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.

the scene

the birth scene in Missoula- in Montana ebbs and flows. the popularity of the most transformative day in a women’s life disappoints me. but when equality between the sexes is still a struggle – women’s birth choices, resources and support and overall reverence is minimal- then how can I count on the niche of Birth photography?

Missoula Birth Photography

those that book, stay booked, INVEST and receive the visceral unparalleled gift of a BIRTH STORY– back into their hands, is a very small percentage compared to the population of expecting mamas. my clients would make a lovely case study.

I wonder if my clients have achieved within themselves and their relationship with their partner and the world- ownership of the concept of VALUE? Do my clients harness worth differently than others? Do my clients hold women and women’s health issues with a sense of utmost importance? Do my clients revere childbirth, life? Do my clients practice self love and self care dropping the binding restrictions of the culture at large? I can be most intuitive about these things but cannot rightfully assume them as facts.

What I do know about my clients. They never regret investing in me. My clients never regret having documentation of their child’s first or last breath. I know that my clients respect my on-call, my sacrifice, my skill, my eye, my heart, and my art.

missoula nicu twins bonding with mother