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  • Hillary Dubie

Hudson's Birth Story

*All images shared with permission*

Midwives - Peggy and Shari of Full Spectrum Midwifery


Last January after I returned from vacation, I was thinking about how I really didn't want to go back to work (this ties in, just stay with me). I had been planning on quitting my job in the Spring to pursue photography full time but I just not sure how I was going to make it 5 more months at a job that was sucking the life out of me. The night before I went back to work, I got an email from Gretchen inquiring about newborn photography. We emailed back and forth and discussed dates and session times and then she suddenly asked if I did birth photography as well. We made plans to meet that weekend for a consultation for her birth story and that was that.


Except, Hudson had other plans for us! I think it was the next night or maybe it was a couple of nights after our first correspondence that Gretchen contacted me saying "I know we haven't met or anything yet but I'm in labor right now." So I grabbed my camera and was on my way into the snowstorm to go document her birth story. Now, if you've had me document your birth then you know that we will meet, at the absolute least, one time beforehand so you're as comfortable as possible with me documenting such an intensely intimate moment in your life. I was a little worried that this would be a challenge for us since I was meeting Gretchen and her family AT THE BIRTH, which wasn't ideal. But as soon as I walked into her birthing space, I could just tell that her warm, calming presence wasn't the least bit worried about it.


Peggy and Shari were so wonderful to watch and it was such a beautiful experience to be working in the same space as them. Nolan was the sweetest doula-in-training for his mom (even though he fell asleep before his brother arrived) and his quiet excitement added such a fun energy to the room. Hudson arrived and I was once again reminded that women are a force. What our bodies do is magic. There is no other way to put it.


I adore home births. They fill up my soul in a way that nothing else does. I'm always so thankful to be allowed in any birth space, but one as sacred as your home is just such an incredible honor. After he arrived I left them to soak in the bliss of their new babe. As I drove home I realized that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Being a fly on the wall to capture moments like this is my purpose. It recharged my batteries more than the vacation I had just returned from. That adrenaline and emotion that can only come from seeing a babe's first breath or seeing a parent hold them for the first time and being there to freeze that moment forever for them. That is what I was after. That's the joy that was missing out of my work day. So, thanks to Hudson, I decided to chase that feeling and I put my notice in at my job the following day. It's hard to believe it's been a little over a year since his birth! But just looking through these photos brought up all those same feelings.