I may be a photographer, but before that I’m a mom and on 4 separate occasions I’ve delivered little bundles of joy.
Each time I walk away knowing I have just been on the receiving end of a miracle- a gift really, from our incredible Creator.
The pain and the tears just make way for the swelling of hearts, as a tiny baby gulps their first breath of air. The chaos of the room is gone, and replaced by incredible peace, joy and celebration as soft wails come forth from the newest member of a family. The pain is erased when your arms are finally holding your swaddled up baby.
Birth, it is a blessing.
Birth, it changes you.
Birth, it prepares you in some unconventional way, to literally feel as though your heart is now walking outside of your body.
And those moments, that transition from a wife to a mother, deserve to be captured.
So it was with each of my little ones; gripping one of my husband’s hands and begging him with the other not to miss a moment when our tiny additions entered this world. Camera strapped around his neck, video camera gripped in hand- I have no idea how he managed to keep it all straight. I thought for years how nice it would have been to have him simply soaking in the moment, rather than fiddling with equipment.
This is where birth photography finds its place. A documentary of the events of a new life unfolding. Reality captured in its rawest form. Emotions. Sweat. Tears.
When my cousin Sarah asked me to capture these very things for her, my heart nearly exploded. To be a small part of an enormous day is humbling enough, but to be there to capture the beginning of this sweet baby girl’s life, left me breathless. Traveling to Tallahassee on Saturday afternoon, I prayed that the Lord would grant us a long enough labor that I would arrive in time. Little did we know that it would be many countless, exhausting hours spread out until Monday morning before this blessing arrived.
My heart ached as I watched Sarah experience days of painful contractions, remembering those moments in my own life. But she was an amazing tower of strength and handled it all with such beauty and grace. This is how moms are born.
And on June 25th at 8:21 in the morning we saw another birth. The completion of this journey and the beginning of a new one.
Story Ray Stephens
7lbs 8 oz
21 1/4 in
Beautiful. Miraculous. Adorable in every way.
My prayer in that Labor and Delivery room was merely, “God keep me strong, keep my tears from blurring my vision, so I can fully capture the beauty of this day for Sarah and Jonathan. Bring our sweet Story here safely.”
And He answered. He blew us away! His presence even in those tender moments was indescribable.
As Jonathan’s mom and I watched the staff tend to Story after her birth, we hugged through tears and Mrs. Linda exclaimed, “Praise Jesus!”
Yes, praise Jesus indeed!
May Story’s life be a testimony each day to His goodness, His blessings and His love for us.