A Story of Gratitude & Redemption – Alyssa’s Birth Story

Birth Story

July 18, 2019


fresh 48 and newborn


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Hi I'm Nicole


Killian’s birth was an emotional one! More emotional than any birth I have had the pleasure of documenting! It all began when I met Bruce, Alyssa, and Vallory during our initial consultation and heard their back story. They were so excited for this baby and to have their story captured for a number of reasons. First, Bruce told me that due to some unfortunate circumstances, he wasn’t at Vallory’s birth and was so excited to be at this one and to be able to support Alyssa. Second, they were excited to have Vallory (age 6) at the birth to witness her sibling being brought into the world. Third, there was some postpartum trauma, which added another level to the emotion of the night!

You can read Alyssa’s birth story in her own words below.

Killian’s Birth Story
7 lbs, 15 oz
Saturday, April 20th 2019 @1:50am

Labor began on a rainy evening on Good Friday. I had gone in to have my membranes swept earlier that day. Afterwards, we went to Discovery Place in Charlotte, and were watching a movie in the IMAX Theatre when I began to have early labor signs and downloaded a contraction app to help me track them. We tried to figure out if we should stay in Charlotte or go home to Indian Trail- we called my midwife and she said to go home and rest. It felt ominous outside to me as we headed home while my contractions got more intense and real. My mind started going more inward to sustain the process and I knew it wouldn’t be long because Vallory came fast! We were home for maybe 2 hours and I knew it was time to go to Baby + Co! Bruce started to get more excited/nervous and we were all nervously laughing because we knew it was going to be a LONG night. Little did we know how long it would be with my postpartum complications!

Both of my births were unmedicated, but my first birth with Vallory was in a hospital setting, so I was excited to be in a beautiful birth center. The different setting really made a big difference in how our delivery felt. My midwife was so supportive and calm. I also loved that we chose to have Vallory there, as her presence was sweet and kept a light energy in the room that I needed. And seeing her expressions as her brother was being born was priceless. What I remember most when I think back to my birth is Bruce being my strength when I felt I had run out. I remember gripping him and feeling at the end of myself, but him being there for me gave me a feeling of joy and hope and excitement for this new chapter together. It really helped me push through (no pun intended)! Killian was born at 1:50am Saturday morning. All I could think about wow beautiful he was! He felt so warm and sweet. I was admittedly anxious and wanted to make sure he was okay, but he looked right at us when he emerged from the water like he was so happy to meet us. <3

After Killian was born, I had a bad hemorrhage due to placenta accreta and required a blood transfusion. That was definitely not in our plan. The trauma was difficult to work through, so I felt worn out all the time, breastfeeding was/is a challenge and painful…basically everything was harder this second time around. But this baby was our redemption child for our marriage. I think it almost makes sense as we have struggled so much to become a family again, that this process wouldn’t be easy either- but just as worth it. It almost took my life and surviving it has left me which such an extra layer of gratitude for my life and my family. I’m so, so happy to be here and experience life with the people I love, as well as be able to care for my new baby, because at one point my mind wondered who would take care of him if I was gone. But he’s here, we are all healthy and happy, and my family is complete!

  1. Stacie says:

    That is such a touching story! I love that your daughter got to be a part of the experience. What a wonderful way to bond over the birth of your new baby and her new sibling.

    • Nicole Bertrand says:

      I loved that they included their daughter as well! Such a special moment for all involved.

  2. Chad says:

    oh wow!!! Reading your post made me so emotional!!! You are so so strong, respect!!! Oh and your pictures, no words!!! You’re such an inspiration.

  3. Mama Maggie's Kitchen says:

    Aww..these photos are so heartwarming. I am so happy to see these little angels. Thanks for sharing her birth story.

  4. kumamonjeng says:

    Wow, very talented photographer and I am sure this is so precious memory. Thank goodness that all are being captured.

  5. I’m so glad his birth went well! You have so many wonderful photos and your baby boy looks absolutely adorable.

  6. Kelly Walton says:

    What wonderful birth photos. Such a beautiful birth story thank you for sharing

  7. Allie says:

    I think i went through these like twenty times, such a beautiful moment! It made me want to have a home birth. Congratulations on your bundle of joy!

  8. Alexandra Cook says:

    Oh wow. These photos are so powerful. I’ve never seen such candid birth shots before. Such a lovely photos.

  9. Courtney says:

    Omg what a story!!!!! It’s crqzy how everyone has such a different experience with child birth!

  10. Anita says:

    There is nothing as beautiful as birth. I wouldn’t mind having another kid. Congrats to the happy family!!

  11. Suzanne says:

    What a beautiful birth story. Congrats to you and your family!

  12. Krista says:

    I just recently blogged about my homebirth experience in July; hope you check it out too! This is absolutely beautiful- your strength is evident and your joy contagious! Congratulations on this beautiful birth story. I love that your daughter was there- I had my son present too!

  13. Romy Schorr says:

    Congrats on the arrival of your baby! The photos are amazing. The wonder of childbirth beautifully captured!

  14. Romy Schorr says:

    Very beautiful moment, caught on camera! This is something I think you will cherish forever. Including your daughter was a perfect idea!

  15. This is such a beautiful post! The fact that your daughter got to be a part of the experience had to be good for her. This is the best way to bond with her and her new sibling.

  16. Sarah says:

    What a beautiful birth story. I’ve always wanted to get a labour photographer and I might just do it with this pregnancy. Your photos are absolutely beautiful and such a great memory to have.

    • Nicole Bertrand says:

      Oh, you absolutely should get one! These aren’t images you will hang on your wall (for the most part!), but they are images you will put in an album and treasure forever. You’ll forever have images that show the very second your family was born. <3

  17. Lyosha says:

    it is such a beautiful story! i am on planning (doing?) stage now so your post is especially important to me. Thank you for being so open

  18. Wren says:

    Such a beautiful story! I love hearing birth stories and these photos are absolutely amazing.

  19. Wow, these are amazing photographs to capture an important moment in your life. Your story and photos will be remember by your children and the hardship you went through. It will all be so worth it in the end

  20. Heather says:

    I wish I had the courage to have had a home birth and to have had it photographed. I would have loved to have those memories.

    • Nicole Bertrand says:

      ME TOO. I honestly didn’t even know that home birth was an option when I had my children. But I love getting to live vicariously through my home birth clients. 🙂

  21. Kara says:

    What amazing pictures and a great memory of your birth. I wish I had been brave enough when I had mine to have pictures taken

  22. Sounds like it was an amazing experience and yet it ended up being tough at the same time. You got some amazing pictures that you will never forget.

    • Nicole Bertrand says:

      Thanks David, it was definitely both. My hope is that the pictures helped her heal a bit, and I think they did just that. 🙂

  23. Laura says:

    So glad the birth went well, and what powerful photos!

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