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Hanna & Jim - Photographing my best friend's birth story

Hanna and I have been best friends since our senior year of high school. We have experienced a lot of life together; going to college to become Veterinary Technicians, renting our first home, and even working at the same vet clinic. Of all the moments I've been by her side for, watching her bring life into the world was the most incredible.

I have always wanted to see the birth of a baby! It was never something that I found "gross" or scary. When Hanna told me she wanted me to be in the room with her and photograph the birth of her first baby Cooper, I was honored and beyond excited.

One of my first observations being in the room with her was how amazing the nurses were. They knew the words Hanna needed to hear, and offered comforting touches when she didn't know she needed it. They made her laugh and put her at ease.

Although these photos will be kept private, I think the most profound moment was when I saw Cooper's head for the first time as she pushed through contractions.

I saw the first glimpses of his dark blonde hair and his skin. Here is this brand new soul; still in the safe warm place he's grown in and called home for the past 9 months, on the verge of his world getting much much bigger.

The moment Cooper was born took the breath away from me. As they handed him to Hanna, her arms held him as if they knew exactly where to go long before. Her eyes locked on him, the movement and sounds around her probably fading. The most genuine smile and calm came over her.

Tears are streaming down my face as I try to capture these moments and soak it all in. One of the nurses that came in saw me losing it and asked if this was my first time photographing a birth.

"Yes, it is. And she happens to be my best friend as well" I replied, which brought a big smile to the nurses' face.

As I left the hospital late that evening, that feeling of amazement stayed with me. She did it. They did it! They brought life into this world. What a beautiful, natural, incredible experience. I am forever grateful I had the honor to be apart of it.

Auntie Amanda loves you Cooper!


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