Tag Archives: birth center

welcome, sweet amryn grace!

isn’t that name stunning?!  so unique, yet familiar somehow!  one of my very best friends in the whole world, gave birth to her first baby 8 weeks ago today!  and i had the privilege of being there that night to support and pray and photograph : )

let me tell you some things about my friend cayla.  1) she loves jesus with her whole heart!  2) she is able to maintain a beautiful perspective on all the blessings in her life.  within the last year, cayla and mike got married, bought a house, got pregnant, fixed (or should i say, are still fixing : ) up the house, and had their first baby!  what this couple has done within their first year of marriage is both crazy and amazing!!!  i have been so inspired to see the ways that cayla and mike have loved each other so well in the midst of all the stress that these blessing have provided!

birth of sweet amryn put all of these wonderful attributes of cayla beautifully on display.  amryn was born on a friday, and that monday cayla and mike decided to go ahead with their plan to have new flooring put in their house.  it was risky as cayla was due that week, but since most first babies come late, and since cayla and mike needed that last piece of their house done to feel ready for baby to come, they gave the go ahead for a crew of guys to come and demo their floors and put new ones in.  a process that would take 5 FULL DAYS!!!  well, tuesday rolls around and cayla starts feeling contractions.  mike heads to work and cayla comes over to labor since there was a crew of dudes at her house.  contractions continue coming every 4-6 minutes, and at the end of the day she and mike decide to get a hotel that night, so they don’t have to sleep/labor in a construction zone.

i’ve seen (and i know!) that labor can be physically exhausting!!!  but it’s progress that keeps a laboring woman going!  we are reminded that the hard work we are doing is not in vain, that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and that soon we will be holding the tiny baby we’ve been dreaming about!  well, thankfully cayla also had some amazing encouragement and support in mike and beach cities midwifery, because progress was slow to come for my friend!  she was in early labor for 3 days, which for her meant having contractions every 4-6 minutes, without much cervical change.  even after castor oil, labor induction massages, walking around, etc, little progress was made.  we prayed and asked God to keep baby girl safe and bring strong, effective contractions!!!

finally, thursday evening, after laboring for THREE days in a hotel room, walking past staff when she came and went, feeling observed each time; cayla was far enough along to stay at the birth center!!!  i felt so relieved for her and mike, knowing that now they could fully relax and rest.  they were here and would stay until the baby came!

as you can see in these images, mike and cayla have something special!  technically they are still newlyweds, yet there already is such a depth to their love.  these two were tired, physically and emotionally!  yet watching mike be so attentive and engaged and seeing cayla find rest and comfort in mike was so, so beautiful!!!  my words and my images fail to do their beauty justice!

as the sun thought about waking, amyrn grace made her appearance!  my sweet friend reached out and brought her baby girl to her chest!  such an amazing moment!!!  so many hopes and dreams realized as she kissed her baby for that first time!

mike and cayla, you have created something quite beautiful – in your home, in your relationship, and now in your amyrn grace!!!  no doubt, God’s cutest blessing in your lives!!!

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mason is born!

“go team kliewer!”

that is what jason (my hubby) and i say out loud to ourselves when there is a big task ahead of us.  it is sort of the way we pump ourselves up to face something a bit overwhelming!  take this past week for instance… when faced with a messy house, lack of sleep, over-tired & over-sugared kids, and 5 hours to pack for a 2 week long family trip to the mid-west for the holidays, all i felt like doing was flopping.  you know… lay on the ground, close my eyes, mumble something only when absolutely necessary, and do everything i can to pretend nothing exists but me and the floor!  but thankfully, i was not alone in that moment!  my hubby with his words, example, and energy pulled me up off the floor.  he prayed for me!  we got a plan that made the task seem somewhat possible, and we moved into action, shouting, “go team kliewer!”  i couldn’t have done it without my other team member, and thankfully i didn’t have to!

when i photographed cheryl and kevin sheik’s first birthing several weeks ago, i was reminded of how beautiful it is to witness an effective and loving team in action!  these 2 blew me away!!!  kevin remained so engaged with cheryl, in spite of all the unknowns of birth!  he was so present and so available and so willing to serve her in whatever ways she needed!  he gave her the space and freedom to birth their baby the way she needed.  and cheryl was so accepting of his help and love and touch!  she was so strong and determined as she labored!  together kevin and cheryl both peacefully and beautifully brought mason into the world!

cheryl and kevin, you two work together so well!  i LOVED being a part of the work, anticipation, joy, and celebration of mason’s birth!!!

go team sheik!!!  i am a big fan!

 

ps- of course, they were supported by the wonderful beach cities midwifery team: all beautiful women who create such a comfortable birth environment!

vickie alston: midwife

mette dempster: doula

brigitte damgaard: birth assistant

 

pps- and thank you so much, cheryl and kevin, for allowing me to share these images!

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