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24 hours = Sunday’s Child

I first met Jen and Carlos in 2005 when they booked me for their 2006 wedding on the island of St. Thomas.  Now, almost nine years later they have reached yet another pivotal moment in their life…a baby.  I was thrilled when they contacted me and asked me to not only photograph the preggo and newborn session but also document the birth.  Jen was in labor for 24 hours.  That’s right…TWENTY-FOUR hours!  But she was a trooper…and she was strong…and she had a devoted husband who stood by her side giving her his 100% attention.

I arrived around 4am to a dark room.  The doula greeted me and gave me a quick run down of what was happening.  Jen was having contractions and had been in labor since morning before.  She was worn-out and attempting to sleep between each contraction.  Across the room, I could see their bodies silhouetted against the screen monitors.  Carlos was comforting Jen, whispering something in her ear and caressing her hand.  A contraction came and went.  Exhausted, they both slumped over and rested for a few moments before the onset of yet another wave of labor pains.

I have photographed many births over the years and each one has a different energy.  Mostly it’s excitement with relatives and loved ones milling about offering support and nervous giggles to bring a smile to the soon-to-be mother’s face.  But this one was different…the energy in this room was calmness, sureness, and pure, simple love.  It was just Jen and Carlos in their little world.  I could tell that is was not something new.  This was a couple who throughly enjoy just being with each other.  And the trust…the trust she has in him…

As darkness turned into dawn, the city lights faded and the sky awoke, making its way from a starry black to deep blue to magenta…a new day…Sunday.  And the city below came to life with its shapes and sounds as the sun rose a little higher in the sky.    It was as if this was the perfect moment of beauty that she had been waiting for.  As if on cue, when everything was as it should be, she made her entrance into the world.

I predict her to be an artist.

I, too, was born on a Sunday.  My mother always recited this poem to me when I was a child…it made me feel special.

Monday’s child is fair in face
Tuesday’s child is full of grace
Wednesday’s child is full of woe
Thursday’s child has far to go
Friday’s child is loving and giving
Saturday’s child works hard for his living.
But the child that’s born on the Sabbath Day
is loving and giving, good and gay!