It was 11pm when I walked in through the door at the birth center. I saw Starr walking back to the far bedroom slowly but purposeful. She had already been laboring for hours. I knew that she still had a lot of work ahead of her, but I could see her determination from across the room. If I could tell her one thing, it would have been how beautiful she looked, but instead, I set down my stuff, grabbed my camera and followed her in cautiously. The room was peaceful and lit by only a small table lamp in the far corner. Starr laid down on the bed, breathing through her surges while her husband rubbed her low back. They worked all night as one, and it was magical.
As surges came and time passed, Starr rocked back on her knees. I love how a woman can surrender herself to her body and trust that moment and that need, whatever it may be. Very shortly after that, she got undressed with help from her sister and made her way to the tub full of warm water.
TJ was by her side all night. As Starr labored in the tub, he poured warm water over her belly through surges and occasionally stroked her arm or low back. The harmony of their partnership was humbling. He watched her in awe as she labored for that little one. I think we all watched her in awe of the miracle we were witnessing.
At some point, Starr got up to go to the bathroom and when she came back, labor really started to progress more. Her water broke and she immediately mentioned needing to throw up, although, she never did.. Transition had begun and Cypress would soon be joining his loving parents earthside. She went from laying down to sitting as she began to feel that urge to push.
There are few moments in life that truly have the power to take your breath away. A baby coming earthside in the arms of a strong, capable woman and a supportive loving man is one of the most enchanting things I have ever had the opportunity to witness. To Starr, TJ, Marley and baby Cypress, welcome to the beginning of your new, amazing adventure.