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!

photocrati gallery





guinevere is born!

baby guinevere was born peacefully at home into her daddy’s loving arms!  being a part that day, when she made her entrance into the world reminded me of the importance of community!  we can’t do birth alone and we definitely cannot do this life alone.  we need our peeps.  in life and in birth, we need people beside us to encourage us when it gets hard, to remind us of why we are doing what we are doing, to believe in us when we don’t believe in ourselves, to cheer us on, and possibly most importantly, just be with us!  we are not meant to do life alone.  and we are not meant to bring to life alone either!

photocrati gallery


welcome baby rhys!

you pronounce his name “reese.”  isn’t that so cute?!  baby rhys melted my heart when he made his arrival the night of february 9th.  i just couldn’t get enough of his peel-y feet & hands and fuzzy skin rolls!!!  his mama, kelly, had a natural water birth in her beautiful home.

each birth i attend amazes me in different ways. with this one, i was struck by how the laboring mother is so focused and almost in another world, and yet one second after the baby is born, she returns back to her normal self, talking, joking, and laughing. it was crazy to think that when i arrived there were only 7 people in the house, yet when i left there were 8!!!  there is another person in this world!  and i got to see his grand appearance!  and this is my job!!!  i am grateful and blessed to have been there that night and to have had the honor of capturing a bit of the miracle that i witnessed.  see for yourself…
























if you want to see more, you can watch the whole slideshow below…


welcome baby silas!

several weeks ago, i had the privilege of photographing another birth!  i was introduced to deanna through our midwife, bj.  who knew we had so much in common: both biola grads, pregnant, and using the same midwife.  deanna and her husband brock have been married for 3 years.  get this, at the same time she found out she was pregnant, he was finding out that he would be deployed to afghanistan for 15 months.  when they both saw each other that evening, they had a lot to talk about.  wow, i cannot imagine that! obviously, brock was unable to make it to the birth in person, but he was able to be there remotely via skype!  that’s why the black macbook is in a lot of the photos!  it was amazing, actually!  deanna says that most of the time when they talk via skype, the call gets dropped every 5 minutes or so, but during the birth and afterwards (about 4 hours) the call only was lost a handful of times!  what a blessing it was that he could be a part of that special day that ethan silas made his way into the world.  deanna did an AMAZING job!!!  it was so inspiring to me to watch her confidence in her self and her support people (side note: emily, deanna’s neighbor, drove deanna to the birth center along with her first child who was 5 weeks old!  the little one slept through the whole birth!  and emily was such a strong calming presence – both to deanna and the rest of us in the room!  i was so glad that emily could be there to encourage and support deanna!)  below is a tasteful slideshow i put together for deanna and brock that they are allowing me to share with you 🙂

babies birth family kids newborn

welcome baby benjamin!

what an incredible experience i has this past tuesday!  on 4.6.10, i was able to witness little benjamin cole goodman make his way into the world!  it was a home birth and was attended by 2009 midwife of the year, bj snell {she’s my midwife too}.  the process was so beautiful and peaceful!  and brooke did such an amazing job!  she was so centered and calm.  although i have seen many births during my nurse’s training, i think this was my first natural birth, and definitely my first home birth!  there seemed to be such comfort and ease in being at home.  even big brother jonathan and big sister kate got to see their little brother’s arrival.  what a moment!  i feel honored to have been given the opportunity to capture some of the beauty of benjamin’s birth day!  congrats, goodmans!