This past Thursday was the kind of day we've been craving since November. Hot, bright sunshine. Flowers blooming in every direction. That buzz you can hear in the city when lunches are had outside, and everyone feels energized. At the end of my workday, (what timing!) I received the text I've been waiting on for weeks: "We're heading to the hospital but might be a false alarm--will let you know." Well, it wasn't a false alarm, and with a granola bar and camera in hand, I made my way to Maine Medical Center.
Let me rewind. A few weeks back, I posted two of my most pressing photography dreams to Instagram to see where it might lead to: I wanted to photograph a birth, and also a destination wedding. Within days, both were booked, and I was (yet again) left amazed at how supportive and connected our community is. And so, on the warmest day of the spring so far, I got to photograph my first labor and delivery. (Yes, I was shaking with excitement, and yes I pulled out of my parking spot heading the wrong direction.)
For the next nine-ish hours, I watched and photographed the baby's entrance into the world. I was amazed at Rebecca and Steve's composure and sureness. Contractions aside, it felt like I had just stopped by their living room for a visit. As the intensity built, so did Rebecca's focus, tenacity, and grace. Steve didn't take his eyes off Rebecca for a minute: he offered endless ice chips, hand-holding, back rubs, jokes, and words of encouragement. The bond between the two of them and their obvious love for the tiny human joining their family that night was something I cannot forget.
After a night of long, strong laboring, with heat lightning flashing outside, and the National playing on the speaker, Wright Sheppard was born. A healthy, vivacious, perfect baby boy, with a built-in, lifelong team of his four year old sister and trusty sidekick dog Bandit waiting at home. Who knows what the future holds for this little man, but I know whatever it is, it's going to be full of warmth, support, love and strength. Oh, and really, really great music.