A gorgeous home birth of adoptive twins shot entirely in film

We're celebrating all kinds of births this week, so we've dubbed it BIRTH WEEK. Today we'll be focusing on the power of home births.

All photos by Jaclyn Michele.

I am in loooove with these photos Jaclyn of Jaclyn Michele's Photojournal sent me from a home birth for twins that she shot last month — they're incredible. Even more incredible is that the birth mother gave birth in the home of the parents who adopted the babies — that's some kind of gorgeous village right there!

Photo note: Jaclyn shot these entirely in black and white film, so in this digital age your eyes may not be used to seeing photos that look like this.

Says Jaclyn:

A couple days leading up to the birth of these two bubs, I got a few false alarm text messages from Lindsay's midwife, Stacia saying Lindsay was in labor. Then finally, at around 2am on the big day, I was told to get my butt over there. Lindsay was delivering in the home of the adoptive parents of the babies, which was over an hour drive from my home.

When I walked in the door, I was greeted with the sight of new daddy Mike holding his baby boy, born just moments before, to his bare chest. Surprise! From start to finish, Lindsay labored and pushed those twins out in TWO HOURS. It was awe-inspiring. Truly. This woman is incredible.

Adoptive mom Julie was absolutely beaming as she was on the floor waiting to help in catching her new daughter and didn't stop smiling the whole time I was there. It was just so great. Lindsay was surrounded by friends and doulas and midwives and when I stood back and took in the scene of the room, the phrase that came to mind was, "It takes a village."

Sophia and Benjamin were born on their due date weighing 6lbs 9oz and 7lbs 3oz, respectively. Both perfect and beautiful. And okay, I am a bit of a birth junkie, so when Stacia called me into the bathroom to check out the crazy fused placenta, you know I had to take a photo of that monstrous thing. You can click to view it here if you're so inclined. It's rad — trust me.

My heart feels so full being one of the lucky people there to experience this successful twin homebirth. I cannot wait to get back over there to photograph how much these babies have grown in just a couple months.

If you need more twin home birthing action in your life, there are more photos on Jacklyn's blog.

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  1. How beautiful and touching! I gave birth to twin boys last year and it was the most spiritually moving day of my life. Thanks for sharing these wonderful, poignant photos.

  2. These are absolutely gorgeous photos of a beautiful birth experience.

    As an adoptive parent, I can imagine how intensely magical this would be. I have to say, though, that I worry about the idea of a mother planning to place her child(ren) for adoption giving birth in the prospective adoptive parents' home. I'm sure there's more to this situation than it's possible to know from this post, but I would be concerned about the possibility of coercion and other ethical issues. Giving birth in the prospective adoptive parents' home would make it that much harder for a mother to ultimately decide to parent after the birth. We recognize that things change after birth and women have the right to reevaluate whether placing is the right choice for them – I can't imagine feeling fully free to go through that process while you're in the prospective adoptive parents' home. I don't say this to take away from the experience documented here, but I think it's important to keep in mind the ways that seemingly beautiful things can be ethically problematic. Maybe that's not the case in this situation and, even so, women have to right to make decisions about their birth experience and I wouldn't want to take that away from a mother planning to place. I just hope that these things were considered beforehand so that they could be addressed.

    27 agree
    • Hey Steph — from what I gathered from the photographer, this birth was also filmed for a TV series or show (I'm not sure which one). I do totally hope all of these things were considered. I've asked the birth mom and adoptive mom if they'd like to co-write a piece for Offbeat Mama about their experience, so we'll see what comes of it!

      2 agree
      • see to me it also being filmed for a tv show makes it all the more "coerced" feeling. As a birth mother who had the adoptive parents at the birth of my daughter (my choice) I still felt after that "oh great now I can't say no" when I had to reevaluate my choice for adoption. I feel that every mother choosing to place should give birth how they want but under there own control and not in the home of the prospective adoptive parents where the power shifts. I really do hope they write a piece on their experience and that the birth mom feels she can be real instead of hiding all the thoughts she may not feel she can write for fear of pissing off the ap parents and them closing the adoption.

        But beautiful pictures. more power to her for twins in a home birth, my uterus just said "nopenopenope"

        6 agree
      • I feel pretty deeply conflicted about this too. Which isn't a bad thing. But the ethic I have personally developed around what constitutes coercion in infant relinquishment and adoption situations is definitely challenged by this setting. I share the hope that the circumstances somehow didn't put undue pressure on the first mother. Beautiful and moving photographs.

        8 agree
    • Wow, these pictures are GORGEOUS! Film really has something magical that digital cameras don't!

      I would like to agree with Steph and Amarea's assessment of the situation. As an adoptee I worry that a woman in such a vulnerable position as being naked in the home of the prospective adoptive parents would feel, even the slightest, bit like she could not decide at any point to say no. My heart hopes that this story works out for all people involved, and that the "it takes a village" would really be true, for the adopted children's sake!

      2 agree
  3. A homebirth with twins in the adoptive parents' home is just…incredible. It had to have been an extremely emotional experience for everyone, especially the adoptive parents. What an incredible way to meet and bond with your new babies.

    I also should say that after reading Steph's comment I did start to see the situation a little bit differently and see how it could be more complex than I thought. While really amazing for everyone, including the birth mother, I can see how this really beautiful thing could get very complicated. It's definitely a unique and fascinating birth experience. I hope everyone involved feels that it was as beautiful and wonderful as it looks!

    3 agree
  4. Loved these photos. There's nothing like film, really, to capture the grittiness of real, exhausting, intense moments. Kudos for the birthmother, as well, for her decision to do this in the adoptive parents' home.

    1 agrees
  5. I, too, am intrigued to hear more of this story. What strikes me personally is how many people are there! I had a home birth with a relatively small birth team and found even that company overwhelming at times. It's so interesting how the perfect birth space can be so different for every laboring woman!

    2 agree
    • I had the same reaction with seeing so many folks in the room. At my home birth, it was husband, my doula and my mid-wife. My mother and in-laws stay upstairs.

      Seeing all the people present at this birth and hearing that there was even a television crew present is a great reminder of how beautifully different all of us are (in and out of our birthing spaces).

      2 agree
  6. i´m just happy to see that twins can also be born at home, after full 40 weeks which everyone over here tries to tell me is simply impossible. thanks for the lovely post!

    4 agree
  7. I have to give a shout out to Lindsay for the dedication she had to go through the birthing process at home. I have done several birth shoots over the last few years and have very much found it to be my passion. I am happy to have come across these and this may have inspired me to try out some good old fashion film for an upcoming shoot.

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