Every time I start to blog about this precious family, I find myself at a loss for words. If you have read my posts about them in the past, you know that their story is one that I love to tell and one that causes me to experience a full range of emotions. This blog post is no different. I won’t tell Shana and Jason’s story again–you can check previous posts about them for that–so instead, I’m here to tell the story of Otis’s arrival.
When Shana first asked me if I would be willing to be present for Otis’s birth, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I had always admired the work of birth photographers and had been waiting for someone to ask. Luckily for me, that someone was one of my very best friends, which made the experience all the more special. What I wasn’t thinking, at the time, was that the sight of blood makes me a little light-headed. I’ll just stay near Shana’s head, I thought. I won’t see anything, I thought.
I thought wrong. But here’s the cool part of the story. It didn’t matter. When I was in the room with Shana, Jason, and Shana’s mom, Ramona, a herd of elephants could have stampeded down the hallway, and none of us would have noticed. Otis’s birth was one of those moments in my life that I will never, ever forget. I will never forget how incredible Shana was throughout the entire labor and birth. She remained the kind, funny, and strong person I have always known her to be through every contraction and every push. At one point, she even asked how I was doing. Me. The one who was just standing by the wall taking pictures…while SHE was giving birth. I will never forget the sound of Jason’s whispered words of encouragement in Shana’s ear or the look on his face when he saw his son for the first time. And I will never, ever forget the powerful presence I felt in the room the moment that Otis arrived.
In the hours that followed, I stuck close to Otis as he was weighed, bathed, and introduced to many of the people who love him most. In the days that followed, I got to photograph Otis in his home for my first of what I’m sure will be many sessions with him. I have included favorites from both of those sessions below.
Otis, your arrival into this world is a memory many people will cherish forever. You are one loved little boy, my friend.
Otis’s Newborn Session: