Hello, Rhiannon Dagmar | Portland Birth Story Photographer

Rhi wasn't anxious to be born. She was comfortable hanging out in the subtle rhythm of her mama's movements and sounds. Maybe it was the pull of the tide or the gentle words from both her parents that guided her into this world; but her entrance was powerful and joyous.

Throughout Talia's pregnancy, she soaked in all the information from books, classes, friends and family, and of course her care providers. Her dedication to being prepared and fueled with knowledge was such a benefit because she understood how little control nature gives women. We make plans and then watch them trampled, not necessarily due to complications, but because we have a vision that was too broad, too grand, and maybe unrealistic.

Birth is fierce. 

A gentle touch, reassuring words, and the allowance of moving through each second with the knowledge that emotions are exactly where they should be. Fear and pain, elation, confusion, understanding and compassion fill the room. Each witness to labor and birth finding their breath and releasing it, to join in the tremendous work of a mother.

Those plans, you know, the ones you lay out carefully, even if they are few on the paper can be swept away when your body tells you otherwise. Talia was so strong throughout the entire labor. I arrived to her in child's position, breathing and sounding her discomfort. I witnessed the  rise and fall of contractions, built upon one another in such rapid succession that she wasn't able to catch a moment to relax. She wasn't in transition, but her body was responding as such.

It's okay to change your plans. 

Her body and soul needed a break. We sat with her as she decided on an epidural and encouraged her to do what she felt her body and baby needed. A space free of judgement. And wow, what a change once the epidural kicked in! A calm and even laughing mom returned; able to continue and feel human.

Over the next few hours, everyone tried to sleep, but rest was the best we could do. I walked the hallways, watching screens, listening to beeps and the movement of staff in and out of rooms where babies were no doubt being born. I returned to the room to see the glow of phones as a distraction for the passing hours.

I watched the rise and fall of contractions on Talia's monitor. A drop in Rhi's heart rate brought the attending nurse into the room, lights back on, adjusting Talia to see if that would help. It was a tense few minutes where wide-eyed looks swept the room; breathing slowed, the air felt heavier, but with the skilled hands of the nursing staff, Rhiannon's swiftly beating heart returned. 

The glorious moment the doctor arrived was at hand. A verbal check in, some laughter, and the excitement of pushing was on the horizon. 

A mother's love...

Being present at birth is beyond measure. The beauty and strength, the ripples of emotion, breathing and holding on bring to head the immensity of this moment. I am so thankful to be trusted to witness and document such an intimate event. 

It has been nearly seven weeks since Rhi's birth. She's grown so much in both body and mind. Her parents are rockstars, even when they don't know what the hell is going on. 

I want all the birth stories! If you have one to share or know of someone who is pregnant and wanting their story told, send them over. What a thrill to look back and see your own birth through another's eyes.

With gratitude to all, 


Welcoming Baby Levi | Fresh 48 Portland Documentary Photographer

I like babies. They are tiny, wrinkly, and the color of a dragonfruit when they cry. Parents snuggle up with their freshness, examining the subtleness of their facial expressions and I stand in awe of the emotion that sweeps the room, like a gust of wind through an open window.

Bringing a new life into the world is a big deal. Family and friends are not so patiently waiting for the invitation to come meet your new wonder. Hopefully, they are bringing helping hands, a quiet spirit, and some good food! 

The first hours after birth, whether in the hospital, a birthing center, or at home are momentous.

Big brother, Owen, got to meet his little bro for the first time. He was full of caution as he approached the bed. He carefully climbed up and snuggled in with mom while reaching ever so gently to touch his brother's face. This moment right good. 

A handmade poster just for Owen's brother! During the pregnancy, baby was lovingly referred to as "Tookie". 

The excitement of meeting his brother was overshadowed by the package of fruit gummies he received as a gift. Food>Brother.

Making memories in the first 24-28 hours after birth is so important. I can barely remember anything that happened after my kids' births and am so thankful for the photos I have. Endorphins, hormones, emotions, exhaustion, and more all wash over you as a new parent. It's beautiful, wondrous, and completely overwhelming! 

Documenting these fleeting hours is a gift: give yourself or someone you know these memories. Get in touch!

Welcoming Baby Fox | Portland Family Storytelling Photographer

Welcoming Baby Fox | Portland Family Storytelling Photographer

I woke early, driving in the dark as the moon was still setting, marveling at how beautiful the pre-dawn sky could look. It was enormous and made me think about how the family of five I was about to photograph was also having their own hugely momentous days.

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