“When I think about my journey toward becoming a mother I realize I’ve sort of been one all along. Many who know have known me for my entire life would call me a natural. As a toddler, all I wanted was to cuddle dolls and shush them to sleep. Then, as I grew up just a bit more I insisted at the wise age of 5 that I was going to be a teacher and I never looked back from that choice. After years of nurturing and guiding other people’s children, I met my wonderful husband and in an instant I could picture our life together with as many children as we could possibly have. My lifelong dream of having my own beautiful soul to care for was finally coming true and then in an instant, in the early weeks of our first pregnancy, we learned we had lost our precious first baby. It was an incredibly emotional and soul-searching time for us but we did not give up on our dream of having a baby of our own. When we found out we were expecting little Arlo, our world was again shaken when at just 5 weeks we learned we *may* have miscarried his twin. It was just too early to tell and no doctor could give us a definite answer. I waited in agony over the next several weeks to hear his heartbeat, and then to see him grow on ultrasounds. I still couldn’t quite bond with him yet for fear of losing him too. As he grew, my fear quickly disappeared. It was around this time that I found Abby and we connected via Skype. I knew in an instant that having her shoot a birth session for us was an answer towards connecting with this precious gift of life we’d been given. She comforted us instantly while also giving us something else to look forward to.
Our natural birth was a crazy whirlwind. At times scary, then exciting. I exhausted myself physically and emotionally. When we finally saw Arlo for the first time it was absolute love at first sight. While everything is such a blur still, many things are crystal clear, such as holding him in our arms and watching my husband bond with him skin to skin.
I don’t think there will ever truly be enough words to describe my personal journey towards motherhood. I learned very early on to embrace the ups and downs, to expect the unexpected, and to live in the moment. I have no idea what the future will hold for our family, only the past to look back on. However I will say with certainty that I can’t wait to continue doing that with Arlo and his Daddy for the rest of our lives. ”
As I was editing this session this beautiful birth story, their photographs and the birth video, I found myself crying like a little girl alone in my room filled with all emotions that overcome me when I think about how important it is for some of us to start a family. I don’t know if it’s something that happens to a select few women but I know I found a soul sister in Shaleen when I first heard her talk about having a child. For me its always been a dream, a goal, a gift of the greatest value… one that has the power to change everything in our lives. Our maternity session together was just a warm up for the big day of meeting precious Arlo.
I have yet to meet a more “polite woman-in-labor” than Shaleen. Such an example of grace and humility of bringing a child earth side. The calmness in that delivery room, from the lavender aromatherapy and the occasional whiff of rose water spritz is one that will not soon be forgotten. I now understand why they made the decision to hire me to be their photographer, and I think you all will see it too. Dan was actively ‘in labor’ right along with her every step of the way. Sure he wasn’t going through the pain, but I’m sure he would of tagged in at any time and taken it all for her. They are such a wonderful example of what having a support system is during this most important and special day. I get just as emotional watching Shaleen as I do with Dan and Arlo. The love and admiration is so evident from the way he never left his side. So much so I found myself trying to work an angle to get by him and the nurses to the baby. Daddy was always there. And it when it was time for Shaleen to hold him… it made all those hours, days, weeks worth being there in that instant. It has been an immense privilege working with the Peck family. I have been smitten with the love they share for each other and their new addition. This is the beautiful birth story of Arlo Emerson Peck.
Arlo Emerson Peck born at 1:05 AM – 7 pounds 13 ounces and 22 inches long.
The more I shoot birth videos the more I feel it completes the story. Hearing that first cry over and over never gets old. I hope you all enjoy watching it as much as I did creating it.
I will be visiting Arlo soon to take his family newborn photos, I bet he’s already changed so much! Can’t wait to see you all again this week!