This photo and conversation are pieces from the Motherhood Illuminated Photography Project, a collaboration of Sarah Reinhart and Shannon Stone Porter.
“She’s actually my rainbow baby. Giving birth to her was very much a healing process. This time I was able to birth natural at home. The first time I did it in the hospital and had to have pitocin and things like that. She ended up in the NICU. It was a much different experience. So this was just healing…and warm…and calm like I wanted it to be. And the support that I had from my husband and from my midwife and the assistant made all the difference. And of course she was a surprise because we didn’t know. I thought she was a boy.”
—What was it like finding out she was a girl?—
“Oh my God! I just…well we forgot to look at first! And then my husband goes ‘Wait! What is it?’ And I go ‘oh yeah’ and I turned her over. And I was like “Ah, it’s a girl!” And I just kept saying that for like five minutes. I kept going ‘It’s a girl. I can’t believe you’re a girl.’ It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing. It was a total shock for me because I was completely prepared for a boy. It was also….I guess a relief in a way too. Because…I was so set on it being a boy. I thought ‘Well maybe I need it to be a boy’ because my first daughter passed at six months from SIDS and I thought maybe I needed more time before I had a girl. But I think this was the right time. It was a beautiful surprise all the way around.”