Archive | October, 2012

Certified Birth Doula | My Resume | Las Vegas Birth Photographer

Four years ago today, I photographed my first birth. Happy Birthday, Riley!! About two years before that, I read a book that forever changed my life. Lol, that sounds so ominous. I’m sure I would’ve turned out just fine if I hadn’t read it, but Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth honestly did change my life. I was a little bit of a birth junkie before I read it, and I had already given birth at home twice, but reading Ina May’s book made me realize that we as women should appreciate, enjoy and embrace the birth process! And, that women should know their options and be able to choose what is best for them personally. Reading this book was the beginning of an interesting journey for me.

I recently received a much anticipated envelope in the mail. My Doula Certificate!! At the first few births I went to, I found myself alone in the hospital with a husband & wife pregnant with their first baby who didn’t really know much about giving birth or the procedures, etc. I wanted to be able give advice if asked, and kind of felt like I needed “credentials” instead of just being a someone who has birthed at home and been to a lot of births.  So I signed up for a doula certification course. If at this point, you are thinking, what in the world is a doula?? That’s ok! A doula is a labor support person whose only concern is to give emotional and physical support to the laboring woman. Some women truly need support and a lot of it. Others do just fine on their own and most others are somewhere in the middle. We’re all different and that’s ok. I can now say I am a birth photographer and also a certified birth doula!

I really had to laugh when I saw this….

…because this is what it looked like in my mailbox!

In case you ever wondered about my skills/training, I thought it would be fun to share my “resume.”

May 2000 – Graduated with an Associates Degree in Photography
Sept 2001 to May 2003 – Got a job at a portrait studio
Nov 2001 – Photographed my first wedding
May 2002 to Feb 2003 – Second shooter for a wedding photographer
Fall 2002 – Yearbook photos for a prominent LV studio
Freelanced and shoot nearly everything under the sun, until one day I realize I haven’t ever shot a birth.
Oct 2008 – Photographed my first birth.

To date, I’ve photographed 25 births, plus attended 2 more without my camera strictly as the doula. Thirteen have be homebirths, Fourteen have been hospital births. I’ve photographed unassisted homebirths, home waterbirths, homebirths that transferred to the hospital, unplugged hospital birth, very medically managed hospital births, and a cesarean birth. I photographed twins, a breech birth, and VBAC births. I’ve seen long cords, short cords, cords around the neck, a single vessel cord, and a true knot. I’ve seen poo, pee, vomit, amniotic fluid, and blood. I’ve held newborn babies and I’ve held placentas. I’ve seen mamas in their strength and in their weakness. I’ve seen tears of pain, of frustration, and tears of joy and elation. I’ve seen husbands stroke their wife’s hair or carress her back. I heard them whipser sweet words of love and I’ve heard them pray for comfort and safety. I’ve heard numerous mothers say “I did it!!” and each for a different reason. I’ve seen the look of amazement on a new parent’s face. I’ve seen babies lovingly welcomed into their families.

Photographing births is definitely not the easiest job in the world – strange long hours, physically and emotionally exhausting, leaving your family at the drop of a hat – but I do enjoy it very much. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a special experience!


Skye | Giving Birth at Home | Las Vegas Birth Photographer

Laura is a repeat birth client! It was quite interesting having firsthand knowledge of her first birth experience and then being experiencing her second birth as well. When I arrived at her house last year, Laura was tense and almost a bit unruly as it seemed she was trying to escape from the constractions. This time when I arrived at her house, she was so calm and relaxed, I was thinking I had gotten there way too early and it was going to be a long night! I was wrong however, as I soon learned Laura has become a pro at this labor stuff. The baby was born 2 hours after my arrival without a sound from Laura. It was a beautiful, serene home water birth and I am so blessed to have been there to witness it!


Shandra is Marvelys’s new assistant. She has a soft voice and a lovely accent. Laura requested that during contractions the only person who talked was to be Shandra. This continued until the baby was born with Shandra holding her hand and whispering encouraging words. Such wonderful support!

Laura’s sister has been present for most of the births of her neices and nephews. She was scheduled to leave the next morning to return home and luckily this baby decided to finally come (Baby was a few days late) so her aunt could see her before she left and there for Laura during her labor & delivery.

Laura, you have one awesome staircase. 6:24pm

Andy too was much more calm and collected this time around. He is such a good husband and father. His job was to get the birth tub ready and he wanted everything to be just right.  Then he got into the tub and squeezed hips, rubbed her back, and even helped catch the baby.




Congratulations Laura, Andy, and Big Brother! Welcome to the world, Skye.

Home waterbirth delivery with midwife Marvely Lopez and assistants Judith and Shandra.
Birth Photography by Jessica B Photography.