, further disabling me to my bed. I had the epidural for nearly 15 hours and it was extremely uncomfortable. It didn’t work for me the way you hear some women say. It numbed my lower half mostly, but I had what they call a “hot spot” on my left stomach and back area. Basically every contraction was focused in on that one spot but I couldn’t move or do anything to get comfortable so I just laid in misery.
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When it was finally time to give birth I pushed for about 1.5 hours. I couldn’t feel when to push so I was under the direction of the doctor and nurses. Apparently I wasn’t getting it done fast enough because I was given an episiotomy, which took me over a year postpartum to heal from. After having Jack, my bladder was so numb from the epidural and the catheter that I couldn’t even control my pee, if I stood up I’d pee myself. If I’m gonna share the story I might as well share it all. It hurt so bad to poop that I’d cry, I had stitches in between both areas so you can imagine what that felt like. Recovery was painful to say the least and it took weeks/months/even a year if you want to include the episiotomy timeline. I completely blame my experience on the epidural. Since I was in so much pain afterward and unhappy with my overall experience, it brought on some depression.
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When I got pregnant with Isla I knew right away I’d do anything in my power to never have a birth experience like that again. I remember after Jack’s delivery a nurse saying “I bet you won’t have an epidural next time since you hated it so much.” It opened up the idea, something I had never really considered because why would I be dumb enough not to get an epidural if it prevented me from feeling the pain? So I started doing lots of googling, research, reading and watching other women’s experiences having natural labor and delivery. I admired them. I wanted that much control and mobility during my next labor. I decided I’d do it, but that I needed support and encouragement. I spent a lot of time praying to God to give me the strength during my pregnancy, I hired a doula and got Chris on board as well. Reminding him to NEVER mention the word epidural no matter how much pain I appeared to be in. I told the doctor and nurse the same.
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Natural birth was the most powerful thing I’ve ever been through and experienced. I had to be induced again for the 2nd time due to high blood pressure. I was fearful this labor would be just like my first. I labored for 10 hours, the contractions were super manageable for me and even more so when in the tub. With each contraction I thought back to all of the videos of strong women doing this exact thing, I was like them. I reminded myself the pain was meaningful and instead of tightening up, I relaxed and let it be. I started off pretty slow and was stuck at a 4/5 for quite some time (which is normal), in my mind I started to get discouraged thinking this would be another long labor (23 hours) just like it was with Jack. Jack was on my mind the entire time and I just wanted Isla to come before night fell so he didn’t have to be away from us for bed.
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I laid down on my side on the bed to relax and let go of my fears. I used the peanut ball in between my legs. I wasn’t there for long before my contractions started to increase in pain and frequency. I got back in the tub to seek relief. I think I was in the tub for about an hour when I started feeling lots of pressure. The nurse had me get out so she could check dilation but when I made it to the bed I was in so much pain I told her no, I knew something had changed. When she finally did get to check, Islas head was right there. I went from a 7 to a 10 in maybe a half hour. It all happened so quickly. Before I knew it, one of my contractions involuntary made my body push, it was nothing I tried to do and nothing I could stop. The doctor wasn’t there, but she was on her way from her home and the nurse made a comment “don’t worry, I have the magic gloves on. I can deliver this baby if I need to.” With the next 2 contractions or so my body again just did what it needed to do, I can’t explain the feeling but I wasn’t even trying. My body seemed to bring her all the way to the crowning position with little effort from me. The doctor arrived just in time, after I got her head through she came out with one contraction. It was the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life, but if you’re considering natural birth do not let that detour you. The pain was so meaningful and powerful and amazing. I was fully present in this delivery, I was energetic, available, aware. I was none of those things with Jack. I can remember the pain and I already can’t wait to experience it again, to do even better, and have even more control. I can confidently say without a doubt that this is something a woman is meant to feel. It empowers you! I truly feel like I experienced God’s greatest gift.”
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Charlie 
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    As a Professional Photographer and Doula, I am blessed to serve Spokane, WA, and the surrounding areas. My goal is to capture organic, intimate, and meaningful moments for your family to treasure. I value relationship with my clients; I would love to get to know you, and to help you tell your story.

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