Erika Ray Photography » blog

The post in which I attempt to describe a birth: Part I

One day in July, I was able to photograph the birth of our good friends, Clint and Becky’s, second child.  It was amazing and remains difficult to put into words.  All the words sound cliche or not worthy.  It was incredible to witness a child’s first seconds of life.  But that wasn’t the main thing I’ll remember about the day.  I will remember the moments before his birth and the moments they spent caring for him afterwards.  And I will always remember the love and support his parents created for his arrival. He was the cherry on top of beautiful day.

She had spent the last couple months worrying about Wyatt’s reaction to the birth and to his new brother.  It’s an all-consuming concern when you’re pregnant with your second child.  When Clint’s mom arrived, Wyatt, unaware of his mother’s pain, happily ran to his Oma and they waited at a neighbor’s home.  Once he was out of the house, her labor intensified almost immediately.  Clint joined her side and there was no time for “What if’s” or worrying about the future. The supportive environment they spent months creating was about to help welcome their second son.  A little past 7 a.m., Silas began his life in the most beautiful and peaceful way I could ever imagine.  He was at home.  The house Clint & Becky purchased and restored is now filled with the memories of his birth.  The raw joy of that day has altered the home’s foundation in a way not possible with any amount of home improvements.  And that’s priceless.

It probably sounds like I believe everyone should have a home birth.  After watching and re-watching their video, it really becomes impossible to ignore that it is an amazing option for childbirth.  But I understand that it isn’t for every family or even possible in certain circumstances.  Personally, I loved the food closet at the hospital…  And every single birth has the possibility for the same type of beauty whether it’s in your home, hospital, or car.  It’s your choices that help make it successful.  Surround yourself with the best staff.  Prepare lists and questions.  Gather your loved ones.  Research all options.  Women should be given the respect and power to choose what is the best way to approach childbirth for their families.  And home was their best way.

Nine months prior, she gave me a choice.  When she called and asked if I’d photograph the birth, I quickly said yes.  Throughout the months, she kept giving me a chance to change my answer.  “It might be too much.  I might be loud.  It might get messy.”  She wasn’t too loud.  It wasn’t gruesome or filthy.  But it was too much… in a positively amazing way.  Thank you for sharing your day.

Photos from the day: Vimeo link

Midwives: Choice

Doula: Birthing Beautiful Ideas website: Facebook

Clinton Reno website : Facebook


Part 2 is what I learned as a photographer and probably one of the most important things you can bring to your birth.


  • Catherine - I just found this lovely post and it struck such a cord with me. I had two home births so I identified with that bit and I also felt exactly the same way when I photographed my first birth last fall. Most of all, you put into words what I firmly believe is the most important part of birth – choice and power. Beautifully written and photographed Erika! Thank you.February 13, 2014 – 6:37 pmReplyCancel

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