Jackson Burdett Thomas (Birth Day)

Over the past three days, I've been asked so many questions and have been approached by so many people with their thoughts on my most recent previews on Facebook.  Chances are, you've seen them too, and they've brought you here.  My common answers have been "Yes, I photographed a live birth", "No, it wasn't scary (for me at least)",  "No, it wasn't gross", and "No, I didn't pass out".  I also couldn't have predicted the emotional impact those images would have on my viewers as they remembered their own birth stories.

Now, to be completely honest, I was scared of all of those things.  And when I saw Julie in pain, I struggled to fight off tears.  I even assumed the traditional crouch pose of photographers at first, with my knees slightly bent to avoid the silent, but rapid light-headedness, followed by a nice session of sucking the hospital floor that I feared (I mean, seriously…who wants to tend to the unrelated photographer who can't keep it together while there's a woman in labor in the room?).  But as soon as Julie said it was "go time", I couldn't think of anything other than how amazing this moment actually was.

That brings me to the stars of this show.  I still can't believe that from when I arrived at 5:00 p.m. to when Jackson made his debut at 6:13 p.m. the amount of peeps that came from Julie could be counted on one hand.  And after less than 30 minutes of formal pushing, Jackson was born.  Now, I'm certainly no expert, but from what I hear of first time birth stories, Julie was an absolute ROCKSTAR!  And who could forget her steady support system, breathing coach, encourager and hand-holder?  James handled the stress and fear of the moment like a champ and never faltered by his wife's side.  Last, but certainly not least, I must mention Jackson.  He arrived exactly when he was good and ready (despite the dancing antics of his mother), and once he was here, was seriously the sweetest newborn I've ever laid eyes on as he quietly looked around and curled into his Mama's chest.

Julie and James- THANK YOU for trusting and allowing me to share in the moments of your lives and for letting me share them with the world.  This was an absolute honor and one of the most incredible moments that I've ever experienced.  And Jackson, welcome to Aaren Lee Photography little buddy, I look forward to having my lens pointed in your direction again soon. :)

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves on this one, friends.