They met when she walked into a Los Angeles area Harley Davidson store. He was smitten and she kept finding reasons to go back. Soon they were riding motorcycles together up and down the coast of California and beyond. With a love story beginning like that it is easy anticipate all the adventures these two will share. Yet, their biggest adventure just may come in the form of the birth of their 8 lb. bundle of boy.

I instantly fell in love with Jacob and Brittany when we met over dinner at Downtown Disney for their birth session pre-consultation. Their adoration for one another was almost palpable. They both spoke with such excitement about their life together and their anticipation of becoming parents. Brittany shared that pictures of Jacob’s reaction to meeting his son were on the top of her list. She was so eager to see him hold their baby and to create a family with him. Jacob was equally excited to watch Brittany embrace motherhood and shared his confidence in her ability to deliver their child and be an amazing mother. I knew leaving our dinner that their birth story would be a precious one and one I couldn’t wait to document.

A few days before Christmas I got the call that Brittany was in labor. I headed over to Beach Cities Midwifery Center in Long Beach and walked into a room full of love and support. She was surrounded by her midwife, doula and husband, all of whom were encouraging her as she labored in the water. Through hip squeezes, wet wash rags, ice chips and encouragement they walked the path of bringing baby boy into the world with her. She labored like a warrior, full of grace, strength, power and concern for everyone in the room.

Jacob was never far from her side and the connection they shared was tender and touching as he held her hand, wiped her face and tied up her hair. He walked right along side her as she worked tirelessly to bring her baby earth side.

Likewise her amazing team of birth workers surrounded her with support and encouragement. Her doula was the master of the hip squeeze and there to provide relief with every contraction. Her midwife and assistant checked progress, encouraged her to listen to her body and helped usher her baby in with immense joy.

As a birth photographer my favorite moments to document are right after baby’s arrival. The hardest work is done, victory is well earned, and new little life is now in the arms of those that have anticipated their every detail for the past 40 weeks. The whole room breaths a sigh of relief and welcome. The world is changed forever and endless potential unleashed. This was no less true for Brittany and Jacob as the welcomed Zayden Kai, their little warrior, into their arms. The hours after Zayden’s birth were filled with awe and wonder over this new little life, but also over the journey they had just been through as a couple. The looks of love and admiration I saw during our first meeting were amplified as they fell in love with their little man.

Brittany, Jacob and Zayden – thank you for allowing me to document your beautiful birth story. The love you share came into the world in the form of your little warrior. Brittany, watching you labor to bring your son here was truly a chance to watch a warrior. It is clear that your son’s name will reflect your own heart for him. Jacob, your tender care of Brittany and your instant protective covering for Zayden reminded me of just how sacred a father’s role is. Your son will do well to walk in your footsteps. Baby Zayden, welcome to this wonderful world. I cannot wait to see you grow and enjoy all the adventures you are sure to encounter.

-xo, Erin

Birth Location: Beach Cities Midwifery

Midwife: Vickie Alston

Birth Assistant: Reina Chavez

Doula: Sarah Lavelle