Baby L. || A St. Mary’s Hospital Birth Story

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my brother, Mike, and my sister-in-law, Jennifer, about how one of the things on my bucket list was to assist someone in giving birth, that I wanted to be present and helpful in whatever way I could be. I’m not really sure how or why or when it came about as a “to do” on my bucket list, but it was on there :-p.

In the course of this conversation, Jennifer said “We’d love for you to be present during our birth, if you’d like.”

Needless to say I was shocked. And excited. And emotional. And humbled. And nervous. And a whole slew of other emotions.

I couldn’t believe that they asked me to be present for such an intimate and life changing moment. I was incredibly honored and knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of something so magical and momentous.

After accepting their invitation and hugging them and being super duper stoked…then came my nagging question as the photographer in the family:

“Can I take photos of the birth?”

To which Jennifer, without skipping a beat, said “Yea. I think that would be ok.”


I can’t even BEGIN to describe how excited I was at the prospect of not only being PRESENT for the birth of my nephew, but having the privilege of photographing it!!

No words.


No words.

Flash forward to November 16th and the anxious phone calls and texts between my mom, Mike, and myself (2 hours away in Virginia Beach and getting ready for what seemed like the longest drive EVER.)

Jennifer went into labor at 3 am and Mike drove the two of them to the hospital around 4:30. By the time I got there it was already 9 am and Baby Barak was quickly on his way! Or so we thought…


Turns out he wasn’t in as big of a rush as we thought he was…


Time for a quick nap…


The Grandmas arrived around 2 pm eagerly anticipating meeting their grandbaby!

But Jennifer was in fairly decent spirits, all things considered…you can certainly say that epidurals do their job!


Daylight slowly faded until it was completely dark outside…and Baby Barak was barely closer to showing his beautiful face than he had been hours before…


Until finally, around 9 pm, the doctor told Jennifer that it was time and she could start pushing!


The face of a man who’s been told his wife can start pushing!

And then came a looooonnnnggg few hours of labor for Jennifer.



You can see how their “matters” shifted as the 16th became the 17th…


Annnddd then shifted back again as midnight struck 🙂

Around 1 am on November 17th, after about 3 hours of pushing, the doctor decided that Jennifer had gotten Baby Barak as far as he would go and it was time for a Cesarean Section.


And after just a short 30-40 minutes in the Operating Room….


Baby Boy Barak made his appearance!


And Mike, alongside the doctor, got to see his son for the first time <3.


After a whirlwind hour, we returned back to the Labor and Delivery Room to await Baby Barak and Mama…


And Michael and Jennifer got to hold their little boy for the first time.


Before the Grandmas were finally able to breath a sigh of relief that everyone was doing well and that they had a brand new grandson.


Congratulations once again to Mike and Jennifer on the birth of their beautiful baby boy. I am beyond thrilled about my new role as an aunt and honored that I was there to capture these unforgettable moments. I love you all tremendously.

And now…introducing my nephew, Lucas Jude Barak. I know you’re only a few days old, but I already love you to the moon and back…about a million times <3.


Welcome Luke. You are SO LOVED.

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    Jess Capozzola is a Richmond-based photographer specializing in wedding, newborn, and portrait photography. When she isn’t capturing the in-between moments she can be found snuggling with her husband, little man, and two kitties and avoiding dairy. Just kidding, she always avoids dairy; stupid lactose :-p


    Meet the Artist

    My name is Jess. I’m a believer in true love, passionate living, and grand adventures. I'm a Richmond-based photographer who specializes in all things weddings and babies. Want to know more? Head on over to my About page or connect with me below!


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    Jess Capozzola is a Richmond, Virginia based photographer specializing in wedding, newborn, and portrait photography.