Birth photography: the night GG was born

The phone rings at 2:40 a.m. It’s not unusual for me to have trouble getting to sleep, but this night in particular has been difficult. I’m excited.

I hear a man’s voice. “Angie asked me to give you a call,” says Nelson. “The baby is coming tonight.”

I’ve had my camera equipment packed and ready for this moment for a couple of weeks now, as I have several times before. The stars are bright in the clear night air as I drive the short distance to their home.

I’m the first to arrive, as the midwives are coming from Reno and Nelson is driving from his base in Lemoore, ETA 4:00 a.m. Their son Cinco, who should have been asleep by now, opens his bedroom door with huge eyes. He can hear his mom laboring in the next room, and he’s worried. I give him a big hug and help get him situated for sleep on the couch upstairs away from the commotion. When the midwives arrive I help unload their car, start water boiling for instruments, and settle in for a long night.

I have known and enjoyed a warm friendship with Angie, Nelson, Cinco and their dog Sadie for about two years – since Cinco’s little sister was born, actually. You may remember CiCi and the eventful night of her birth in May 2014.

I photographed Angie’s maternity, birth, newborn and baptism for CiCi, and here we were once again. It is an indescribable feeling seeing a baby enter the world and being trusted with the task of documenting it is huge. Maybe this is why Angie and Nelson have treated me like family from the very beginning.

This time around, again the midwives proved their incredible skill and adaptability, and again Angie proved her unparalleled resilience and determination. After a difficult labor, Gabriela Grace was born November 12th at 5:21 a.m.—healthy, strong, a whopping nine pounds, twelve ounces.

Angie, Nelson, Cinco, Cici, Sadie and now Gabriella Grace (aka GG) – thank you. For the love, the hugs, the cookies. For everything.