I walked through the doors of The Well to meet Jessica for the first time.
She had e-mailed me near the end of her pregnancy and we squeezed in a "hello-nice-to-meet-you" before a "hello-I-will-definitely-see-your-vagina-hopefully-we-like-each-other".
I arrived early, found a table in the corner and slumped into the curves of a modern wooden chair stationed across a twin of itself. I said hello to the owners, and ordered myself a dirty chai smoothie-my very favorite-while I awaited her arrival.
She walked in glowing, Her spirit was so tall, so wonderful.
She'd didn't know they served coffee, and held a near-empty Starbucks still hot and sitting in her palms. (I liked her already.) Having reached her caffeine limit for the day-she grabbed a homemade vegan chocolate peanut butter bar sitting in a basket by the register. And as she finished reading the label, we ventured back to the table to see if we were a good fit.
We so were.
She labored quickly-mightily.
I arrived into her room right in the midst of her epidural- I excused myself to the waiting room while they finished up.
Beside the nursery a small slotted magazine rack was affixed to the wall.
The Boxcar Children squeezed in front of Time and Entertainment magazines.
Her Mama and Daddy were perched on stools under the windows. Her father held in his eyes a weight of something only described as deep-deep love for his little girl
Once back in the room- her labor progressed rapidly, I began taking an account of the space around her. Accounting photographs for all the details lost while focusing on something much greater than the ticking and buzzing around her.
She was complete. She was ready. She grabbed some extra breaths and sent them to her baby.
Her mother spoke encouragement and admiration in Spanish. An intimate gift-only for the two of them- two mother's ears.
And soon enough--
She saw his sweet face- and he hers.
in awe of his beauty...
And as their skin meshed together under the warmth of white sheets...
They fell madly in love.
To my empowered, wonderful, kind, badass Jessica:
You are an incredible Mother.
Thank you for allowing me the honor of photographing the birth of your Elliot.
All my love.