Arlo Oak’s Journey

Oh my heart….This little family means so so much to me. I don’t even know where to begin…


I’ve been working with Katie and Peter since before they were even engaged.  I got to photograph their engagement portraits, their wedding, some beautiful nudes of Katie… etc.  It has been so incredible and they have become some of my favorite people over the years.  But nothing has been as spectacular and meaningful to me as getting to be a part of Arlo’s birth.   I was so extremely honored and humbled to be present at this occasion.  There are no words…  I will say this– Katie is forever my hero and I think she is superhuman.  She rocked an all natural 24 hour plus labor and did it all with a smile (in between contractions).  I also have the utmost respect for Peter for being the most amazing birth coach, EVER.  Wow.  He literally held Katie up for 8 of the 10 hours they were at the birth center and was just a rock–physically and emotionally. And the way that Katie and Peter looked at each other during the entire process was nothing short of a display of pure love and respect.  I mean, this birth was so much more than a birth. It was one of the highlights of my life and career and has changed the way I see partnership.


On a more  personal note, this birth was healing for me because I, too was supposed to deliver my first baby at the Mountain Midwifery.  I had all these grand ideas and visions of how my  birth plan would go and it all ended with every intervention that I didn’t want and ultimately a cesarean birth at a nearby hospital.  People say, “Well all that really matters is that your baby is here and healthy”, and yes.  This is true.  But it doesn’t erase all the heartbreak of an experience that you dreamed of that went awry.  I can only compare it to rain on a wedding day.  Yes–at the end of the day you’re married, and that is what it is all about. But it can be such a loss when all those little details and all the fantasies leading up to the big day were drowned (quite literally).  And It is strange, because 75 percent of all the other mamas I know who had the same intentions as I did to deliver at  the Mountain Midwifery, ended up with a story much like mine–even most of them ending in cesarean births.  I was starting to think that perhaps it was the Mountain Midwifery to blame, or that in fact maybe women’s bodies weren’t cut out for an all-natural home or center birth (at least not with their first delivery).  I was starting to see this trend of hospital transfer, pitocin, epidural, cesarean birth, etc as the norm.  But on December 5th, I got to watch my dream birth with my dream midwife, in the room of my choice at the Mountain Midwifery all unfold vicariously through my dear friends, Katie and Peter and their precious, Arlo Oak.  It was truly restorative in my faith of the female body as well as the Mountain midwifery.  And it was all so, so beautiful.


Thank you, Katie and Peter.  From the bottom of my heart.    Welcome to parenthood…


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

February 24, 2015 at 10:31 AM


And how much you mean to this little family!

I could write you a letter about the images alone. How I adore the way you capture a person’s spirit. And oh the way you use the light, whether it’s a full moon, mid afternoon brightness, or the gritty feel of a fluorescent bulb. But I’ll stop there. Your images (as always) stand on their own. Instead I’ll tell you about how much they, and you, mean to us.

When we found out we were expecting I knew I wanted you to take our maternity portraits and photos of our new baby. I also knew I needed you at our birth. There was no one else that would have made the cut, like you said, we have a history. Your enthusiasm when presented with the idea was such a relief.

I love that you knew, even before Peter texted you in the middle of the night, that it was time. Meeting you at the birth center solidified my hopes for our birth. To have those next hours, the work, the love, the meeting of our sweet Arlo, documented by you and your amazing gift means the world to us. And now, to be able to relive the moments; Peter’s constant strength, the work that needed to be done to bring Arlo safely into the world, the relief that transition had passed, the comfort of the pool, the calmness of the midwives, and our transformation into a family of three. To see it all again through your eyes was awesome and healing.

And while your images are something we will treasure for the rest of life, having you there as a calm presence, loving friend, someone to laugh with between the contractions, and even a cheerleader as we labored and welcomed our baby was so necessary to the process.

Obviously these hours and the moments of Arlo’s arrival were life changing for us. To know that it was life affirming and healing for you as well is beyond words. I do believe that we were all meant to be there, Arlo’s welcoming party.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Katie and Peter

March 24, 2015 at 8:13 PM

What a powerful birthing mama! Good work lady. The pictures are wonderful.

Erin Cassidy
August 4, 2017 at 6:59 PM

Wow. What an incredible story and journey. I love your work Julie! It’s so easy to want you around all of life’s big moments!

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