After two hospital birth, this mama was ready for her third baby water birth. She came to me as a referral from my fellow Doula and Photographer friend Rivkah, whom I am extremely grateful for.
I had met mama Oxana and her family during a couple of prenatal visits with their midwife Susan. After a few guessing games and getting over Covid, their third baby water birth finally came to unfold on his estimated due date. This is was quite meaningful for Oxana, who even won a money bet.
David called me early morning of a beautiful and sunny Sunday to let me know things were coming along but that I could probably take my time and go back to sleep.
Even though, I always appreciate going back to the warmth of my bed and snuggling with my children and husband, that morning I couldn’t seem to be able to fall back asleep. So I got ready and headed south on a beautifully empty 405 freeway.
When I arrived, Oxana was in full active labor. The house was awake except for her youngest daughter, who decided to sleep in that morning and wake just few minutes before meeting her baby brother earth side. I am not sure she quite knew what was about to happen, but she willingly went to change into a party dress per suggestion of her older and wiser sister.
Once the birth pool was ready, midwife Susan invited Oxana to labor in the water. We often refer to water as the epidural of homebirth; because it really holds some magical properties when it comes to providing comfort to labor surges and transition. Everyone gathered around the birth pool with excitement and anticipation.
Shortly after Oxana pushed her baby out and everyone gathered around the water pool to greet him earth side. It was such a relief to know that everything went well and that he was born healthy and peacefully in his mama’s hands.
Often clients ask me what is the difference between my role as Doula and Birth Photographer.
While they are two very different roles, I find that often times they overlap. For example, during Oxana’s birth I was drawn to help her younger children who obviously needed to adjust to the big event that just took place in their lives. While I didn’t help Oxana prepared for her birth, it was a pleasure to know I could be helpful during her third baby water birth beyond my role as birth photographer.
Of course, I would never just stand there and watch a person giving birth struggling for help. While my primary role can be set by my contract between me and my clients, I certainly do not mind going an extra mile for them and help them and support them in any way I can possibly can. Even after a few babies, some clients are still not quite sure what exactly will they need during their birth. That is totally ok!
I think one of the best quality and most important requirement to be a birth worker and thrive the arduous time and conditions we often find ourselves in (reads hospital rooms that won’t provide even a chair for clients’ doulas) is flexibility.
While we can show up at birth as prepared and knowledgeable as 9 months will allow, we need to remain open hearted because the beauty of birth relies exactly in the fact that there is no certain way to predict how it will unfold.