Cherith Hope Photography

West Michigan Birth & Lifestyle Photographer

Now booking Birth Story Sessions for 2018. Limited availability, contact me soon! 

Darcie Rae // Birth

Birth. It’s a magical thing. Fast, slow, so unpredictable. 

For Savanah it was a very overdue labor that spanned across a few days. This was her 5th baby and 4th girl. What a lucky little baby to have so many people to love on her. 

This was the 2nd time Savanah had hired me to photograph her birth. So it was extra sweet for me to be there to capture their family growing yet again. 

On the morning of the 8th, she let me know that her contractions were picking up, and that her Midwife was heading over. So i did the same. I arrived before the Midwife around 5am. The house was quiet, and she was laying on the couch. 

One by one, the Midwife team, and family members entered their home. Savanah got into the pool for a little while, and the lights were turned low. Her contractions were spacing out, and didn’t seem as intense as time went on. 

Her Midwife encouraged the family members to leave. The Midwife team then packed up, and everyone left Savanah and Connor to labor alone around 9am.

I checked in with her during the day and wished her rest, and sent her a picture that i had taken to encourage her and show her how strong her body was. 

That evening i went out to dinner with my husband at a restaurant right around the corner from their home, just in case i was called back. As soon as we got home i received a text from Connor at 9:45pm that baby had been born. 

I headed out the door, and again arrived before anyone else. 

What a sight to see Savanah laying on the bottom bunk in her daughters bedroom, with Connor kneeling beside her. The room felt calm, as if nothing had even happened. 

Darcie Rae came into the world on February 8th at 9:25pm.
 Weighing 8lbs 14oz and 21.5 inches long!

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Flanders Family

Autumn. The colors that burst from the greenery. The way the crispy air begins the transition of turning inward. Extra layers, and scarves and boots... Or if you live in Michigan, its a random 90 degree day at the end of September. 

 

I love that the Flanders totally put up with the hot evening humidity and we made a Fall vibe happen anyways. 

It felt cozy with their patchwork quilt, donuts and cider that looked soooo good, and sitting in the middle of an apple orchard. 

Olivia is also an Osborne book rep. and homeschooling mom to their 2 blue eyed, blondies. So she wanted to incorporate one of her favorite past times: reading to her children. 

Personal : February

February, the month of love, which of course inspired many of these images. The flowers were a gift to me from my man and boys. They each picked out a rose for me. 

It is also the month of my birthday. I had some of my dearest friends over to visit. 
 

We played outside when we could, and enjoyed the rare sunshine. 

Violet Mae // Birth

This Home birth was a special one to me. The attending Midwife for Jodie and Chris, was the same Midwife that was at my own Mothers 5th Homebirth. This Midwife was at the birth of me! How cool is that?! It was wonderful to be there to photograph her as she did her work so skillfully. The birth of Violet was only 3 days after my 29th birthday. And yes, i was secretly hoping that this sweet baby girl would be born ON my birthday. But alas, it was still such a gift to be a part of her birth space as she made her journey into the world. 

Here is her story: 

Jodie contacted me on Sunday evening to let me know that she had been having contractions since that afternoon. She invited me to come when her Midwife was on her way. I arrived around 9pm. She was sitting on the couch and every 5 minutes or so she would take a moment to breath through her contractions. She was hoping to give birth in her bathtub, and so we all headed upstairs. Their two sons slept soundly in their bedroom down the hall. As she labored, Chris danced between getting some last minute preparations done, as well as poping into the bathroom to sit with her.  She labored for about 2 hours and then her Midwife checked her. She was at 4cm. 

She moved to their bed so that they could listen to the heart tones. 

After some discussion, her Midwife thought it would be best if we left so that she could get some good sleep. She anticipated that their baby girl wouldn’t make her entrance until the next day. I could sense Jodie’s dissappointment, as she had been so excited to be meeting her daughter so very soon. As i left, i asked for them to let me know of any changes or progressions and wished them a good nights sleep. 

I arrived home at 11:30pm. 

Another Birth Client contacted me shortly after midnight to let me know that she, too, had been having contractions since that afternoon. At that point, i sent some messages out to a few of my back up photographers. I’ll be honest, it was tricky to get any solid sleep after that. 

At 5:09am Chris texted that it was time and that she was pushing! I was in my car at 5:11am. Baby girl, Violet Mae, was born Monday morning at 5:17am, into her daddies arms! My first image of them was at 5:28. 

Their Midwife arrived about an hour later. As they waited, Jodie seemed so relaxed and peaceful as she sat there in their tub, cradling their daughter in her arms. Chris shared with me how Jodie had progressed during the night and they chuckled about how fast it had all happened at the end. They knew Violet was coming once her bag of waters had broken. Thankfully, he was able to snatch a few photos of the birth with his cell phone. 

They moved into their bedroom to do the newborn exam and snuggled in for some rest just as the sun was coming up. 

Personal : January

A 2017 goal of mine is to blog at the end of every month about my own personal lifestyle images. 
Sounds easy, right? I only have to do it 12 times. Honestly, i am not the biggest fan of taking the time to edit my own pictures. The less time i can spend in front of my computer, the better. I would much rather be behind the camera... taking more pictures... to edit. ha! 
Photography is my outlet, and writing is my outlet. So lets get to it. 

January. 
I think we only saw the sun twice.
We unexpectedly rolled into a nice new rhythm of Homeschool after the holidays ended. 
Our youngest wore her first pony tail, which was pulled out abruptly. I am okay with that. 
Our little homestead continues to grow. We added 5 month old chickens to our flock. We are now totaling 34. 
Due to enduring way too many head colds this winter, i purchased a new humidifier. Which we all have been enjoying thoroughly. 

Okay, now onto my images! 

Personal : Autumn Frames

With a new house, comes a whole new setting for me to photograph my own kiddos. And man, has it been fun. There is a wall in our new living room that i envisioned hanging 3 frames displaying the faces of each of my children. And so, amidst a long, uneventful day, i sprung the idea on my little adventurers, that it would be fun to run outside and take a few fall family photos for the purpose of decoration. They willingly agreed. And i love what became of it. Enjoy!

 

Three Cats. Two Families. One Home.

Shortly after their son was born, Brooke and Dakota moved into the home where she grew up. Her childhood home. She was given the challenge of creating comfort out of nostalgia. And presence out of history. 

They welcomed their friends, Sarah and Jacob, to join them in their new home for a half year stay, until they as well, could find the perfect spot of their own. When that time came to a close, Sarah and Jacob were expecting a wee little one and Athey had certainly grown into his toddlerhood. They wanted to remember the time spent together as two families under one roof, and so i joined them on a beautiful evening as they went about their life. Eating a meal together, playing cards, and enjoying coffee as the sun went down. 

Cooper Noah // A Birth Story

Christine and i go all the way back to those awkward Middle school years. She was sweet and kind, and had a lovely laugh. We attended the same high school, and college group. So i couldn’t have been happier when she contacted me about Birth photography.

When i met with her and Mark for their consultation, it was easy to see their chemistry and it made me so excited to be a part of this journey with them. 

Christine had experienced quite a bit of Prodromal labor the last half of her pregnancy, but she pushed through it and kept working and going about life. She was so good at keeping me updated after each of her OB appointments, especially with the possibility of her going into early labor, which was the case with her first child. 

About a week and a half before Cooper was born she had another false alarm. She called me at 1am and i headed to the hospital. She was checked and was at 3cm, walked the halls for about an hour, and was still at a 3, so they sent her home. I felt so bad for all the pre labor she was having. She amazed me with her resilience. I knew that once Cooper was ready, that it was bound to happen fast. 

On the morning of October 3rd, 16 days before his due date, Christine texted me that she was having more signs of labor, and that her contractions were pretty strong. Her husband, Mark, was going to head home from work, pack his bag, and then they were going to head to the hospital. I brought my children to my moms house, which is about 16 minutes from the hospital she was planning to deliver at. She said that once they arrived she would be monitored,  and then she would let me know when to come, as they would have a better idea of how she was progressing. When they were almost to the hospital she texted me again saying that her contractions were intensifying and that i could head that way. So i did. 

That was at 11:25am and he was born at 11:43am. She barely made it into her room. Cooper was so ready to meet his mom and dad! 

I’ll admit that it was disappointing to not be able to capture his actual birth, but sometimes babies have other plans, and they take everyone by surprise. It adds to the uniqueness and beauty of birth. 

As i walked, i mean, ran, into their room, and saw those bright smiles and heard their laughs, i just felt so thrilled for them to be on the other side of the waiting game. She had done it! It wasn’t exactly how she had envisioned, but that was okay, because he was here and he was healthy. Mark was overwhelmed with how fast it had all happened. I photographed as he just kept looking back and forth in amazement at Cooper and Christine. His eyes were full of wonder for them! 

Cooper was adorable and calm and looked so content to be in his mama’s arms. She breastfed him and he latched on perfectly. She looked radiant, not at all like someone who had just had a baby. 

Thanks again, Christine and Mark, for letting me be a part of this journey with you. 
 

Coming Soon!

Welcome to my Website! I am so glad that you are here. 

This is where i will be sharing my thoughts on all the beautiful families and stories i have had the privilege to capture. I can't wait to share them with you. So be sure to head on over to my Facebook page, and give it a 'LIKE' so that you don't miss out on any future postings. 

In the meantime, check out my Birth section or Gallery for some lovely images, or contact me to set up your own session or Birth Story. I would love to hear from you! 

 

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