Thursday, April 30, 2015

Welcoming Baby Gabriel | 4.26.15 | Jacksonville, FL Birth Story Photographer

Paulina and Skip are some of my dearest friends and I've worked countless weddings with them over the years (Paulina is the face behind Makeup by Paulina Perez and Skip is the DJ spinning the tunes and making you laugh behind Skip Kelly Productions) They even played a huge role in my own wedding on the makeup and music side of things and helped make our day so special. 

I was so excited when Paulina found out she was pregnant with her first baby boy, Devan almost two years ago and we started planning her birth story right away.  Little did I know that I would have to be in New York, Boston and Rhode Island for something family related I couldn't miss and I would be gone four days right around her due date. I put a back up plan in motion with my trusted friend and fellow photog, Jeannie - just in case Paulina went into labor. 

I will never forget right before take off I was texting Paulina and she said, "I feel totally fine, I think we are good, have fun!" and by the time I landed in New York two hours later and turned my phone back on I get a text saying "We are heading to the hospital..It's happening". I was SO disappointed I wasn't there but so happy Jeannie was and I knew Paulina was in amazing hands. 

Fast forward to this birth - baby boy number two, Gabriel... Let's just say I tried to clear my calendar as much as possible and stay "on call" ready to go as her due date approached. I refused to miss this one! 

Paulina texted me on Tuesday at almost 10pm saying "3cm dilated". She stayed in the hospital but was eventually sent home because her contractions weren't close enough. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday passed. I was ready and on pins and needles. Sunday around lunch time I get a text saying that her "contractions are three minutes apart and this is probably it!". I was literally covered in dirt and sweat from working in our yard when I got this text and I took the quickest shower a human has probably ever taken and started gathering my gear. The last text I got from Skip was "it's happening!" So in my head as I'm on the road I'm thinking "I missed it". 

I get there as they were putting in her epidural, she was 10cm and ready to go. Ten minutes later, one contraction and one push, baby Gabriel was here. I had literally just made it in time. 

Every birth story I have done truly is the most emotional thing. Especially when it's friends. Being there to witness the most amazing day as a family grows bigger is indescribable really. 

I am so beyond honored Paulina and Skip wanted me to be there to document this for them. It was a beautiful day to be born. Welcome to the world sweet Gabriel!

Devan's face meeting Gabriel for the first time is priceless...

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