“Happy Anniversary to you. What a present this is.”

It was a snowy February morning. Judy and Dennis were off to Madison General Hospital. It was not just another day for this couple; it was their second wedding anniversary and now it would likely be the day they would welcome their baby into the world. Judy and Dennis didn’t anticipate they would be celebrating their anniversary in a labor and delivery suite; Judy wasn’t due for another week. The hours leading up to the birth of their daughter were filled with laughter, nervous chatter and contemplation if they were going to have a boy or a girl. Judy was fairly certain they were going to have a boy and questioned the nurses on why they kept referring to the baby as a ‘him.’ The nurse assured Judy that they did not know the sex and it was how they referred to all babies. Judy and Dennis went back and forth with name suggestions…Derek, Erick, Chris. “Wait, what if it’s a girl,” questioned Dennis. “Well, do you like Elizabeth? I do. Elizabeth Jane; Elizabeth Marie; Elizabeth May…,” Judy trailed off. Judy kept her composure and even managed to look put together and gorgeous hours into her all natural labor. In the midst of their anxious chit chat Judy approached one of the nurses and asked if a nurse would be able or willing to take a picture or two immediately after the baby was born. The nurse obliged and Judy accepted with one condition, “don’t take pictures of anything gross, just the baby.” The time came and Judy was fully dilated and it was time to meet baby. But first things first, Judy and Dennis had to recap their backgammon score. Dennis was winning three to one and he was quite pleased. Off they went to deliver their little bundle of joy. A couple hours later Judy and Dennis were in the recovery room and oogling over their new baby girl. “Are you happy?” Judy asked Dennis. “Oh yes. Isn’t she neat?” Dennis replied as he stared lovingly at his new baby girl, Elizabeth.

This story recounts the day my parents welcomed me into the world. I was born on February 19; my parents anniversary. Admittedly my parents did not want their child to be born on their anniversary, but say now they couldn’t imagine it any other way. This Christmas my parents gave me several home movies that they transferred to DVD. I watched the videos for hours and I was so overwhelmed and overjoyed when I came across the video of the day I was born. It was so surreal to see my parents as they anticipated my arrival. As a birth and documentary photographer it was so special to hear them discuss the details just as I hear the parents of babies I photograph today. Not to mention, to see the connection and special conversations between my parents. Sometimes it is crazy to imagine your parents as people without kids; anticipating your arrival and anxiously chatting about what is to come. It is so important to document our lives so that they can be past down to our loved ones. Not just births, but other important milestones in your life or the little details of every day that turn into the important memories. In the coming year, make it a priority to document the details of your life and do what you can so that the important times in our lives can one day inspire and enlighten those who you love.

A few stills from the video:
Beth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthBeth's BirthTwo photographs I found:Beth's BirthBeth's Birth