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When I first started my journey with a camera, I never would have guessed all of the incredible moments I would capture. First dances as Mr. and Mrs., announcing a long-awaited pregnancy to the world, babies having their first taste of cake (and freedom) as they turn one, that moment when she says, "Yes!" And although I have loved literally every second I've captured on digital film, there was something so extra special about March 7, 2022. Nothing was glamorous or staged. Nothing was posed or even very scenic, but I still captured one of my favorite moments to date: the second Mr. Elijah Reed entered the world.

I mean, I had seen birth photography before, but it was never something I gave much thought to. And we're not talking a newborn session or Fresh 48, here. Those I'm familiar with. I mean that these photos were all taken either within the 3 hours before Elijah made his appearance on Earth or within the hour after.

Everyone says you forget all of the heartache and waiting as soon as they put that child on your chest. And while I hope that's true for most people, for me, those 24 hours of laboring and waiting and wondering and not sleeping are very much a reality. Maybe it was because I brought my camera to capture some of the details from my own birth story, but either way, what I learned from sitting with Moriah and Sebastian those fateful hours is that there is so much beauty in these times that we're supposed to, even encouraged to forget. From the bottomless care of the nurses to the anticipation of every single contraction to the support and back rubs from the Dad-to-be, I never want them to forget how it felt in those last few hours as a family of two.

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