birth

Born at Home in Downtown Minneapolis | A Preview of Cedar's Birth Story + A Birth Film! by Meredith Westin

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12:00 pm | April 26, 2019

It’s always a treat to attend a birth with my doula partner, Gina, and this one was no exception. Our lovely client had a long, slow labor with her first kiddo. Two and a half years ago, the weather was dreary. After two long days of contractions, her water finally broke as her baby was born. This time around, she woke up at 6:30 am after a good night of sleep to a thump — her water had broken! She texted us right away to let us know what had happened and said she’d keep us posted. After an hour, Gina spoke to her husband on the phone and could tell that things were ramping up. She let me know she’d be joining them soon and told me to get ready. When she arrived, our client was starting to feel like pushing. Fortunately, I was already on my way. By the time I walked into their apartment a few minutes later ready to start documenting with my cameras around my neck, things were in full swing. Water was flowing into the birth pool, their sweet kiddo was contentedly watching a show while his mama labored next to him, and their wonderful midwife was setting up her things. A few beautiful hours later, we got to photograph them as they met their newest little baby.

Welcome to the world, Cedar. We’re so glad you’re here.

Gina and I were so thrilled to provide our Doula Support + Birth Photography package to this family and we were even more excited when they chose to add on a Birth Announcment Film and a Birth Story Film. If you’d like to learn more about our team, visit our service page.

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

Looking for a Minnesota Birth Photographer in Minneapolis or St. Paul?

Visit my Birth Photography page to learn more.

A Joyous Gestational Carrier Birth in St. Paul, Minnesota | A Preview of Nina's Birth + A Birth Announcement Film by Meredith Westin

April 13th, 2019 | 9:57 am

As the leading birth photographer in Minneapolis and St. Paul, I am honored to bear witness to incredible transformations on a weekly basis. I document raw beauty, pure strength, and authentic love. This birth was no exception.

When Helena reached out to me way back in August about having the birth of her sweet Nina photographed, I was thrilled. As April approached, she decided to add videography on to her package and I was so excited to be able to capture even more of her birth story. Helena's baby would be born via a gestational carrier (GC), a wonderful woman who was as excited about having the birth documented as we were. As their guess date approached, little Nina showed a bit of her personality by teasing her GC and her parents with start and stop contractions for over a week. Finally, in the early hours of April 13th, the contractions became too much to deal with at home and we all met up at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Nina's GC has a history of fast labors. When I arrived at the hospital at 4 am, I half-expected to meet sweet Nina within minutes -- and not just because of her GC’s history but also because a few recent babies had been in such a rush to join us that I only got to spend a short while with their mamas before capturing their moment of birth. This time around, things went a bit slower. An epidural... a bit of pitocin... and then they decided to break the GC's bag of waters (called AROM or artificial rupture of membranes). That kicked things into high gear and baby was born just a half an hour later, after only two pushes.

I just adore the sweet looks on her parent's faces as they witnessed her birth. And the moment shared between the amazing gestational carrier and Nina's incredible mama... so touching! I hope you enjoy looking at this sneak peek into Nina's birth as much as I enjoyed capturing it.

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

 
 

Interested in learning more about Meredith’s birth photography services in Minneapolis?

Visit her services page.

Born at Home on Fat Tuesday | Baby Liv's Birth Story in Photos by Meredith Westin

March 5th, 2019 | 12:58 pm

Welcome to the world, sweet girl! We’re so glad you’re here!

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9 am

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INTERESTED IN HAVING YOUR BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHED? TALK TO MEREDITH TODAY.

I'M HAPPY TO CAPTURE YOUR BIRTH AT THE FOLLOWING HOSPITALS: 

Burnsville Ridges, Fairview Southdale Hospital, Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, Maple Grove Hospital, Methodist Hospital, North Memorial Health Hospital, Regina Hospital in Hastings, Regions Hospital, Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, St. Johns Hospital, The Birthplace at University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital (Fairview Riverside), The Mother Baby Center at Abbot Northwestern, The Mother Baby Center at Mercy Hospital, The Mother Baby Center at United, and Woodwinds.

I ALSO LOVE DOCUMENTING AT THESE BIRTH CENTERS: 

Health Foundations Birth Center, Minnesota Birth Center (Minneapolis), Minnesota Birth Center (St. Paul), Roots Community Birth Center, and Willow Birth Center.

IN ADDITION TO HOSPITALS AND BIRTH CENTERS, I ALSO LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING BIRTHS AT HOME (ASSISTED HOMEBIRTH OR UNASSISTED/FREEBIRTH):

Dearborn Midwives, Geneabirth, Mandala Midwifery Care, Modern Midwifery, North Star Midwifery, Peacefully Born Traditional Midwifery, Twin Cities Midwifery, and more!