Water Birth of Lydia

posted in: Birth | 8

Lydia’s water birth was unusual for me in several ways. First of all, her mom Lynn booked me less than 24 hours before her birth! Usually moms contact me very early in pregnancy, often as soon as they have a positive pregnancy test. Lynn’s due date was so soon (the next week) that I felt very comfortable booking her, knowing it was unlikely her labor would overlap with my other June clients.

Beautiful, natural water birth of Lydia . Bellingham Birth Center

Early Sunday morning I got a text from Lynn’s doula (and my good friend) Carolynn. Lynn was in early labor, but there was no reason to rush to the Bellingham Birth Center. Chuck and the kids got ready for church, while I stayed home with my 13-year-old who was still sleeping. I had my bag packed and ready. I was folding laundry and cleaning the kitchen when I got another text from  Carolynn. Things were picking up and it was time to come! I rushed downstairs to way up my son. My plan was to drop him off at church which is just a couple of miles past the birth center, then head over to the birth.

Except before I reached the birth center I got another text…Lynn was feeling “pushy”. I spent the next five minutes explaining to my thirteen year old son that we would be going straight to the birth center. He could stay in the waiting room and I would call his dad and have him pick him up. He eyed me nervously….as only a thirteen year old boy can. Who knew what was going through his mind…

Beautiful, natural water birth of Lydia . Bellingham Birth Center

Lynn was laboring in the birth tub when I arrived. She was working hard but so in control. It was hard to believe she was so close to giving birth. She was supported by her husband, Reid, and doula Carolynn.

Beautiful, natural water birth of Lydia . Bellingham Birth Center

Within a half an hour of my arrival she was quietly pushing.

The moment of birth was surprising as well. Lynn delivered Lydia’s head in the tub, but was unable to push the rest of her body out. The midwife quickly called for a birth stool, and helped Lynn out of the tub…with the baby’s head already born. The power and strength of a woman in labor will never cease to amaze me!

{I have photos of that part, but they are more graphic than I share  publicly}

Once Lynn was on the birthing stool, she delivered the rest of Lydia’s body easily.

Beautiful, natural water birth of Lydia . Bellingham Birth Center

Lynn had one very specific request when she booked me to capture her birth. She wanted a photo of her baby still attached to the umbilical cord. I have never taken an image like this, nor had a client request it, but I was thrilled at the suggestion. An hour or so after Lydia’s birth, Carolynn and I spread out a white towel and set up this image.

Baby still attached to placenta .Little Earthling Photography

Less than 12 hours after posting it on Facebook, I was contacted by SheKnows.com. They wanted to share the image. After getting Lynn’s permission, and the article in SheKnows came out, the photo was also featured on: ABC News, Parents.com and Redbook. It was such a surprise, since I very nearly didn’t photograph this birth at all!

Beautiful, natural water birth of Lydia . Bellingham Birth Center


Congratulations, Lynn and Reid! It was such an honor to be able to capture Lydia’s birth.

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