The Birth of Elijah James

Photography has opened a world for me. I have never really been a people person, despite often finding myself in work that is primarily helping people. Perhaps because I am an introvert, I struggle with the art of small talk and tend to speak on deep topics that makes superficial relationships very squirmy (haha).


This is where photography has opened a world for me. It made me realize that I am more of a people person than I thought. Not necessarily in my effect on them, or even my relationships with them, but that there is more to most people than many of us realize. Photographing people is vulnerable, at least, how I like to. It reaches a stratum that you don’t touch in an average relationship. This is what moves me, seeing the depth and individuality that makes people who they are. Appreciating it, memorializing it, giving them something truly meaningful.


I swear, there is a point to this lengthy introduction to a birth story.


This family. Was my first family. My first ever paid clients. Little did I know that these very special clients, would end up becoming very special friends. I have watched them grow. I have been lucky enough to be there for moments someone could only dream of. The determination, the strength, the heart, the drive of this family is something I admire deep in my soul. I am writing this now, very much in hindsight, because while we were close at the time of Elijah’s birth, something happens after witnessing a birth, being part of such a redefining moment.


Many think of pregnancy very clinically. Medically. A condition you have and something to fix. But pregnancy, and especially birth, is so much more than that. It is natural, a progression of life for many of us. Birth is transformative, it puts us in touch with a part of ourselves that we don’t touch very often, our primal selves. I know, I am going to a hippy dippy place that many people will lose interest in, but remember what I said about depth. So, yeah. Many birthing people have stories that aren’t what they thought it would be. They carry birth trauma under a layer of “well at least my baby is healthy”, and while that is of course the most important thing. It is not the only thing.


It is not the only thing.

This is your journey, your moment into parenthood. It can either empower you or disarm you. If you begin your journey as a parent thinking there is something wrong with your body, that the reason you didn’t follow your birth plan was somehow attributed to a problem with your nature. Or one further, if you are simply handled throughout this journey, never educated on the process and what to expect, never empowered in what you are about to do. If our bodies, the mechanics of us don’t “work right”, how can we ever trust our instincts. If we are never allowed to learn and understand the process and understand how our instincts tie in, how can we trust our nature if we were never allowed to look for it in the first place. How can we ever trust our nature if we feel it failed us before. Well, we don’t. And that disarms the very thing we need most when we become a parent.


This woman went on to have a successful VBA2C.

I just want to let that sit on its own. She had two prior c sections. And then went on to have a vaginal birth with Elijah. And now, having written this in hindsight, I will just tell you she did ya one better and went on to have twins. Vaginally. Unmedicated.

Now, I know unmedicated isn’t for everyone and in no way am I saying anyone is less than for having a c section, for getting an epidural, no. No way. Here is what I am saying.

She did it.

She wanted to do it and she did it. And there is no feeling in the world like succeeding at one of the most challenging things we will ever face. Taking those fears, those traumas, those negative thoughts, pushing them aside and tapping into that depth. Bringing out that primal self and allowing it to do its job. Trusting yourself and your instincts.

We still talk about it to this day. This moment, the feeling. The understanding that knowledge is power and your power is within even when your mind is doubting you.



This story is my favorite because it is of a triumph that is hard to put into words. Because the pride I felt coming off of them was palpable. Because I watch them as parents, making tough choices, loving their children deeply and exhibiting strength every day. This story is my favorite because it is as much about healing as it is about everything else I mentioned.



She deserved to feel that connection, that power and that pride. And she did it.

Welcome to the World Elijah James. You did a lot of work for such a little dude.

Thank you.


Best Wishes. Warmest Regards.

Sam of Anastasia Rae Photography & The Wildflower Wedding Collective






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