Born En Caul: A Hypnobabies Birth in Shakopee, Minnesota | A Preview of Maya's Birth Story in Photographs / by Meredith Westin

March 11th, 2019 | 6:43 pm

I first met this fantastic couple at the Twin Cities Birth and Baby Expo way back at the beginning of November. We ended up in line together for lunch and got to chatting. Fast forward a few months and I got to witness them working together to meet their sweet baby. Dad was so incredibly supportive, mama was focused and relaxed, and seeing their emotional reactions as their baby was lifted into their arms brought me to tears.

One of the questions they asked me in our interview was: how long will it take you to drive to our birthplace? The longest it has ever taken me to get to a birth is 43 minutes. I live 15 to 20 minutes from most of the birth centers and hospitals in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and, because I don't have kids of my own and am almost always on call, it rarely takes me more than a few minutes to get out the door. In fact, I have beaten doulas, family members, and even partners to births! Their birthplace, St. Francis, is a little bit farther away from my home than most of the other hospitals in the Twin Cities but it still takes only about a half an hour to get from my driveway to a clients' bedside in Shakopee. Because birth is so unpredictable, knowing that members of your birth team can get to you quickly if needed can take some of the stress that goes along with anticipating your labor and delivery out of the equation. Frequently, clients also want to know how many births I’ve attended as a birth photographer (nearly 100), if I’ll be sharing photographs from their birth online (only if I have their permission), and how long I stay after baby’s birth (up to two hours to capture all those sweet first moments).

One of the most common questions I get from friends and acquaintances is: "What's it like being on call all the time?" — and that question is usually followed up by: "Do you ever go out?!" and "Can you drink?"! I love being on call. The anticipation of getting to photograph a birth for one of my clients is incredible. My personality and lifestyle make being on call relatively simple. My spare camera batteries are always charged, fresh memory cards are always in my cameras, my camera bag/snack bag/overnight bag are always packed and ready to go next to the door, and I make sure my car always has fuel in it. I do go out - but I bring my gear with me and am always prepared to dash at a moment's notice. As for drinking, I don't. I never did drink much and becoming a doula and birth worker made the desire to drink all but disappear. Do you have any questions about what it’s like for me to work as a birth photographer in Minneapolis and St. Paul? I’d love to continue the conversation!

If you're looking for a birth or postpartum photographer in the Twin Cities, don't hesitate to reach out. xo

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