A Thanksgiving Day Home Birth | Indianapolis, Indiana / by Lynsey Mason

Last year, I met a wonderfully sweet soul inquiring about birth photography, who was pregnant with her first child. She confided in me that it may be she and her husband’s only biological child, as they wanted so badly to adopt any more future children. Documenting their baby’s birth became very important to them, because of this. She was concerned, however, that she would not be able to find someone willing to take a due date so closely to our American holiday - Thanksgiving. Her due date was the Saturday after that beloved holiday, after all.

At the time, my birth photography package included maternity coverage, so we met one summer evening to document her precious growing bump. I reassured her that I would be there to document her birthing experience, no matter what. Fast forward a couple months: It was Thanksgiving Day, and I woke up with the knowledge that my client could very well go into labor on this day, being it was her “due date” tomorrow. Turns out, that’s exactly what happened! At around noon, after a morning of food prep with my husband, I got the call from Mama stating her water had just broken. Contractions were starting up, and she agreed to call me back when they started to come closer together. As a first time Mama, I assumed it would be later that evening before I received another update. Well, I was wrong. She called me back within an hour saying things were progressing super fast. I quickly kissed my family goodbye and made my way into Indianapolis.

The roads were quiet, which was great for travel! When I arrived, Mama and Dad were laboring with a rhythm from all-fours on to bed, to the bathroom, and back. It seemed these potions were most comfortable for Mama. Within a couple hours and after a few fetal heart rate checks, Midwife alerted to Mama that she needed to begin pushing. The FHR was not ideal, and I believe there was a slight concern. After several pushes and soothing words to help Mama bear down, we began to see baby girl crowning. It was an amazing sight to see for myself, and to capture. I had never really had the opportunity to be so close to grab crowning photos, but with Mama’s position being on all-fours in the bed, I was able to get some amazing images of her daughter entering the world. Finally, Mama began to feel the urge to push involuntarily. Going with her body, baby’s head emerged. Once her chin was fully visible, midwife quickly pulled the double nuchal cord free from her neck. Her body was born fairly soon afterwards and placed on Mama’s chest. After a minute of mouth-to-mouth, a little suction, plenty of skin-to-skin, and some coaxing from her parents, she began taking full, deep breaths on her own. I remember when she was laid on Mama’s chest, she cooed, “Come on, baby girl, you’ve got this.” They were elated to see their brand new baby pink up! And I was memorized by her gorgeous eyes.

Their golden hour was quite magical. They laid in bed with their new creation in arms, still skin-to-skin, and fed each other a postpartum meal. Soon, it came time for her newborn exam, and then back to nursing and practicing for that good latch. It was a whirlwind, but a beautiful home birth with the happiest of outcomes.