An En caul Homebirth

Sometimes you get to be apart of amazing things that you didn’t even know were going to happen. The birth story of baby David was just that, unexpected. When Lynn contacted me about being her birth photographer I was pretty excited because she is also a birth photographer as well as a doula. She knows how to listen to her body and I just knew she was going to rock her home birth and it would be something magical. I was even more excited that as an empowered women of color she wanted it documented, and by me! Lynn is an amazing birth advocate and for her to trust me in her sacred space was a huge privileged.

As a birth worker, in my case birth photographer, you become painstakingly aware of all the injustices that happen in the birth community. It has really opened my eyes as a white female that we need to be aware and bring awareness. As much as it saddens me to say, women of color do not have the same birthing outcomes as white women. Women of color and their babies die at a rate 3x higher than white women and I don’t find that okay. An educated black women who has had good prenatal care has a higher chance of dying during childbirth than a white high school drop out.

The statistics are MIND BLOWING.

One article that really had me was this New York Times article. It talks about the racial bias present in health care and how it is a reason for the eye opening statistics. Finding a provider that will listen to your wants and needs is so important. It is okay to not like your doctor and find somebody else. It is okay to kick your doctor or nurse out of your room and request to be seen by somebody else. It is up to us as women to take charge and make sure providers are understanding consent at one of the most crucial times in a women’s life.

Lynn’s midwife Lori knew exactly what her birth plan was and did everything in her power to let Lynn have her baby exactly how she had planned. It is so important to see all representations in the birth community. And for that I am honored to have been chosen by someone who wanted to do just that for their birth. I think women of color need to see that they are in charge of their body and birth, and be/feel respected.

I am so excited that I was able to document her sweet baby’s entrance into the world and hopefully Lynn will inspire women of color that they were made to birth and look deeper into home births and doulas. Lynn called me over to her home in the afternoon, I jumped in my car and was out the door so quickly because I thought she was going to be a quick laborer. I was happy to get there and see baby was still cozy inside.

She labored like the warrior she was for the next few hours. Her 3 kids trickled in checking on her, and her husband was an excellent support helping counter her contractions. Her water was still intact (meaning it wasn’t broken) and I was praying to the birth gods I would get to see something amazing with baby David. A baby born within the amniotic sac is called En Caul. It is said that these birth are considered good luck in some cultures and the babies have an affinity for water. HOW COOL!

I was fully expecting her water to break sometime before delivering but it didnt. It was finally time and with her water intact she pushed. I was amazed to see her bulging water bag make its way with a little head full of hair still inside. I was so happy I got to be there to capture this moment for them. I give Lynn all the kudos in the world after watching her strength through labor.

At 6:51 David was born and was greeted by his siblings eager to meet him! Dad cut the umbilical cord and baby was weighed and measured. In the comfort of their own home they ended the evening breastfeeding for the first time and that was the end to a beautifully unique birth story.

Midwife: Dr. Lori with Know your birth rights: See the numbers: Samantha Byrd Photography

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capturing life's intimate moments

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