Ivy and I met way back in 2019 when she was pregnant with her oldest son and I was pregnant with my second baby (who also turned out to be a boy!). Besides photography, I am deeply passionate about all things pregnancy and childbirth, and am an advocate for unmedicated birth.

Basically, I’m C R U N C H Y. Full on granola mom over here!

Anyway… Ivy and I met while taking a Bradley Method course (which is a 12-week childbirth education class… highly recommend!) at the birth center in Greensboro where I was planning to deliver my second baby. At some point, I mentioned that I cloth diapered my first son and intended to cloth from birth with my second baby. Slowly but surely I reeeeled Ivy in the to exciting world of cloth diapering!

Quick sidenote for anyone considering cloth diapers… DO IT. There really isn’t a better way to save money on baby products, and it’s not that much extra laundry, I promise!

Our babies were due at about the same time and were born just a few weeks apart. We became Facebook friends, texted a little, and loosely made plans to start hanging out after things with our newborns settled down.

But then… COVID.

Life with a toddler and newborn is stressful enough. Add in a worldwide pandemic involving a new virus that we don’t really know anything about and I basically didn’t care to leave my house. Ivy and I kept in touch a little, but never got the chance to see each other. Fast forward a year later and we’re both pregnant again!

Now, three years and four more babies between the two of us, Ivy is my best friend. We’re practically the same person, except she’s two feet taller than me and I’m eight years older than her. We’ve grown close because of a shared interest in unmedicated birth, cloth diapering, and breastfeeding, among other things.

About two months before Baby H made his way into the world, Ivy asked me to document his birth. Her older boys were born in the hospital, and she was planning for a birth center delivery for H. I leaped at the opportunity! Any birth is a miracle to behold, but being able to be present with your best friend, AND give her the gift of photographs to cherish was just a dream come true.

Until it wasn’t.

In the birth community, there is often talk of grieving the loss of your ideal birth. We make plans and set goals, watch videos, read books, even take classes, and sometimes we just don’t get what we want. Yes, a healthy baby and mom is a good outcome, and we absolutely want that to be the main goal. But birth is about so much more than “good outcome”. Giving birth is a transformative experience. Everyone deserves to have the birth they want, and it can be traumatic when the plan suddenly changes course.

My dearest friend went through more than most during her last few weeks of pregnancy. Her story is not mine to share, but I thank God that she and her baby are alive and thriving.

All of the Williams boys are Rainbow Babies— babies born after loss. While I didn’t get to document Baby H’s arrival, I did get to capture the Williams Family in celebration of his birth. The skies were heavy and dark all around for miles, but the storm held off. Ivy held her newest (and tinest!) boy close while her older boys crawled through the grass and inspected ALL of the rocks. We even captured the sweetest tender moments of Baby H breastfeeding.

After a stormy beginning, Rainbow Baby H is off to a beautiful start with his mommy, daddy, and big brothers.