Birth Story : Elia | A Surrogacy Journey | Gainesville Birth Photographer
“He’s finally all yours!” exclaimed the sweet midwife, Cindy, from the CWH Birth Center in Gainesville, Florida when Elia’s cord was cut from his surrogate mother, Courtney. New parents, Amy and Lukasz, were thrilled to meet their long-awaited-for baby boy.
After several pregnancies and losses, Amy and Lukasz sought out a surrogate mother to bring their dreams of becoming parents to reality. All the way from London in the UK, they were connected with Courtney, a surrogate mother from Dunnellon, Florida who would be on her third surrogacy journey. I’ve heard from both Amy and Courtney that they had such an instant and strong connection and knew it would be just the right fit from the start. Their sweet relationship was very evident while I was photographing their birth story.
Most of Courtney’s previous labors had been fairly quick and since this was her 5th pregnancy, the midwives, and I all told her that if she feels a twinge of labor starting that she would need to let us know and head to the birth center! We both had about an hour drive, so I was on pins and needles for a while leading up to Elia’s birth day! Amy and Lukasz arrived in Florida on July 10th, anticipating a delivery around 38 weeks, as has been Courtney’s pattern.
Right on schedule, during the full moon the night before Courtney would be at 38 weeks, her labor started. While all but one of her prior labors were fast, we expected this one to be quick, too, but it didn’t quite happen that way! Births are always so unpredictable! Supported by her husband, Marc, midwife, Cindy, birth assistant, Jessica, along with Amy and Lukasz, Courtney labored intensely and she was so strong!
She felt that Elia possibly had his arm by his head which was slowing down the progression. She labored the entire night in the shower, the tub, and then tried some different positions on the bed. This is just what Elia needed, and shortly after dawn broke the following morning, he made his appearance. Amy’s baby boy was birthed straight into her hands and it was so beautiful!
Since the placenta hadn’t been delivered and the umbilical cord was still attached, there was a bit of maneuvering that had to take place as Amy held her sweet little one so that she could lay side-by-side with Courtney. Lukasz was in awe and you could just see that his heart had been overwhelmed with an incredible love for his son.
The moments that followed were ones for the books! Amy went through the process to produce milk for her baby boy and it had just come in the day before, so she was able to breastfeed her son from the start. Loved seeing the bond between them grow!
This was the first surrogacy story I’ve photographed and it was so tender and sweet. The connections between everyone involved were really something extraordinary. I’m still amazed at this wonderful gift of life that Courtney gave to Amy and Lukasz.
See this beautiful birth story below!
***Note - Contains Some Graphic Content***
As always, shared with permission.