welcome sweet baby jude!

i recently got the amazing gift of attending and photographing the birth of my little sister’s first baby!!!  my sister, angel, lives in colorado so i had plans to arrive there just a couple days before the due date. we all prayed and hoped that the baby boy, jude, wouldn’t come early. angel and i were grateful when, after i arrived, we had a whole week together to chat and watchmovies and just do life alongside each other (something we don’t get to do living states away), before she started feeling any contractions.

 

(warning: this birth story i am about to tell is very intense.  everything turns out ok in the end, but if you are pregnant and need to keep your mind focused on the positive, you might not want to read on)

 

the contractions started at dinnertime, but because they had begun, did not mean we would see the precious baby boy any time soon! i went to bed expecting to be woken up in a few hours for the birth, but the next morning there was still no jude. and the contractions had kept angel up all night! so that day we went on walks, watched a bit of “the notebook,” made cookies, and things were progressing, but very slowly. angel and her husband, dan, had planned a home birth, so that evening they consulted their midwife, who came over and concluded that jude was just not in the correct position yet. she had angel (and dan) do some positioning exercises that would help the baby get in better positioning. we continued to chat and smile between contractions. it got late and i decided to sleep for a bit to give dan and angel some privacy, and when i woke up around 4am, things had gotten a bit more intense.  the next 10 hours were a blur.  we all lost track of time and place. there was more walking, water therapy, hand holding, use of the birthing ball.  at some point angel started transitioning to pushing.  she was so exhausted! at this point, she had been up for 2 nights straight in active labor!  no sleep!  she was so stuck in this land of labor that she started getting extremely discouraged.   her body and her mind were so tired!  i set down the camera so i could just be her sister!  i did all that i could – i gave counter pressure on her back, prayed for her and dan, tried to encourage them, advocated for them, made coffee for the birthing attendants, boiled more water.  but i cannot describe the anxiety that i felt, watching my baby sister struggle and cry and despair.  i am a nurse and i photograph births for a living, but that did not prepare me for this experience.  i felt so helpless and scared, as i saw the hours pass and no baby.  wisely, the midwives pow-wowed in the other room.  i wondered if they were going to suggest a hospital transfer, but instead they put angel on the floor to push.  she was so exhausted that she actually slept between contractions.

 

finally, after a total of 5 hours of pushing, and a LONG and incredibly trying 40 hours of labor, we all met jude paul!  yes, i cried!  and i remember holding my sister’s face and kissing her forehead, crying, telling her, “you are so strong!  i am so proud of you!  i can’t believe you just did that!”

 

i am still so in awe of my sister!!!  she persevered and did something that i don’t know if i could have done!  she is SO STRONG!  and i could not be more proud of her!  and it was such an honor to watch dan love my sister so well through this process!  he hugged and walked, pushed and waited, cried and loved!  he did not slink back in fear or fatigue (though those were both there i am sure) but he was so present with angel, supporting in whatever ways he could. dan and angel, you are an amazing team and i’m inspired by you both!!

 

i thank God that He allowed me to be there to witness, alongside of some amazing midwives, this beautiful yet intense birth and to see my sweet nephew coming into the world!

 

see my favorite photos from the birth below!

 

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17 Comments

  1. Posted April 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm by Angel | Permalink

    I cannot wait for my friends to see these. They are beyond beautiful, sister, and so much more than I could have ever asked for. What a gift you have given to Dan and me!

  2. Posted April 13, 2012 at 6:01 am by Heather | Permalink

    Lindsey! These photos are such a treasure…what a beautiful gift you were able to give to your little sis….your presence/reassurance/capturing the moments of her journey to her son. Wow! These are truly amazing pics & your sister is a truly amazing rockstar. I totally cried. ((hugs))

  3. Posted April 13, 2012 at 6:23 am by Megan | Permalink

    There were moments with clothing Ang!!! And, cookie baking, and laughter. You made those 48 hours look fun and pain-free! Beautiful birth-day captured Linds!

  4. Posted April 13, 2012 at 8:38 am by Desiree | Permalink

    What an amazing job Lindsey ! They are so beautiful and you can actually feel the love you have for Angel come through.

  5. Posted April 13, 2012 at 8:47 am by Stacey | Permalink

    Wow Linds..you did an amazing job of capturing this beautiful moment. Love them!

  6. Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:00 am by Cierra lam | Permalink

    Brought tears to my eyes! So special!!

  7. Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:16 am by Kelly S. | Permalink

    Lins,
    It is so exciting to see how you captured the love and commitment and love Ang and Dan share. Ang… This is just as you described those two days. Love you!
    Kel

  8. Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:33 am by Teri Fitzpatrick | Permalink

    Amazing. You are sooooo gifted, it blows my mind! So glad you sister’s could share these moments. Angel ROCKS!!

  9. Posted April 13, 2012 at 11:05 am by Sarah | Permalink

    Wow, Lindsey these are just beautiful…capturing every moment and every emotion that was part of the Wilcut’s story. Amazing photos and amazing mama!

  10. Posted April 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm by Brooke | Permalink

    Wow! Incredible pics, beautiful story, so stylishly presented: what a gift you have, Lindsey!! Of course, Angel, Dan and Jude do make great subjects 🙂

  11. Posted April 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm by sarah swegles | Permalink

    i was already crying before i saw the pictures. angel, dan, you guys are amazing. lids, such amazing pictures.

  12. Posted April 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm by Jill Wilkey | Permalink

    I am a doula in Colorado and one of my clients turned me onto this page….how incredibly amazing. More then one of these photos took my breath away, Absolutely stunning. I wish every client I have had you, Lindsey to capture such moments so perfectly. Thank you for sharing!! I’m going to pass it along too via my business facebook..

  13. Posted April 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm by Kelly | Permalink

    What a beautiful baby! Amazing pictures as always!!

  14. Posted April 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm by Sam | Permalink

    Lindsey, you have such a gift. Your work is incredible, I am blown away by the moments you capture! Every picture tells a story, you don’t need words to explain what each one is representing. I am filled up, renewed, inspired by your pictures. Thank You for using your gifts to bless others. Grateful to know you.

  15. Posted April 16, 2012 at 10:59 am by Mom Sandoval | Permalink

    WOWZINGOS! “Amazing”, “stunning” and “incredible” are all words others used to comment on your images of Jude’s arrival. I can only ditto those adjectives. Angel and Dan were perfect subjects and you captured the event in such a magnificent way. What a treasure, that is, YOU and your images.

  16. Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm by Rebecca Livermore | Permalink

    wow, these were absolutely ! Made me cry and made me feel like we were right there with you. How wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing!

  17. Posted February 1, 2013 at 11:54 am by brooke | Permalink

    angel! i feel you! this story reminded me so very much of my own first birth (48 hours of active labor, crying with discouragement, walking outside, falling asleep between contractions, pushing for 5 hours), and it was somehow oddly comforting to find someone with a similar story. but we both did it, didn’t we? and its so worth it.

    beautiful images! what a gift to have these 40 hours captured by someone who loves her so much.

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