January 18, 2018

Gaskins Birth Story | My Most Emotional Experience of 2017

I feel like I should preface this post with, “I am not a birth photographer. I am a storyteller.” This special day, I just happened to be continuing to tell the story of my dear friends, Daniel and Josie. This sweet little family has graced my blog a couple of times this year. Here where they had an announcement | gender reveal shoot and here where they had a maternity session. So, it only seems fitting to share their happy ending with you guys!

I knew when Daniel and Josie began working on growing their family that I would get to be a part of it…I didn’t know how much or how little, but just that I would be there. I’m pretty sure if I remember correctly, this is how it went. Josie sent me a picture via text of her sonogram and told me we needed to do baby announcement photos! In a matter of seconds, I was on the phone with her yelling and crying, you know, because that’s just what we do when we’re excited! So, when she asked me to come to one of her appointments [which we ended up finding out the sex of the baby and I had to harbor the secret for a few days], she said, “they [staff] needed to get used to me being in the room, because, I was going to be in there during the delivery, oh by the way, this is me asking you to be in there.” I mean, seriously, are you even allowed to tell pregnant ladies “no” on anything?! She knew she wanted me in the room to capture what we were sure was going to be one of the most beautiful experiences of her life. Or it could’ve just been that she wanted to test me and keep comic relief alive in the birthing room. We talked for months and were close to placing bets on who would freak out most, Daniel or me. It was really the best banter talking about different scenarios that could happen between the two of us. I’ve never witnessed or physically birthed a child, so I was a little hesitant scared on what to expect.

By the time December finally decided to roll around, I was on edge. Every night. She wasn’t due to deliver until the very beginning of January, but who knows if you’ll deliver early, late or on time. When does it happen? Who knows?! Most nights, I would wake up a couple of times, check my phone to make sure there were no missed calls or texts. Because I was convinced it would happen in the middle of the night, and I wouldn’t hear either mine or Jonny’s phones continuously ringing. Oh, and don’t forget the fact that I had two weddings at the end of the month! Talk about no pressure on both sides. Like, “Oh hey, Josie, Imma need you to keep that baby in you the next six hours while I see this sweet couple exchange vows.” Haha! Thankfully, all happened perfectly and she delivered right between the two Saturday weddings!

She called the night she went into the hospital and said not to come that night, but would call in the morning. First thing in the morning, she text saying it would be later morning, then another text followed up to say come at 10:00 and then finally, at 9:30, that I may want to go ahead and come now. My bag was already packed and I ran out the door telling her to keep him in and sped [a lot] through town. Thankfully, I did not get pulled over though my heart was steadily pounding! The day was here, the moment I was looking forward to and fearing all at the same time. Side note: as I got to the hospital I totally felt like a spy or something because at this point, I was the. only. one. who knew this girl was in labor. To even get into her room, I had to say a special passcode. I even observed my surroundings as I lifted the handset to speak to the nurse to be let in. I was there for about an hour and a half before it was “time!” The nurses calmly prepared her and the room for the next step. This was it. Time for Josie to start pushing. I can’t tell you at this point who was more nervous, Daniel or me. Josie doesn’t count here. We were both beside her the whole time as she pushed. Daniel would touch her head, tell her how good she was doing and how he was almost here. It was really the most precious thing! Reliving this day and going through the images still chokes me up! I will tell you, once everything started happening, I was excited and I did not freak out once. Once, Baby G made his appearance, it was nothing but tears. From mom, dad and of course me. I definitely could not keep myself together. But, would you expect anything less?

This was by far the most emotional and beautiful time behind my lens this year! I am so thankful and blessed to have been able to witness this joyful miracle!! Daniel and Josie, thank you for inviting [compelling] me to experience this intimate and special moment with you! I’m not crying, you’re crying!!






  1. Josie Gaskins

    January 18th, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Friend we can’t even find the words to express how great full our hearts are for you! You captured a moment in our life that we could never tell better than your pictures do. You have given us a gift that is timeless, priceless, & absolutely amazing! I know you say your not a birth story teller, but I must say I think you are! You are amazing & we love you!

  2. Lynnette Ebelink

    January 18th, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Beautifully told and captured Holly. You truly are talented and I enjoy reading all of your blogs. Congratulations Josie! He’s a handsome fella ????

  3. Tennille

    January 18th, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Holly for you not the be a “birthing photographer” these are so great!! Heck I cried And I dont Even know these people!! As usual You did an amazing job!!!

    Tennille C

  4. Ericka McGee

    January 18th, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Wow Holly you are truly gifted at what you do! This brings back a whole flood of memories the day my little man was born. ❤️ I don’t know you Josie but I am so happy for you! Being a mom is so rewarding! Congratulations to you and your handsome little man! Holly, you nailed this! Definitely boohoo crying!

  5. Haley

    January 18th, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    These are incredible!

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