Birth: Liam Henry Vickery

For a couple of years (since my niece Norah’s birth in 2016), I have really contemplated whether or not birth photography is something I want to specialize in. Witnessing her birth was nothing short of amazing – one of God’s many miracles. I was in awe, and could not contain my sense of wonder about the whole thing for weeks and months to follow. Chase listened to how inspired I was, with a sudden drive to push my photography in that direction. Fast forward two years, and I hadn’t photographed or videoed any more births – I wasn’t really marketing for it either. Then, my nephew came along for opportunity number two. Video is not the path I am necessarily pushing for currently, as I am first and foremost a photographer. However, at this point I am willing to take the time to find out exactly which direction I should venture.

This brings me to this post. Through a mutual friend, Hannah (the mom) and I were connected because she had been searching for someone to photograph her birth. My previous experiences with birth were purely videos, at my sis-in-law’s request. This particular birth was my first chance to photograph the entire life experience from start to finish, and then some. We met up for a consultation, while enjoying cups of coffee on the patio. While I didn’t have much to present in terms of photographs, I did have a few from after Owen’s actual birth, and Norah’s video – this would at least allow them to see where exactly I roam, my particular creative style, and how “invasive” I am. If there is one thing I learned from shooting sports, it’s to go where you want to get your shot until someone tells you to move. When dealing with birth clients, some may disagree with that, but I realize that if you get the shots, they won’t care. They would rather have that one in a million photograph – what mom wouldn’t?

Hannah and her husband, Austin, are kind-hearted and the type of clients you want to be friends with. In fact, ever since I found out I was pregnant she’s been saying how we will need to schedule play dates when my little boy finally comes.

Y’all, I met her in January. We’ve been talking on and off since then and she’s genuinely down-to-earth. I’m so excited to share this story because these two made an incredible team and Hannah is one tough chick.

Here is their birth story:

I received a text sometime between six and seven o’clock in the evening on April 8th from Hannah’s doula, Wendy (who happens to be in my women’s Bible study group). They were heading to the hospital. Hannah had been laboring at home for a few hours already at this point. I arrived at the hospital and got to their room where she was experiencing contractions, having Austin and Wendy there for support. They got up a few times to walk through the hallways and find the best ways to ease her discomfort during those contractions. Her plan was to have an unmedicated birth, and I had never seen this before so it was a whole new experience to witness.

For the record, moms should feel free to do whatever type of birth they want. After being pregnant, I’ve come to understand that you need to do what is best for you and your baby. No two women are alike. Do what you are most comfortable with and be confident in that – after all, you are the one doing the work. Okay, sermon is over.  One of my favorite things to watch was the bond these two share. What I initially gathered from meeting Austin was that he is fairly easy going and likes to crack a joke or two sometimes; he has a witty sense of humor. That was not lacking during their son’s birth; however, other qualities started rising to the surface, and I witnessed raw moments between these two that I don’t think I would’ve ever seen had I not been there. They love each other, and Austin will do whatever it takes to know how to help Hannah when she needs it most. And he does it eagerly. What a sight to see y’all. Hannah made it to seven centimeters (WOWZA) before she decided to move forward with getting an epidural. I’m fully aware that movie births where women are screaming bloody murder doesn’t depict every labor and delivery. And it certainly doesn’t depict Hannah’s. The further into her labor the more she would groan, but she carried so much control for the 12+ hours she was in labor. I honestly can’t remember when she got the epidural, but it took her body some time to reach seven centimeters and then a little while longer to finally get to pushing time. I slept for a total of an hour or two, but that’s not challenging compared to what Hannah was accomplishing over the span of two days.

She started pushing in the morning – somewhere in the 8 am range, and after one and a half/two hours, Liam Henry Vickery made his debut at 10:30 am on April 9, 2018 – 10 days before his due date. He was the tiniest little thing with long legs and dark hair like his momma.

I stayed a few extra hours after his birth to capture some skin to skin with mom and dad, and to get a shot of the grandparents meeting him for the first time – all four of them at once. I had arrived at the hospital close to 7:00 pm on April 8th, and I left at 12:15 pm on April 9th. Though I was pooped by the end, experiencing their birth was worth the lack of sleep (I did not lack food – they fed me because they are so generous). I have looked through these images countless times feeling so proud of these parents, and admiring them for the people they are. Liam doesn’t know it yet, but he has some thoughtful, diligent, and attentive parents. I’m lucky to know these two.

Stay tuned, because Liam’s newborn session will be coming to the blog, along with that acclaimed head of hair he has.

  1. Barbara LeGrange

    May 23rd, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Oh, Rach! These are GREAT pictures!

  2. Rachel Williams

    May 24th, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you!

  3. Elizabeth Coffey

    May 23rd, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Such and awesome job!

  4. Rachel Williams

    May 24th, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you Elizabeth!

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