baby galen. Operation Special Delivery. {dupont washington birth photographer.}

November 16, 2012  •  1 Comment

I will never forget receiving that message from Tricia (a local birth doula) asking if I would be interested in donating my services for an Operation Special Delivery.  I had never heard of this before, but as the message went on, I read that this expecting mother's husband was in the Army and was currently serving in Afghanistan. As soon as my eyes ran across those words, I was 'in' whole heartedly.

I remember after my firstborn was born. Being a new mama. My life as I knew it was turned upside down. And, my husband was there! He was there in the delivery room, and he was at home with me everyday. But, shortly there after, he was deployed to Iraq. Again, my whole world was turned upside down. Being a new mom, without any answers, away from family...and now was one of the most difficult times in my life. And once I realized that this mama was a first time mama...whose husband was deployed and he wouldn't be afforded the opportunity to be there with her in the delivery room...or even at home for those first new heart welled up and I knew that this was something that I needed to do.

So, I agreed to it...and then on the morning of October 19th, I got the call!

Shannon had been laboring at home all night long and was headed to the hospital when I got the phone call. I grabbed what I needed and headed out the door. I really had no clue what to expect. Yes, I have attended a good amount of births this past year, but, they have all included a mommy & daddy and for the most part, other family members or friends. Driving to the hospital was a quiet drive. I thought about all of my births and the moments I cherished the most. I remembered holding my husbands hand and then sobbing together once we finally met our babies. I can't even imagine, for one minute, going through that on my own. The idea of it made me a little sick to my stomache. And then I got the..."she's pushing and she's not going to be pushing for long!" text. So, I sped up and tried to get there as fast as I could. And in military was a whole lot of hurry up and wait! Being that this birth was going to happen in a military hospital on a military base, I had to get a base pass...

Once I got the visitor's center I had to take a number. There were at least 20 people ahead of me. There was no way I was going to make it! I felt so out of control. After a few minutes that felt like hours... I sent a text to Tricia asking her what Shannon's last name was...and I took control of what I could! I went up to the counter and told them that my sister was in labor and I needed to get there as soon as I could. The lady behind the counter gave me some grief...but, I got my visitors pass and off I went.

I RAN through that hospital. And, it was a long run! I had my camera in my hands by the time I got to Shannon's delivery room...and good thing I did. Baby Galen was literally, JUST BORN. I threw my bags down and started capturing as much as I could...


Dear Shannon, Daniel & Galen,

I am so thankful and honored that I was allowed to be apart of Galen's birth day. He is such a beautiful child who is loved beyond measure. Thank you for opening your lives to me and letting me share your story with the world. Us civilians Pledge our Allegiance to the Flag, set off fireworks on the 4th of July, loudly sing the National Anthem at baseball games and we live our lives as we are FREE to do. So little often do we acknowledge, or even understand for that matter, the sacrifies our Men and Women in uniform endure to protect our FREEDOM as an American people. During this experience I was reminded of just how much our military families sacrifice. Yes. Some sacrifice their lives. And that is beyond my ability to comprehend. But on a day to day basis, our military families are making so many sacrifies that we, as an American people, take for granted. Never in my life did I have to think about whether or not my husband would be present during the birth of our children. And every night, he sleeps right next to me. We get to watch our babies grow up together. And that alone is a blessing. And because of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, I can sleep at night knowing that I live in the best country in the world. Thank you K family for your sacrifices, past, present & future. And thank you to all of the military families out there. God Bless you and keep you!


{the video tells more of the story and I highly recommend you watch it! And, be advised, there is music in the video! kaetheJo binder photography will not be held responsible for tears or enlarged hearts. however, I will be held responsible for making your heart smile...because this experience definitely made mine smile :)}

all images in the post are copyright protected and property of kaetheJo binder photography. 

do not copy or save images.

thank you.



1.Shannon's Mom(non-registered)
Wonderful! Being there was busy and intense. Afterward, looking at these fabulous photos, one can sit back, relax and enjoy the unbelievable gift God gives as we see new life begin.
Several people told me this was a "must see" show and watching it, I'm sure everyone seeing it would agree.
Thank you so much - mom's mom. =)
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