A study in life and death and derma


This was my first experience where I was witness to the mighty tone of a midwife. I have heard some intense instructions before but this was a few page turns of a thick board book in comparison to just a verse.
Birth seconds feel like stretched out minutes and when baby is not in optimal flow..this time passing feels like a pause while holding your breathe while having a galaxy of aliveness and death dance and rush through your veins. The room is primal, thick, humid
911 was summoned.
Commands were given.


Movements in the room are curated, more precise at the same time spontaneous because this is birth.
A flash of fight flight or freeze lights up in my peripheral, a mental rolodex with client intake forms spins,
“In case of an emergency would you like me to keep documenting, stop or trust my judgment.? “
For 8ish years I have been told to trust my judgment. That is a huge risk to take on.
I keep shooting. Rapid fire shots followed by longer than usual pauses to reassess- where do I need to be to do my job but be out of the way of the medical birth team? Is my perceived importance actually valid? Is this next shot crucial to the story?
Just like a balloon releasing, but in the opposite direction- all the air gets let back into the room as baby takes his breaths.
911 walks into a managed and thriving space, they are called off.
Mother has already, seamlessly begun to nurture….
.
The story settles deep into our derma.
.
As the world around brushes at it like dust.
.
But we know.
Birth keepers.
#missoulamaternity #missoulabirthdoula #missoulabirthphotographer #buttebirthphotographer #whitefishbirthphotographer #bozemanbirthphotographer

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, reasonable 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.