Since I'm a wedding photographer, it always seems that the births I document happen to be in the fall and early winter. It works well that way. I get my fill of spring and summer weddings then I get a lovely dose of beautiful babies being born in the fall and winter. That's not to say I don't book weddings in the winter but it just happened that way the past couple years.
Anyway, moving on.
Several months back I got a message from Traci asking me about birth photography that sent me over the moon. I obviously love births but Traci is a fellow photographer so it's even more of an honor that my work resonated with her. We actually met back at Southwest Virginia Community College in 2009 while taking a basic photography course. We've kept up with each other over the years so I really enjoyed getting to know her family even more and witnessing her sweet baby girl's birth day!
As Traci got close to her due date we would text back and forth every few days so I could keep up with how she was feeling and what her doctor was saying. Around Labor Day weekend it seemed things might be ready to happen fairly soon. Traci, Brandon, and their son stayed with family closer to the hospital in Johnson City (they live almost two hours from the hospital). Monday evening Traci decided they should head home because nothing much had happened. Well, no sooner did they get home and hop in bed that that contractions came...and hard. Just a couple hours later and they quickly hit the road back to Franklin Woods Community Hospital!
6:00a.m. rolled around and Mike was shaking me awake...
I had fallen asleep in Ellie's room when she needed help getting back to sleep in the night. He told me to get dressed quick, that Traci was already to 5cm and things were moving fast. My heart was pounding out my ears as I jumped out of bed, waking up Ellie and leaving her in tears (yes, this broke my heart). I threw clothes on and grabbed my gear, water bottle, some yogurt for breakfast, and a hoodie. I flew to the hospital the entire hour and fifteen minutes there! I prayed for safety, that Traci's labor would hold off just a tad, and I thanked Jesus that it wasn't the weekend of The Battle at Bristol (it was just a few days away)! Also, I want to mention that it was the most beautiful sunrise that morning, just perfect for a baby's birth day!
7:25a.m. As I ran into the Birth Center Brandon met me and explained that she had slowed down a little, had an epidural and was doing great. My heartbeat gradually slowed to a mostly normal pace and Traci and I were able to chat for a few minutes. We laughed about Brittney Spears jokes ;] and talked about how she hoped Archer would do great when he met his baby sister in a few hours. Suddenly there was a change in the room as Traci felt sick. Finally a nurse and dr came in to check her only to find that baby was literally almost there. There was a VERY fast shuffle of nurses and delivery items coming into the room and then suddenly there was a baby! No joke. It was that fast! I hardly had time to get any labor pictures because baby Isla was in a big hurry to meet her mama and daddy.
Just an hour or so after Isla made her speedy arrival, Dr. Archer got to meet his baby sister. It was the sweetest, most precious thing! You'll just have to watch the video to find out his thoughts on meeting baby Isla!
Traci and Brandon, thank you for trusting me with some of your most precious memories. I am so grateful you invited me to be part of such a special time in your lives. Your whole family is absolutely the sweetest and it was so great to be able to meet them. I hope you treasure these photos for years to come and that Isla can one day enjoy hearing stories about her birth day! Thank you for letting me tell your story!
And now, introducing Isla Bardot...
Special thank you to Will Bundy for the original music!