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Maxtin Andrew | A speedy birth | Birth-Photography in Alamogordo, New Mexico by Karina Schuh Photography

Mastin's birthWhen we first met to talk about documenting her next birth, Tabitha told me that she would have a fast birth as her four children were born the same way. She was prepared to deliver at the hospital but knew that it would be a challenge to make it there on time. Her luggage was packed, and there were more bags for all of her three children. They would have to go to the hospital, too. I knew, Tabitha as a doula would have loved to deliver at home which would have been more comfortable for the whole family but she was not able to find a midwife to control the delivery.

I met Liz from Otero Birth (Please check out her website and Facebook) on May 19th, Tabitha’s due date, at the Plateau Espresso in Alamogordo. Liz Derry is an experienced midwife and just moved to Alamogordo a week before. We talked about deliveries and her work, I shared my experience as a birth photographer with her before I told her about Tabitha and her family. Liz was open and offered her service as a midwife. So, Tabitha and Liz got in touch. There was no time left to make big plans.

On May 24th, at 7.15 a.m., Tabitha called me and said that she had been having contractions off and on since midnight already and she said that the baby would be delivered probably during the next two hours. That was my signal. I sent my son to school and went on base, HAFB, to Tabitha’s house. I took the first photo there at 7.49 a.m.

Tabitha got strong contractions, Liz who also arrived a few minutes earlier than me, helped her massaging the contractions away. Everything was installed for a homebirth. The bathtub was filling with warm water.

The kids just got up and were already excited to watch TV and play with their tablets.

Liz checked on Tabitha, temperature, contractions, etc. She worked very quiet and professionally.

Next contractions arrived and Tabitha told us she wanted to sit on the toilet. That was the sign for Liz that the baby wanted to arrive. Quickly, Liz got her huge bag and took out everything she needed for a sudden delivery. All of us helped getting everything in place.

When I arrived at this tiny little bathroom, Tabitha was not able to get up by herself from the toilet. Her husband had to move her to the floor. There was no time. On all fours, she pushed a few times, and baby Maxtin arrived in this world. I only then realized that all of us were squeezed into a tiny bathroom, Liz and I were in the doorway, the corridor was very tight, too. Tabitha’s husband was sitting on the toilet seat to help his wife during the delivery. And sometimes the other children squeezed in behind us asking questions, only kids would ask.

Liz managed to get the newborn towards the front of the mom and the dad. These were the happiest moments for everybody of us before Tabitha took Maxtin into her arms.

Boom, at 8.06 a.m., May 24th, Maxtin Andrew Ryan, 8.3 lbs and 21.5 inches long was delivered very quickly.

All of us including mom were super surprised about this speedy birth.

The bathtub that was supposed to be used for the delivery was not yet filled up with water, even after delivery. The children came to see their mom and the baby and could not believe that they got a new little brother that fast. The family came together to touch and cuddle on little Maxtin. Liz did her last exams on mom and the baby and then we left this happy family of now six by themselves, getting to know little Maxtin.

Once again I want to thank you Family Ryan for choosing me as your birth photographer, I am honored to create these beautiful memories and being part of this amazing birth story.

I also thank Liz for the wonderful work together. She gave me the right signs to capture the most important images during the birth.

My passion is not only photography, my passion in photography even grows every time I attend a birth and create these families’ birth stories.

Mom has written her own detailed birth story that I want to share here with you. Please check it out. There are amazing photographs and very detailed information: http://theryans-keepingtabs.blogspot.com/2016/06/in-womb-from-beginning-to-end.html?spref=fb

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBnetrnx2w4

Wish of A Lifetime – Documentary Photography of a Family visiting the Trinity Site, New Mexico and remembering husband, dad and uncle Sam Levy –

The organization ‚Wish of A Lifetime‘, contacted me a few weeks ago to ask me if I would be able to create a family’s memories visiting the Trinity Site in New Mexico. The Trinity Site is the place where the first atomic bomb was tested on July 16, 1945. Jo Byrnes (90 years old) last wish was to visit the site where her former husband and dad of her daughters, Sam Levy, was with 17 years the youngest volunteer assigned to the crew that attended the explosion of the first Atomic Bomb in New Mexico.  „He was one of the 500 soldiers who camped of the perimeter of the Trinity Site and were ordered to rise and stand attention when the bomb was being prepared for detonation. Their campsite was about 9 miles out from Ground Zero, the epicenter of the explosion of the bomb. Sam Levy and the entire crew were prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice as they carried out their orders. The atomic age was born, Eureka. All men on this maneuver did survive the explosion physically.“ (letter from Jo Byrnes to Wish of a Lifetime). Later, they found out that Sam Levy like many others from the crew suffered post traumatic stress disorder and many of these men died sooner than their life expectancy.
Sam Levy, Jr. gained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts at University of Denver. He was only 59 years old when he died in August 1984.
Now, almost 71 years after the Manhattan Project, Sam Levy’s wife, Jo and their daughters, Susan and Lori as well as their nice, came to the Trinity Site to understand their family background that was alway a part of their lives. Wish of A Lifetime made it possible. And I was privileged to create these memories for their family.
On April 02, 2016, many people visited the site. At 1 pm we met Jo, her daughters and her nice at ‚Ground Zero‘. When we arrived at the monument, Joe and Susan were standing in front of a photograph showing the group of volunteers including Joe’s husband. They could not believe that they found a picture that was showing him at his young age of 17 years. I and Greg Easthouse, who did the videography, stayed with the family and found out many, many more interesting things about the Manhattan Project and their family. Suddenly, we were part of the story. At the McDonald Ranch, we found another image showing the group of volunteers including Sam. Everybody was overwhelmed by this dramatic story.
Thank you ‚Wish of A Lifetime‘ for including me in this amazing project. And thank you to Jo and her family who welcomed us like family members. We will never forget this day.
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Lillian Loraine – A Home Birth in Alamogordo, NM – by Karina Schuh Photography

I got to know Tabitha about a month before her due date. Little Lillian Loraine was expected on March 19th. Her three brothers were very excited that they will get a little baby sister now. Unfortunately, Steven, Tabitha’s husband, has to serve abroad and will not be back with his family until June 2016. But look at the images, he was with them over the iPad during the whole time. Only sometimes, we forgot to move the iPad and he did not see his little princess.
Therefore, the decision to hire a birth photographer was even more important. The plan was to stay with her mom, a nurse at the delivery station at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, during labor and then deliver at the hospital.

On March 21st, at 2 a.m. I received a phone call from Tabitha to join them in two hours at her parents home. So, I set my alarm and tried to sleep a little without success. At about 3 a.m. I received another phone call from her dad telling me that the baby has already arrived. Little Lillian was born at 2.52 a.m. on March 21st. When I arrived at her parents house a few minutes later, the kids were already up and watching their little baby sister. Tabitha was sitting in the bath tub holding her fresh baby in her arms, overwhelmed by such a fast delivery. I did not want to miss it at all but they told me that everything went so fast that even her mom almost miss the birth of little Lilian because she went to get water for her daughter.

In the meantime, Tabitha’s sister with her two girls arrived. Everybody was super happy and helpful and just enjoyed the new family member. Check out their images. I think this birth story is amazing. Every woman wishes to deliver fast without pain.

Tabitha and her baby felt very well from the beginning. At 7 a.m. in the morning we went to the hospital to get the check ups for Tabitha and the little princess.

Thank you Tabitha and family that I was chosen as your birth photographer. I am very honored for being part of your birth story. Your family is amazing and I really felt like home!

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The different faces of a little girl – documentary photography of a little girl playing – Portrait Photography in New Mexico

During a family session with visitors from Germany, this little girl just needed to play and have fun all by herself.

As little kids are very impatient during a photo session, what is absolutely normal, I always do the posed family pictures right at the beginning and go over to a documentary photography style while the kids are playing and having fun. I am patient and try to motivate them.

Look by yourself at little Amy’s different gestures and faces ;-).  I absolutely loved creating these memories that they will never forget.

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