Ask the Midwife- Missoula- Birth

Missoula Homebirth midwifery 
Birth Photographer Missoula Montana

Missoula Midwife- Ashley Hinton-Sharp- of Heart- Strong Midwifery

Once the baby is born she is still getting oxygenated blood from the placenta. The beautiful placenta pulses and continues functioning for 5-15 minutes on average giving time for our sweet baby to take her first breath. Once she does that – lung expansion occurs, fluid is pushed out of the lungs. the ductus arteriosis and foramen ovale shut and blood flows through a path of least resistance much like adult hearts. I call the going from fish to frog. This all occurs quite rapidly, the baby turning from blue to pink usually within a breath or two, sometimes longer. Often extremities can remain blue and it is of no concern. The flushing of blue to pink is magical thing to see. It happens as quickly as a rainbow appears or disappears. I will admit I almost never see the actual act of the chameleon like switch as I’m holding the job down on many fronts in this moment but if you are lucky enough to catch it…it’s quite amazing, a miracle. It is usually the moment where my own heart falls in comfort of reassurance, hope and promise.

Missoula Woman- Family & Birth

Megan found me on Instagram- searching home birth hashtags for Missoula. When we consulted I was blown away by her fierce energy to have the birth experience she felt best for her self and her baby. She was this petite bubbly, messy bunned mama on the screen of my computer bursting with energy and chatter in the most positive light.
She was planning on a home birth. She talked with such conviction, such confidence, self love,┬áreasonable expectations based on thorough birth research- I couldn’t help but be left with a tingling excitement for HER and myself- that I was being invited to witness her birth story.
I get to call Megan my friend. We have had countless birth aware and birth justice conversations over food and coffee dates. We have hiked together, laughed, cried, adventured, created art. I love her little family. I had the honor of photographing her first and now second birth stories. Megan is a lover, a lover of birth and women’s birth rights, lover of hard work, her husband and babies- you can see in her eyes and gorgeous dimpled smile she has a pure joy for life. She is a cup filler. Her children are lucky to have her. Our community is lucky to know her.

Missoula Maternity Photography. Belly. Missoula Mama. Pregnancy

Missoula Birth Photographer. & Maternity

Jessica was one of my very first Maternity clients. I was running a Henna belly- photography event at Missoula’s local – Lotus Project. This building no longer exists but the resource and energy to provide expecting mamas with all local birth recourses does. Classes and events that were provided through the Lotus Project space were free or fairly cheap. Tracy Topp partnered up with me to provide beautiful henna art. Tracy lives in Arlee, MT and her main work is homeschooling her kids and she is the wife and support drummer behind her husband the well known Matthew Marsolek- THE DRUM BROTHERS MISSOULA. ┬áI will need to dig up some of these images just to show you how amazing Tracy is.

Jessica was one of the first mamas through the door and she brought along her husband, Jonathan, as well. They had great energy. I was thrilled to be photographing them. They had no problem being photographed and seemed to easily slip into intimate spacing and emit that energy in front of the camera. To my delight Jessica booked a follow up Maternity session for the next week. They wanted the full session experience. I chose the Historic Missoula Mercantile. This building was currently up for sale, but I was able to contact the realtor and he allowed me access, at my own risk, to use the space for the session. This old building 139 years old, falling apart, hard wood floors, large windows- was breathtaking. Jessica & Jonathan took to the stage and we created some epic images.

Jessica went on to hire me as their birth photographer- twice, their wedding photographer and family portrait photographer.

In August 2017 I am honored to join this couple a third time as they welcome another baby earth side!

I felt Jessica needed a maternity session like no other we had done before. I had a crazy idea to travel and travel early. I wanted to head to water, and warm water so I could ask Jess to hang out, pose and not be tortured. We headed out with a 4:45 a.m. start time, 1.5 hour drive, 1.5 mile hike in and…..gorgeous hot springs. Jessica and I have messaged each other a few times since the session reflecting on how worth it was to get going that early and mostly the drive time we had to mama chat, uninterrupted as we never do. Jessica and her family are tender to my heart. We are friends, birth united us.