Birthing Sion

Last weekend I had the honor of being called to shoot another birth– this one was long and very intense, I arrived on Saturday around 4pm, and poor Becky had been laboring (and not getting much sleep at all) for almost a day and a half already. She was already almost 2 weeks past her due date, so I had been very anxious to get this call! When I arrived she was sleeping, and got into the birthing pool shortly after. Her doula had been there since 9am Saturday, and they called in the midwife at around 10pm. We stayed up all night as contractions became more intense, taking turns napping when necessary, and Becky continued in hard labor all of Sunday, trying for most of the day to resist the urge to push as she wasn’t yet dilated far enough. Finally around 5pm or so on Sunday it became clear that the baby was stuck at a certain spot and not making any progress… Kristen, the midwife, did everything she could to help open the cervix wide enough for Becky to push, but it became clear that nothing was going to work… so after almost 60 hours of labor Becky and Jon went to St. Vincents’ Hospital, where her beautiful (and healthy!) baby Sion was delivered by Caesarian at around 10pm. I was so impressed with how hard she worked to give birth at home, it was incredible to witness her determination and the tenderness and support of her partner, Jon. Congratulations, Becky and Jon!!!












After the doula has timed contractions to be certain duration and intervals Jon phones the midwife to see if it’s time for her to come over.



Kristen, the midwife, arrives ready for action…



Finally Becky gets a much needed break from the heavy contractions and is able to rest a little while.






Their sweet kitty came in and out to watch what was going on from the other side of the room…


On Sunday morning an acupuncturist was called over to try and ease Becky’s pain and increase her energy. It seemed to work…


After trying to manually push the cervix over the baby’s head and allow him to come down, it was decided that the baby was stuck… and further progress would probably not be had (for many more hours or days or possibly ever) without intervention.  They deliberated, cried, got dressed and packed bag for St. Vincent’s still hoping to maybe have a vaginal birth with assistance there. Once there, however, it became clear a C-section was necessary. Though I couldn’t be present for this part of the journey, I visited Becky and her new baby Sion in the hospital the next morning, it was great to see her smiling and happily holding her baby boy. She is going to be an amazing mother! Congratulations, Becky and Jon!




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Becky - March 28, 2009 - 2:32 am

Beautiful Sarah!

Ari Nave (Gifted At Brith, Inc) - March 28, 2009 - 12:05 pm

These are powerful pictures of Becky’s labor and capture her extraordinary journey. Just stunning! Sion is just beautiful!

Christy Burkart - March 28, 2009 - 2:31 pm

Your birthing photos are so incredible! I feel like crying – in a good way!

applejuice - March 29, 2009 - 3:56 am

You are beautiful.

Well begun is half done. Good job…you now have 18 years to go!!

Joanna - April 3, 2009 - 1:25 am

Your photos are incredible!!

Betsy Munnell - April 29, 2009 - 10:24 pm

Sarah–I’m an old friend of your parents–and have some pretty sweet photos of your father from when he was about 20. These are such skillful, generous photographs. I have too many favorites–there is an extraordinary one of Becky with her baby that features that blazing red hair in an especially perfect way–the photos during labor are so powerful. You are awfully talented sarah.

sarahtew - May 18, 2009 - 6:31 pm

Thanks, Betsy! How nice to hear from you… I remember meeting you (and your kids?) at your 25th harvard reunion. Thanks for taking the time to look at my work. All the best,

desiree scorcia - May 27, 2009 - 3:15 am

sarah tew! i chanced on this from what beautiful pictures! and how cool that you have a studio in LIC–we (my husband and i and the 2 kids, i wish i’d known you did maternity photos a year ago!!) are actually living in astoria right now but moving back up to boothbay this summer.

keep up the good work!

santosha - June 22, 2009 - 10:54 pm

I’m stumbled on your link, honesty expecting nothing impressive- and WOW! this was an amazingly beautiful series. I’m incredibly impressed!

Tina Rudolf - February 10, 2016 - 9:44 am

Hi! I am pregnant and doing a home birth…due Feb 24th…any day/ week now. Was wondering if you had availability to do a home birth and what your process and rates are! Let me know




sarahtew - April 14, 2016 - 5:58 pm

Hi Tina, your comment got stuck in my blog’s filter somehow and I only just saw it! Sorry to have missed you but congratulations are probably in order for your baby 🙂 Hope it went well!

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