Toledo Ohio Birth Doula and Photography {The natural birth story of Miss Anna.}

I’ve photographed many births, but this was my first time attending a birth as a doula!   Prior to the birth, I had a meeting with Lindsey and Tim about working with them as my first doula client.  While I realize that every birth is different, I wanted to get a feel for what it would be like to offer both birth services to one client.  They agreed that their priorities placed the doula role above photography, and we moved forward with that in mind.

mother labors in a birthing tub with father by her side. Breathing through her contractions is allowing her to relax.

Laboring in the water allowed Mama to relax and breath through her contractions.


Lindsey had a goal of not only having a drug-free birth, but she also didn’t want to get to a place where she felt like asking for pain relief, either.  That can be a pretty tall order for any mother during transition, but I’m happy to report that while she might have had some pretty expressive looks from time to time, she never asked for an epidural and I don’t think she ever said “I can’t do this.”  She knew she could.   We had spent time working on relaxation techniques and breaking the fear-tension-pain cycle, so it was really enlightening to see her start her contractions by gripping our hands as hard as painfully possible, to working into a position of calmly breathing through them.  She handled labor beautifully, and surprised everyone with her speedy progress.  By the time the nurse came to check her, she told her she “was complete” and Momma’s reaction was either confusion or shock. 😉

The Labor and Delivery at her hospital doesn’t allow birthing in the water, so we got her moved to the bed and within a few contractions, things shifted quickly!  She curled up on her side and held my hand and soon let out a shriek.   The nurse and I knew this was it and both scurried around the other in realization that baby was coming now, without the midwife!  Lindsey had told me the only photo she really, really wanted was when the baby was born and gender announced… even if that meant that she didn’t have any physical doula support during the delivery.    Fate would have it that I had to let go of her hand in the midst of a crazy moment and try to get the one image she hoped for.  I’m so glad she had her husband by her side the whole time and I was only playing a secondary support!


parents express emotions the moment they meet their newborn. Toledo Ohio birth photographer, Ashley Short Photography

The moment she entered the world.  Hello, sweet baby.  You are already so loved.


As the nurse and I were figuring out what was what in the midst of an extremely dark room, the baby’s head was born and the midwife walked in!  It was quite a roller coaster, and I’m sure the kind nurse won’t soon forget Miss Anna or her birth.  😉  We were then able to quickly turn on some lights and see what was going on, and I was able to capture Lindsey’s amazing reaction to learning she had a daughter!  (After two boys, this was quite the surprise!)


I love how Mommy’s emotions progressed while processing that she has a daughter!  {See her screaming, “It’s a GIRL?!”}  Shock, disbelief, JOY. She seriously made them “check again!”

Witnessing a life entering this world never gets old…. a baby taking it’s first breath is miraculous no matter how many times you’ve seen it.  But those moments after, when a family is meeting for the first time… literally forming in the moment…  those are moments that I don’t have words for.  Blessed.  Just, blessed.


New father leaning into his wife, moments after their newborn was delivered. Birth photography in ohio.

Everyone has their “little things” that they do and don’t realize it. This proud Daddy’s sweet thing was kissing Momma on her forehead. It was SO, so cute.


Newborn Baby feet under the warming table in the hospital, moments after the birth.

10 little toes….



Momma’s first time breastfeeding her newborn. She had been really looking forward to this moment of bonding, and I think she’s just stunning in this photo.  Believe it or not, this was only a few short minutes after delivery.  So peaceful!


Mommy and Daddy loving on their newborn, shortly after birth. Toledo area birth photographer and doula.

Mommy and Daddy loving on their newborn, shortly after birth.



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  • What amazing birth pictures! You captured the birth beautiful…they will cherish these images for a long time to come!ReplyCancel

  • You did a great job capturing this birth!! I know it can be hard to be in both roles and doula should always take the front seat for sure. This mama should be very proud of herself. A drug free birth can be very difficult in the hospital.ReplyCancel


      She handled the labor and birth beautifully, I couldn’t be more proud of her. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • This is such a beautiful birth! I love all the emotions you captured! You may have had your main focus on the fouls duties, but the photos you did capture are absolutely perfect!ReplyCancel

  • This is by far the most precious thing I have ever seen. You captured love, joy, fear, excitement just so many emotions. Everyone mom should have memories like this. What a great experience for everyone!ReplyCancel

  • Oh heavens….. just…. oh my. I’m a little bit speechless. Really amazing photography does that to a person, doesnt’ it? These images connect soul to soul, sharing in the experience of bringing new life into the world. I couldn’t be prouder of these parents right now, laboring together, birthing together — and you as doula AND photographer. That’s an amazing job, Ashley Short. What a gift to be able to do what you do.ReplyCancel

  • Amazing emotion in these birth story images and in the words as well. Great work, All Toledo moms would be lucky to have you by their side during this life changing event!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Lee

    I have alwasy had a special place in my heart for birth photography, these are just so precious.ReplyCancel

  • Such incredible birth photography documentation! I just recently had my birth documented and it is an experience that I will never forget. I have the photos that I will cherish forever!ReplyCancel

  • Wow, what a strong momma! She is surely going to be a great mother to that amazing little baby! I am certain she was lucky to have you supporting her…AND to capture such amazing moments. Birth photography is no easy task and to be support and provide such great art is such a gift!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Storment

    Beautiful birth story of Miss Anna. I’m sure these parents appreciate you capturing this monumental moment in this families lives.ReplyCancel

  • Megan Scheub

    Such a great birth story and photos. So proud of both of you!!!ReplyCancel

  • Beverly Kay Walther

    Oh Ashley so beautiful. !!! The love there is so awesome !! In both the parents and you !! Great photosReplyCancel

  • I wish I had had a birth photographer at my births, I would love to be able to go back and see how it was. I remember a lot of my births with my three daughters, but I would love to be able to show them photos. I think being a birth photographer is very rewarding and a special gift to these families.ReplyCancel

  • I love birth photography and reading about your experience being both the doula and photographer is very interesting and inspiring.ReplyCancel

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