As most of you know we just welcomed our sweet little guy, Hudson Chase Thompson. We are so over the moon with him and could not love him anymore. When we found out I was pregnant I knew right away that this time I decided that I did not want to find out the gender. We already had one boy and one girl and we were fine having either or. This decision proved to be a little tougher at times than I thought but I could not be happier with our decision to wait. There truly wasn’t ONE single item we needed before the baby arrived that required knowing a gender. I think it was more my wanting to buy those cute little baby clothes and some fun items but that all came and worked out perfectly. Yes, this mama right here was at babyGap four days after meeting my little guy having a blast.
During my pregnancy I admired and loved images from many different birth photographers and talked with Jayson about having a birth photographer this time around. I had read all of the posts about “let your husband hold your hand and not your camera” and while that stuck with me it wasn’t necessarily a selling point for me as a photographer. I was not even looking at these images from a mom’s point of view I was doing so from a photographer’s point of view. I knew that I would not be happy with the images taken with my husband’s point and shoot camera at the worst angles and the worst lighting possible. I focus on the tiny details of newborns day in and day out with my business and was focused on having the details more so of the baby coming out, our first look at the baby, the baby on the scale, me holding the baby, and Jayson holding the baby. I look back at photos from the births of Logan and Avery and there were so many moments missed that I cannot even remember or did not even get to see as they were working with me or nurses were blocking my view so there is a loss of those memories and ever so precious fleeting moments. I am also a very camera shy person and was not sure how I would feel having someone there while I am going through labor and delivering a baby. It was my husband who let me know I would deeply regret it and that we should definitely have a birth photographer. The search for the perfect birth photographer led us to Amber of Labor of Love Photography which I am ever so grateful for. At the time, I did not know of her work and rushed home to look up her portfolio. I was in love with her style and her processing and felt that this might be our photographer. I met Amber and her sweet little girl for a play date to discuss her work and possibly shooting our birth. I was in love and completely comfortable with Amber in the first five minutes. She had me at ease and not even thinking for one minute about my insecurities or concerns that I had had while discussing a birth photographer with my husband and friends. I loved that Amber did not find out the gender of her oh so adorable little girl and it made me even more excited about our decision in not finding out. Amber has the most genuine and organic light about her and I knew we had found our photographer. I ended up having the pleasure of working with Amber for our family maternity photos which were absolutely stunning and it was a great chance for my family to meet her as well. Amber stayed in touch through out my pregnancy and asked about how appointments were going and how I was feeling in the weeks leading to our birth. Logan came two weeks late and Avery came almost 4 weeks early so we did not have a clue as to when this little one was going to make their debut.
On the morning of January 29th I did not feel well at all and my contractions started coming consistently and only minutes apart. I was convincing myself it wasn’t time and that the contractions were going to die down. I was so afraid I was going to get excited and ready to meet this baby and the contractions would stop. I also knew in the back of my mind that my past two labors went extremely fast once I transitioned from 4cm-5. I didn’t want to start calling everyone until we knew it was time. I did text Amber to let her know that it might be the day but I was going to go for a walk and do some things around the house(pack my hospital bag!) and would let her know if things progressed. She immediately replied back that she was all set and ready to go if it was time. We decided that with contractions less than three minutes apart that it was time to head to the hospital and upon our arrival they did admit us but I was not quite into transition so we decided to walk the flights of stairs who knows how many times and held off on calling Amber as I did not want to her to be pacing after this mama that was DETERMINED at this point to meet this sweet baby or to be waiting on me. We quickly realized that this delivery was not going to progress as fast as my other two did. My water broke around 7:30p.m. and I had delivered Logan and Avery within an hour of that so my husband called Amber and she was on her way! I was definitely getting anxious as my contractions were coming closer and much more intensely. Amber arrived just as my contractions were within a minute of each other and becoming very intense. I did not even notice that she had arrived she was so quite and so unobtrusive. I can honestly say that any of the worries or concerns I had with someone documented this excruciating moments where nowhere on my mind as a I labored. I labored standing next to my bed, on the birthing ball, in the shower trying to make some progress and give my body some relief. My OB kept checking to see how I was progressing and they kept saying I was “at a 4”, “still at a 4” and yet again “at a 4” I completely broke down as these contractions were within 30-40 seconds of each other and not giving me any time to catch my breath and were at the pain level of my “10” contractions that I had had before so it was very overwhelming to be stuck at a 4 but in pain that my body could just barely cope with. I tried to focus on the music that I had downloaded onto my iPOD during each contraction. Thank goodness for the Lumineers as there lyrics of “I belong with you, you belong with me you are my sweetheart” I let these words resonate and even though this song has nothing to do with a mom meeting her bebe these words held a special meaning for me. I did not want an epidural but highly considered it the last time I was checked at a little after 11 and told there was not any progress. I am ever so thankful that the nurses and my OB for reassuring me that I was doing such a great job with out the meds and this bayb was going to come. Jayson was trying to reassure me that I just needed to get to that 5 and away we would go. Sure enough as soon as he last checked me I wanted to get off of the bed and sit on the birthing ball as soon as I did that I felt the urge to push. They got me up onto the bed and I tried to push in a position that was not working for me so we decided to have me lay on my side and as with the others in a few pushes here was our sweet baby. Jayson and I were able to pull the bebe out and he was immediately placed on my chest. I went straight for the tiny little face I had been dreaming about for so long and kissed those tiny little cheeks. I quickly realized I could not even see if this was a little girl or boy that I was admiring every last detail of. I asked Jayson and he said “It’s a boy, I told you it was going to be a boy” I will never forget that moment of finding out that our sweet baby was a boy from my husband and seeing his sweet tiny, fresh face at the same time. This moment for me was so much more significant than being in an ultrasound room having some stranger tell me. I truly believe that not knowing the sex is what pushed me through this hard labor. I am not saying this is the decision for everyone or anything negative against those who chose not to wait, this was just more emotional and special for me personally. Our little one gave us a bit of scare and did not want to cry for a bit and was chalk white with his cord being wrapped around his neck several times. I was so desperate to hear his cry and finally he let out a good cry and started pinking up. Every single bit of pain was worth it to have him here!! It amazes me how much love a baby brings into your life and my love for him is no less than my first or second. Hudson Chase welcome and we love you beyond words!!!!
Looking back this labor that felt like it went on for days was a mere 12 hours of labor and when Amber sent us the link to our blog post I was in complete awe. I had NO idea that I was going to fall in love with my birth images the way that I have. I was nursing Hudson while I looked through our images and was in tears the entire time. There were so many moments that Amber caught that I am so deeply thankful for as I will never forget them. I am in awe over the emotions that she portrayed in my laboring images. They show the pain, the love, and the anticipation, and the rawness of it all. One of my favorite images is when she caught me crying after finding out there was no progression as it reminds of me of what I was thinking at that exact time and that cannot be forgotten. I would never had these images had we not had our birth photographed it would eventually fade. The moments of me first seeing Hudson and Jayson handing him to me and us looking at him in awe are worth every single penny. This allowed Jayson to be fully present for me and for him to just take in our little one and not have the duty of having a camera in one hand and a recorder in the other. I do not even look at these images and think oh my hair is messed up and I am crying I look at these and see love plain and simple. Amber has an amazing eye and so artfully told our story from the labor pains to our new beginning. The most emotional photos are the ones she captured by returning the next morning for our fresh 48 where Logan and Avery got to meet their new brother. I was able to be a proud new mommy of three watching Avery smell Hudson’s hair and Logan discovering his little toes and fingers that were all bundled up instead of jumping out of bed to photograph these moments myself and be disconnected from the experience. The immediate love for their little brother is one of the most treasured gifts that they will have to look back on always. There will never be enough words for me to describe the depth of gratitude I have for Amber and what she has given our family. These moments pass in the blink of an eye and lucky for our family we have them documented for a lifetime. The most amazing part of these images is that I do not look at them and think of the pain but I think of the love that was so overwhelming and it makes we want to have that experience over and over again. I am in tears each and every time I view our slideshow or look through our images. My love and respect for birth photography is overly abundant now and for those who do this I hope you know what an incredible gift you give to each family.
Once again Amber from the bottom’s of our hearts thank you for the amazing memories that we will forever treasure. Love, The Thompson Family
To view some of the images from our sessions and the slideshow please click here.