I love (love, love, love) Atlanta-based photographers Leah and Mark (of LeahAndMark.com — you’ve seen them here before!), so I squealed like a fangirl when I found out they were expecting a child. I squealed again when Leah wrote about getting ready to become a mother on Offbeat Mama, and just about LOST IT TOTALLY when the pair each wrote out their birth story for their blog.
I love getting the perspective of both partners after a birth — there are so many moments that are shared between everyone at a birth, but also so many that are totally… not. Here are some of my favorite parts from each of them (and a few photos from the birth to go with):
First –- it’s F*cking AMAZING that I now have a son. Mind blowing.
Second –- I’m so glad that Leah wanted a home birth. Partly because I don’t really like hospitals and then also because the home birth WAS AMAZING. Seriously. I had great coffee, good food, my computer, and the absolute best part was that a few hours after BabyRoX was born –- everyone left and it was just US THREE (plus our cats!). One night we went to bed without a baby, the next night hey, WE HAVE A BABY! And we’re home. — Mark.
Finally I felt Jonah slide out of me. That was just… WOAH. Our midwife told me to reach down and hold my baby, but I was gripping onto Mark’s hands and reeling from the intensity and force of birthing my precious boy, and I said, “No – You get him!” Somehow someone passed him to me and I sat down in the tub in complete shock and relief and joy, holding my son. 7 lbs, 19.5 inches, perfect and beautiful and with a super strong grip. Once the cord stopped pulsing, Mark cut it and I was able to bring Jonah to my chest (short cord! he could only reach my stomach with the cord attached) and start nursing. He latched on right away and nursed for a good hour. What a little champ. I delivered the placenta, then got out of the tub and headed to bed for a check-up and some stitches, with Jonah just nursing away! — Leah.
Labor was not some horrific, pain-worse-than-death experience for me. It was painful, yes. But it was a totally manageable pain. A temporary pain. A pain with a beautiful purpose. A pain that drove me deeper inside myself than I’ve ever been, that made me realize the strength of my mind and spirit…and the strength of my physical body. I don’t want to be in labor every day, that’s for sure. But would I do it again in a heartbeat? Heck yeah. Labor wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it might be. — Leah