I had the privilege of assisting and photographing at my dear friend, Julia’s homebirth in September. I didn’t take nearly the amount of pictures I thought I would due to the fact that it was a fast labor and it was SO quiet! The camera was not quiet however, and neither was the 100mm lens I used occasionally. So instead of around 500 photos, I took just under 300. Don’t worry, I only picked my favorites for the slideshow. My friend Tamra, lent me her baby (read: one of her DSLR cameras and all but one of her lenses), while she was on vacation in California. Julia’s little one happened to wait until Tamra got back, but due to a mis-communication, I was still photographer. Our midwife (I say our, because she’s also my midwife), had called her assistant shortly after I arrived, but the baby came so fast, that I ended up being assistant as well.

I was in awe the whole time. Julia was amazing to watch. Her home was so peaceful, and so was she. She needed no interference or help. She trusted her body and listened to her heart. It was such an honor to be there. I told her that I loved the whole experience. I love birth and babies! Thank you, Julia, for allowing me to be a part of this sacred occasion.

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I’ve been busy lately with so many things, I can hardly write about them all. So, I’ll try to summarize it…

Knights of Freedom Summit is through! It was an amazing experience, and I was so excited to meet new people and get out of my comfort zone. I was Volunteer Coordinator, and although it took a lot of leg work, it paid off in the end. With very few exceptions, it went off extremely well! We had very few problems, and nothing we couldn’t handle. I could feel the excitement and the awesome impact that the event was having on these 130 boys and everyone else who volunteered–from a distance from it all! It was simply awe-inspiring. Thank you, Emily, for asking me to help. I truly needed and appreciated it! If you want to know more about the event click here, and if you want to see the wonderful photos taken by my friend, Tamra, click .

I’m still getting into the AYLI Secretary thing. I had been so caught up in the KOF Summit, that the other stuff has gone to the wayside. So, I’m playing catch-up. Gratefully, it’s not a huge deal. I’ll be working on updating the database which will be quite the task. I think it’ll take longer than Diann wants it to, but I have a family life too. I can’t spend all day calling hundreds of people. She knows that, however, so I’m not even worried about it.

I may be released from my ERSA position as secretary this month. We’ll see. They may just vote me into another position. I won’t mind either way. I can’t give it up! I’d have to move far away to give it up again. By the way, for those who don’t know, ERSA is the Eliza R. Snow Association, and it’s the wonderful book group I belong to…and I mean, belong!

I haven’t posted many pics of the kids this summer. We’ve been hanging out at home a lot and working on our school work…because they want to! David has been home a lot this summer because of unemployment. So, we occasionally go out and about as a family. David’s working on his writing. He’d like to become a syndicated writer and write a book. It’ll be exciting to see what he does with it!

I have a garden this year…amazing, I know! We’ve grown tons of zucchini and tomatoes. We also have had radishes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, pumpkins, and my favorites: peaches and watermelons. I get at least 3-4 medium-size zucchini a day off of my 8 plants. I get lots of pear tomatoes, and some romas and beefsteaks too. I get at least one cucumber every-other day. We just harvested our second extra-yummy watermelon today. It was so exquisitely tasty! I need to harvest some of my pie pumpkins to cook and freeze. I’ve shredded some zucchini in 2 cup amounts for breads and such later in the year. I froze almost all of my peaches, but I did bottle 9 quarts in sucanat syrup instead of the refined sugar syrup. I made tons of apricot jam (as previously posted) and some strawberry jam earlier this year. I look forward to getting more tomatoes and apples for bottling. My friend, Penny, gave me a bunch of her concord grapes to juice–which reminds me I need to borrow a juicer tomorrow! I’ve been abundantly blessed with a bounty of food this year! I’m so grateful!

Okay, so on to birth…and no I’m not expecting to give birth myself any time soon.

My sister-in-law, David’s sister, is expecting her first baby in February. I’m so excited for her, and I really need to get some books and other resources to her so she can read up on birth. She wants to do it unmedicated and as natural as possible. I’m praying she chooses to educate herself a ton, because that’s really the only way to get what you want, in birth or life.

My friend, Tamra, went on vacation this week, and she asked me to take her baby (aka Digital SLR Camera and lenses) while she was gone. It’s not only to take care of her equipment, but so I can photograph our friend Julia’s birth if she goes into labor while Tamra is gone. Is it selfish of me to want her to go into labor this week? I’ve played with the camera and lenses a bit. It’s been fun, and it only makes my excitement and desire for my own DSLR someday stronger! So, that being said, I’ve been combing the internet for birth photography and looking back on my own attempt at photographing Tamra’s birth. I wanted to get some ideas for labor and birth shots. I went to Tamra’s birth barely knowing how to use her camera and played everything by ear, literally. I didn’t look at anyone else’s pictures for ideas, and I used auto on the camera. This time I know the basics of her camera and I can use the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings without freaking out about it. I thought it would be fun to get some ideas about what else to take pictures of. My midwife, Cathy, is Julia’s midwife too this time around. I’m excited to be able to work with her again! Both her and Tamra trust me to not mess up the photography, and knowing Tamra’s abilities, that says a lot! If the photography thing doesn’t work out, well, I still may be assisting at Julia’s birth as Cathy’s assistant. We’ll see. No pressure, Julia, I promise! You know I love ya!

I have several other friends, besides Julia, waiting to welcome their babies into the world in the next few weeks. I wish all of them immense joy and peace during their birthing times. Know I’m praying and thinking about you and your families, my dear friends!

P.S. I fixed the theme again. I hope it stays this time.

Please take the time to share your birth experience.

Be aware the site has had a lot of traffic, so it may be slow.

My dear friend, Tamra, had her baby yesterday morning. This was her fifth birth after four boys and the adoption of her Indian princess. I was blessed to have the privilege to be there. I’ve only been to my own five births, and seeing birth from another perspective was incredible. Tamra seemed so focused and at ease. When she was showing signs of transition similar to what I went through, I still wondered if she was really that close. She was handling it that well! She talked through many of the transition contractions (note it was through, not between, although she did that too). She was amazing the whole time I was there. I felt honored to be present, and it is an experience I will never forget!

Tamra‘s beautiful baby girl was born in the early morning light into her parent’s loving arms. It was a lovely waterbirth at her home. The light through the trees and gazebo windows was perfect (the temperature was the only thing that could have improved the experience). Every bird in the neighborhood seemed to be joining in the celebration. A flock of geese even honked by telling her that she could do it. I wished Tamra’s SLR could capture the sounds of the birds. I hope the video camera was sensitive enough to capture it. I hope each morning when she hears the birds sing outside her window, that she’ll remember the beautiful birth of her darling girl.

It was the most normal and natural thing in the world to have her baby. No hustle and bustle. No panicking or worrying. It was calm and serene. It was a wonder to watch her children amazed by the event. I really can’t put it all into words, but I loved every moment.

I ended up being Cathy‘s assistant for a time until her assistant arrived (too late for the birth). All I did was get her gloves and some cayenne tincture, but I was ready to do more if necessary. :) My baby was perfect and slept when I needed him to so I could focus on taking pictures. I hope she can find pictures that she likes among the 500 or so that I took. lol

Thank you, Tamra for allowing me the privilege to be at your birth. It was truly wonderous and lovely.