I asked Aniela’s mama to share her thoughts, and in between all that she does as a mom to a newborn, she has shared so beautifully with us:
“When my husband and I hired Caryn to do the photography for the birth of our first child, we were planning a homebirth and knew that the photos would be a beautiful gift to ourselves and to our child. We were equally as intrigued that documenting the birth might make other people realize how peaceful and beautiful birth could be without all of the interventions and interruptions of the hospital.
This baby had other ideas, however. 48 hours after my water broke, I agreed to be induced at the hospital since I’d tested positive for GBS, and the risk of infection was growing by the hour. But when I got to the hospital, I went into active labor almost immediately — no pitocin, no epidural, no antibiotics. Had I been coherent, I would have remembered to tell my husband to call Caryn immediately. But I was in the throes of giving birth, and so Caryn didn’t get a call from us until a few hours later when I was very close to pushing our daughter into the world.
Though we missed out on our homebirth, I had the most beautiful experience in the hospital. My nurse, Yanna, had been a midwife in Russia in a previous life, and now she was with me to coach me through a lightning 3 1/2 hour labor. “Sing to your baby,” Yanna cried as I moaned through contractions. And I did. I sang and sang with my eyes closed, even as Yanna and our midwife guided me out of the tub and onto the birthing stool, even as my husband called out that he could see the hair. Hair? Our baby had hair? 15 minutes later, moments after Caryn arrived, Aniela Zara came rushing into this world with her arm shooting out alongside her head of long, dark hair.
It was the most startling moment of my life. I remember almost nothing. I remember only the shock at having just given birth in under 4 hours and discovering we had a daughter in our arms, not the son we had anticipated. Which is why I am so grateful Caryn was there to document those first moments of Aniela’s life. Looking at the photos now, I see the awe and love I have for my baby and my husband, emotions I didn’t even know were present. The photos we anticipated sharing with our child have now evolved into one of the most precious gifts we could have given ourselves.”
I ran, pulling my camera out in the elevator, and walked in the door shooting! Sweet Aniela Zara was born 15 min later.
This sweet family prepared so beautifully for the arrival of their baby! Everything they have planned and chosen to do has meaning and significance, and when they share those things with Aniela one day, she is going to see their deep love for her in all of it!
Aniela’s mama is amazing! She labored for a very short time, and with a few momentous pushes, delivered a perfect baby girl! Dad was pretty amazing, too – you’ll see his love for his bride, and his baby girl written all over his face!
Once again, I am blown away by the miracle of life and birth, that begins at the first moment, and 9 months later results in such an astounding moment as the arrival of a new, little person! Thank you so much to the both of you for the privilege of being at Aniela’s birth. Such a privilege <3