columbus ohio birth photographer

In Home, Birth

The Birth of Jenson | Columbus Birth Photographer | Milk & Hannah | Home Water Birth

 

When I pulled into the [wrong] driveway [and then backed up and pulled into the right driveway] at just after 6:30am, I opened the front door and walked into a dimly lit space of calm. The sound of boiling water for the birthing tub bubbling on the stove in the kitchen, Anna's husband Corey was just coming down from upstairs. He whispered "Hi there!" in passing, as he headed back into the kitchen with an empty 6 quart cooking pot in his left hand.

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On the second floor, a hand-painted "Hello, Baby. Hello" wooden plaque was centered on the outside of the closed door at the end of the hall. I took a deep grounding breath and creaked open the door.

A lace curtain of warm sparkly lights lit the space and created a birthing atmosphere to treasure. Anna laid across the queen sized bed, resting between surges, as Audra and Amy , her midwives, sat on the carpet against the gray bedroom walls--- her silent warriors of birth, waiting patiently to be needed. They chanted affirmations as the waves of labor came and went and helped fill the birthing tub with fresh, hot water. 
 

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A life-bringing femme of power. 

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And as the sun crept over the horizon, the little ones awoke one by one to see what all the fuss was about. 

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A bathroom break landed her at 9cm dilated and snuggling her babies on her nursery bed

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But... baby was ready, and tub time it was.

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A rotation or two of the minute hand , a gentle warrior roar, and he claimed the world as his in his Mama's arms.

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Her 4th son.

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Happy Birth Day, Anna.

Happy Birthday, Jenson.

 

The fabulous midwives present:

Amy Knisley // Well Rounded Midwifery and Audra Phillips // Art of Midwifery 

 

Personal, SelfLove

Self-Love in Motherhood : A Milk & Hannah Photo Mission | Columbus OH, Birth and Motherhood Photographer

Mothers who are critical of their bodies breed daughters and sons who are critical of their bodies.

Mothers who love and respect their bodies breed daughters and sons who love and respect their bodies.

How you choose to talk about your body and how you treat your body--will affect so many more people than just you. 

 

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A main mission for Milk & Hannah Photo is to encourage radical self-love. 

It is the reason that photographs include nipples and butt cracks. The reason that stretch-marks aren't photo-shopped away. I won't remove wrinkles, or fine lines...whatever the fuck those are. I don't ask you to smile, and I won't ever "take off ten pounds". I don't choose the best angle for your chin at your birth, I choose the angle that shows you while you work your ass off to bring a baby into this space.

The way your stomach skin curls or doesn't curl. The slight dark circles under your eyes. . The stretch-marks on your thighs. The +20 pounds or the -20 pounds. The defined calves or abdominals. The slick or frazzled hair. The frown, or the laugh, or the hiccup, or the yawn. Your breasts and where they lay across your chest, a little lower than before or just as high as they were.  Those things need to stay in photos. 

Because they're YOU. Right now.
and they're beautiful.


And talking about WHAT OUR BODIES ARE isn't a BAD THING. We're allowed to talk about our bodies RIGHT. WHERE. THEY. ARE. and EMBRACE that without GUILT or SHAME. We're allowed to talk about stretch-marks and sagging breasts and vagina lips and blood and mucus and extra skin. We're allowed to talk about growths and bumps and bruises and leaks. And we're allowed to say those things and not feel a tinge of "I'M LESS THAN."


We are what we are.
Inside and out.

And loving yourself, right where you are... it can change the entire world. It can breed a new world of people who love themselves and encourage other people to love themselves. 

And that is power.
That is worth working towards.

From a by-product of a line of women who were too critical... I implore you to change the world... and to love you.




 

Birth, In Home

The Christmas Lotus Home Birth of Giovanni | Milk & Hannah Photo | Columbus OH Birth Photographer

"Miranda's water broke."
The message flashed across my screen from Amy, Miranda's midwife, as the clock in the corner of my Macbook clicked over to 11:00pm.

She wasn't due for 2 weeks.
Surprise, anxiety, and ecstasy floated through my brain channels.

"Sleep fast." she wrote shortly after-and I closed my laptop.

Switching my phone to "Loud" I pulled Ruby against my breast for a last feeding and started a night of alternating between snoozing and waking to obsessively check my phone for an update-in fear I may have missed something.

The next morning at 8:00am, I awoke to check in with Amy.
We agreed to meet at their home at 9:00am.

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I arrived at 9:10am

The first real snowfall laid atop the ground outside... as magical as it was to see--these two had something even more so together as she labored in front of the fireplace. The light from the Christmas tree twinkling behind them.

Two braided pig tails sat on her collar bones.
She wore her lover's blank tank top.
The way the fabric fell over her belly made me swoon.
 

Shortly after our arrival, and after a brief period of separating herself to connect with her body, intensity came quickly.
It was time to utilize the birthing pool that had been filling in the kitchen.
Continuous streams of boiling pots on the cooktop.

As she surged, Jesse, her partner, dipped white washrags into cups of gas station ice water, immediately placing them against the skin of her face. She was very warm, and very uncomfortable.

And ready to move on from the tub.
As she exited, another surge welcomed itself, her midwife held her up and danced side to side as it subsided.

She headed upstairs to sit on the toilet, just for a few, and on her way back to the birthing pool, she surged once again, and found refuge laid across their bed.

With her partner,
And her midwife.

A few moments later, she was back in the warm water refuge of the birthing pool. The second midwife of her birth team, Lora, had arrived - surrounded by candles, sweet Christmas music, and the light from the kitchen windows, she continued her wonderful, life-changing journey of motherhood.

Soon-the unpredictable journey of birth turned once again.
The birthing pool was no longer a space of comfort, and so up the stairs they headed, once again. To the master bedroom.

She was glorious. A site to behold. A goddess. A warrior. A pillar of boldness and of vulnerability all at once.

She was a story.
A metaphor of beauty and pain and strength.
Looking at her labor was to read a novel cover to cover-and to be honored to do so.
I was honored to do so.

As she laid across her lover's lap...

As she surrendered to her body and listened to it--

As she breathed in the air of the Winter winds outside.. letting them swirl in her lungs...

There he was.

 

Welcome to the world, G.
You are more loved than you could ever imagine.
And your mama?



You rocked it, M.
All my love.
 


Midwife: Amy Knisley / Well Rounded Midwifery
Midwife: Lora Hart / Ohio Home Birth
Birth Photographer: Milk & Hannah Photo
 Birth Pool: Waterbith Solutions

Birth

The Birth of Arbor Jane | Milk & Hannah Photo | Columbus, Ohio Birth Photographer | Adena Regional Medical Center

Just outside her window, passerby's walked with newspapers lifted high above them, keeping the wet, heavy drops from meeting their skin.

The air was chilly.

Inside her danced life.
A life with a gender awaited and guesses made.


She was strong.

And when her body told her, quietly and quickly, surely and with force, that it was time-she listened. Surrendered.

 

As the sun went down and the trickles ran down the hospital windows.

Through cries of strength and power.

She birthed their child.


A daughter.
Arbor Jane.

 

 

welcome, sweet girl.

you are so very loved.

Birth, In Home

A Home Birth in Pickerington, Ohio | Columbus, Ohio Birth & Photojournalistic Photographer | Milk & Hannah Photo

Theirs was my first experience at a home-birth.

The sun was setting and the house was calm as I walked through the front door.
A pink, tin tea set was sitting on the mantle.
Their wonderful midwife was resting in the recliner, fresh from another birth.

I walked up the stairs past tiny untied shoes and followed the dim light beaming from their bedroom lamp.

She was beautiful.
Laying in her own space next to her beloved.
He had his fingers interlaced with hers and they were riding the waves of labor together on their rust colored sheets.

There was a Facetime-ing iPhone propped on the top of the dresser and oil diffusing into the air.
It smelled so good-so peaceful-so relaxing.

She decided a shower was her next order of business, and so, naturally, he accompanied her. When the shower doors proved too intrusive, he removed them and handed them to me. Putting himself under the stream of warm drops too.

He held her through a few surges-I could tell they were getting intense-and then lathered a sponge and ran it over her every curve. The soap spiraled down the drain as she took a seat in the corner of the shower and worked through another.

She made her way back to her bed, feeling the time was near-- and slowly, she allowed her body to labor. She allowed her body to surge while she laid breathing, warring, goddess-ing.

Sweet darling daughter arrived into the hands of her daddy.

The rest, well?
The rest is happily ever after.