The Home Water Birth of Esmé | Milwaukee Wisconsin Birth Photographer
" Heres to strong women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them."
Kristal and I connected through a mutual friend and we formed a friendship almost instantly. She is such an incredibly beautiful and dedicated mother and friend and her spirit is contagious. We talked almost daily throughout her pregnancy and I truly fell head over heels for her and her family. I guess you could say we were (are) a good fit.
When she called me to tell me she was "pretty sure" labor had started, I readied my bag early in the day and then went about my afternoon as normal waiting for her call. Some time passed and I didn't hear from her so I headed out to get a manicure assuming she was resting or that things had stalled.
No sooner than I had arrived at the nail salon I got a text saying that her contractions had gone from pretty spread out to just about TWO minutes apart in NO time at all. I hurried out of the nail salon with a half finished manicure to grab my bag and head to her house reassuring her (and myself really, let's be real here) the whole way that I WOULD make it there before baby came because we live just about an hour apart.
Insert the longest and most anxiety filled drive I've ever been on here.
She labored quickly. Fiercely. Beautifully.
Occasionally she broke her silence. Her intense concentration. She asked for her husband or said she couldn't do it any longer. There was no break. This was hard.
She WAS doing it. You ARE doing it, I repeated over and over. She was SO much closer to bringing her little girl earth side than she realized.
I ran her shower for her. She stood, concentration back on her baby as each wave came and went, while the water ran off of her back. When she was tired and needed to sit, I filled her bathtub for her while we waited for her birthing tub to finish warming up.
Oh the birthing tub! What an adventure. Hot water ran out long before it was filled and it was cold. SO cold. Midwives, Dad, + myself took turns running to and from the kitchen to boil water for the tub. FINALLY Kristal was able to transfer from her own bathtub into her birthing pool in what seemed like just enough time to bring her baby girl earth side.
Esmé was born at 9:57pm after 3.5 hours of active labor. In the water and ALMOST en caul! Just 2 hours after I had arrived at her house in a panic that I would miss the birth.
I watched as Kristal took her first steps as a mother of 2. As they both fell madly in love with their daughter, immediately.
What a wild ride. What an honor.
Kristal - You are a force to be reckoned with. So fierce. So beautiful. I do not even have the words. Thank you for allowing me to tell your birth story. I am forever grateful for you and our friendship. xo