Creating an Urban Homestead

“Birth” Cast Shoot

Birth Cast – Images by Christine Prichard

Did a quick shoot of the cast of “Birth” at WorkPlay yesterday before rehearsal. The photos will be used to publicize director Elizabeth Hunter’s reading of the play, which will be performed at Alabama School of Fine Arts for one night only on January 30 at 7 pm. A talkback panel and reception will follow the show. Tickets are $20 in advance, available through the Alabama Birth Coalition website. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $25. Funds raised from ticket sales will help ABC do its work to educate the public about birth choice and to help change laws in Alabama to make practicing midwifery in an out-of-hospital setting legal and safe.

As some of you may know, my daughter Marley was born at home in Birmingham just over eight years ago, and was attended by midwife Karen Brock. Because there is no vehicle for licensing CPM’s in Alabama, my health insurance did not cover the cost of Karen’s services, which by the way, were more attentive, caring, and comprehensive than any OB I’ve ever rubbed elbows with.

By the time I was pregnant with Avery, however, Karen was no longer practicing in Alabama, due to risk of prosecution. So, after a lot of weighing the options, we decided to drive over the state line to Tennessee, where Karen had rented a house she in order to serve her clients legally. Tennessee, by the way, DOES offer licenses to CPM’s and Karen is licensed in that state, so guess what? My insurance DID pay for her services simply because she was working in another state. How crazy is that?

But, as many of you also know, Avery ended up being a difficult labor (hard to believe, I know). But I am CONVINCED that part of the reason he was footling breach was because of the 2.5 hour drive to Tennessee while I was in labor and the only way I could remain comfortable was on all fours in the back of our rented Jeep with my rear end in the air.

Karen had turned him for the third time just two days prior–he was a stubborn little bugger and kept postitioning himself head up. By the time I was brought to the hospital after 20 hours of labor and the determination that he was footling breach, I knew a C-section was imminent.

There is no way of knowing what could have happened if we had been allowed to stay at home for the labor, but I do know one thing. It would have been less harrowing, more calm, and I was only a 5-minute drive from a hospital in Birmingham, versus a 45-minute drive in Tennessee. So as you can imagine, I applaud the efforts of ABC in Alabama. Go midwives!

So this crazy wild baby named Avery, now turned five, was screaming and tearing around like a madman at WorkPlay while I was trying to set up my backdrop and lights. And his sister, Marely was joining in the fun. This is not the ideal way to set up a shoot, but such is the life of a working mom on day 18 (but who is counting) of holiday break.

Then I discovered that one of my backdrop stands was missing. Egads!! A quick call to Flash and within 20 minutes, he left his jobsite, brought what I needed, and removed my children from the premesis. He is the best assistant I could ask for!

So we did the shoot within the much tighter than I like (20-minute) window and there you have it. I usually recommend spending a minimum of one hour, if not two hours for a portrait session, but sometimes time frames have to be shorter.

BTW, I’ll be shooting the play as well and will post images afterward.

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