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October 3, 2017

Eleanor Grace’s Arrival | Baby and Company, Charlotte

Birth Center Water Birth

baby and company birth

I don’t know that I can fully explain the honor of capturing the moment a new life comes into this world here on my blog. Even in person, the words just seem to escape me and I end up feeling like I haven’t done it justice. It’s indescribably beautiful, it’s humbling, it’s truly, TRULY an honor. Each and every family and birth that I get to be a part of will forever be in my heart.

Eleanor Grace’s birth story starts with making plans for backups as I was planning to be at the beach for the week leading up to Lauren’s due date. I had a backup in place but was also ready to hop in the car at a moment’s notice if needed. My dear friend, Chelsea of La Bella Birth & Baby, was Lauren & James’ doula so I kept in touch with her for updates on labor progress. While I thoroughly enjoyed my week at the beach, I was also anxious and ready to meet sweet Eleanor and make sure I got to the birth in time!

Early Labor

The morning of July 1st, I heard from Chelsea that Lauren & James were heading into the birth center and she was planning to meet them there. When she arrived, she told me that it may be best for me to head that way. So I jumped in the car and started the 3 hour journey from the coast of NC to Charlotte. I’m so glad I left when I did because I was only there for a couple of hours before Eleanor made her arrival!

I made it to Baby and Company in Charlotte around noon and quickly found James and Chelsea in one of the birthing suites, working together to keep Lauren comfortable as she worked through active labor. She was only 2cm when she arrived, but it was obvious that progress was being made quickly!

Active Labor

I love how “hands-off” Lauren’s midwife was. She was left to labor how she needed and let her body do the work. One thing that I’ll never forget was when her midwife looked into her eyes and said “thank you for what you’re doing for your family right now.” It was so simple and so powerful. I can imagine that it was an amazing thing to hear while working through contractions.

Transition & Pushing

Lauren moved back and forth from the tub to the shower as needed throughout her labor. She began to say things like “I don’t think I can do this.” Chelsea and I shared a quick, happy glance as we both knew this was a great sign that things were progressing and baby would be here soon!

baby and company birthbaby and company birthbaby and company birthbaby and company birth

Back in the tub, Lauren started to feel the urge to push. She asked her midwife if it was alright to start pushing. Her midwife answered, “If you can feel your baby moving down when you push, I’m okay with you pushing. Just listen to your body and your baby.” AMAZING!! Complete support and trust – not something you see often in the birth world but I’m so grateful to have witnessed it during this birth!

Lauren Jolly Photographylabor in waterwater birthbaby and company birth, midwifedad catching baby, water birthwater birth, baby and cowater birth, baby and company

Eleanor’s Arrival

At 1:54PM, after less than 15 minutes of pushing, baby Eleanor was born! James caught her and handed her to Lauren – it was sweet and beautiful and natural. Everyone was smiling and crying and so happy that she was here!

Eleanor Grace Smith | 1:54PM on 7/1/17 | 7 lbs. 3 oz. | 19 inches long

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Lauren and James spent the next couple hours getting to know sweet Eleanor. They celebrated her arrival with champagne, and rested up before heading home. I’m just so happy for this new family and for the beautiful care they received at Baby and Company. I’m so honored to have been a part of this amazing day! Be on the lookout for their newborn session on the blog next week!

To see more birth stories, click HERE. To inquire about having me document your baby’s arrival, click HERE. I have limited birth session spots available before my baby arrives in March, 2018. Please inquire as soon as possible!

  1. This is SO beautiful!! What emotional, amazing memories they will have every time they look at these.

  2. […] special. Lauren and James welcomed me into their lives to photograph their maternity session, Eleanor’s arrival, and their newborn session. I don’t have words for how honored I was! The icing on the cake […]

  3. […] had the honor of photographing so many seasons for them! First, I got to document the pregnancy, birth, and newborn session of their daughter, Eleanor. Then, I got to photograph their second pregnancy […]

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