"When you're a kid, they tell you it's all... grow up. Get a job. Get married. Get a house. Have a kid, and that's it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It's so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.” 
                 -Elton Pope

In the afternoon, they stopped to eat on a rocky outcrop. Perry brushed a kiss on her cheek while she was chewing, and she learned that it was the loveliest thing to be kissed for no reason, even while chewing food. It brightened the woods, and the never sky, and everything.” 
                  -Veronica Rossi, Under a Never Sky

So this. This "job" I have, often leads me to couples I instantly know will be new friends, who it seems I've been waiting to meet, who truly radiate such genuineness, I'm immediately smitten. Birth is bonding and usually I have met with the couple, taken maternity pictures, texted and emailed before the "big day." I met these parents for the first time in their home on a steamy summer Wednesday evening. This Mama had been laboring for days and her doula called me to say things were moving along.  I was tired. This was my third birth in a little over a week and I was sort of dragging, but I grabbed some coffee for us and headed over. As soon as I walked in I felt energized. Perhaps it was just birth adrenaline or this Mama's brilliant artwork bursting color throughout, or maybe funny Luna, anxious and healing from her surgery who knew something was up and wanted to be in on the action. Whatever it was, it was now a birth story and I was documenting the hard work we mamas do to birth our babies.

Birth is so magical because it is so unpredictable. I suppose that what makes some people nervous, the not knowing. There are clues though and a good Dr/midwife can read them. This lucky couple had one such Dr. He also had patience. He knew what would and would not work, he let Mama and Daddy work together and he worked with them. They were also lucky to have  the wonderful Julie as doula. This Mama was in charge of her labor, she dealt with terrible back pain for days with humor and stamina and even a bit of dancing.

Baby Orion came quickly on the scene once pushing commenced and was no surprise to Mama, but Daddy was very surprised, his delight was infectious. He had been happy and sure of having a daughter and would have been just as excited, but the surprise of a son was so sweet to witness.

A few weeks later I was thrilled to photograph Mama and Orion's brand new breastfeeding relationship. The family pic at the end is one of my favorites. The look between these two says it all really.