Category Archives: MATERNITY + BIRTH


Birth cannot fully be described to someone who hasn’t seen it firsthand, or reduced down to simple facts. It is easily one of the most powerful things I have ever witnessed, which sounds cliche, I know… there’s just no better word for me to use. Powerful. I hesitate to call it a miracle, since miracles are events that happen outside the natural laws of the world, and there is nothing more primal, and yes, natural than childbirth. It’s defined as the act or process of giving birth to a baby, and what a process it is. Every step is brought forth from action… the conception, the gestation, and the delivery are all work, kinetic in nature. It feels like magic. It feels like some form of miracle. Birth feels otherworldly, even though it is firmly rooted in the natural order of things. It’s possible things like the delivery of a baby prompted people to start using the term “everyday miracles,” I mean, words fall short when you witness what the mama and her team accomplish. What an honor… I want to photograph all the birth stories.

I’ve had the honor of knowing this little girl her entire little life, and I have no doubt that she will continue the work and action that her amazing parent set into motion over a year ago. Happy birthday, Charlotte, I can’t wait to see how you affect thew world.



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  • Christine WilkinsonBeautiful description of the honor of being part of a birth! It is quite miraculous! Great photos and memories to be treasured a lifetime! Every birth is a priceless gift…well done! Being a nurse, I’ve always had a tender spot for the ever unique birth journey and story to accompany!
    Christine W

  • jayeadsit’s really something special, and words will always fall short. BLESS THOSE NURSES!


AOIFE (EE-fa) is an Irish name that means beautiful, or radiant, and she was known as the greatest woman warrior in the world. All alliteration aside, If her mother’s zen-like determination during birth is any indication, the planet is getting itself a new warrior. This is my first birth story, and although I have two kids of my own (both c-section), it was the first laboring birth I’d seen in-person. I intentionally don’t use the term “natural-birth,” because what my wife accomplished was every bit as amazing and sacrificial as contractions and delivery. That term always bothered me. After seeing the process in the birth center with a midwife, surrounded by silence, I see the appeal. The hospital rooms for my kids were busy, noisy, cold. I’m not complaining, the hospital also kept my wife and kids safe. I guess my point is, have your babies, no need to label methods as superior or inferior.

I’ve known and photographed this family for years, and it has been so great watching them grow, their oldest daughter, Maeve, being the same age as my own daughter. Maeve, is one of my favorite parts of this birth. She was completely attentive. The way she took care of her mama, the anticipation of baby Aoife… just melt-your-heart level stuff. Tiffany was so present, David was so supportive, Maeve was so involved. The fact that I listened to the hypnobaby cd for 7 hours straight starting at 4am, and still see this as a highlight experience says a lot about the miracle of birth 😉 I’ve now photographed maternity, birth, newborn life, families, high school graduates, high school graduaTIONS, college graduates, marriages, anniversaries, death beds, funerals, and memorial services. That feels pretty close to whole life documentation. What a job.

I will have a before/after series later on, but for now… Happy first birthday, beautiful Aoife.


I’m a photographer for many reasons. But mostly because of how a single image can make me feel emotions time and time again. I’m a nostalgic person by nature. And to be able to travel back in time, if only for a split second, makes documenting life a necessity for me. So to have Jay document Aoife’s birth was a no brainier…a necessity.

I put in time and energy preparing for Aoife’s birth in the weeks preceding her arrival. I knew that she would more than likely be our last child. I knew that I would not feel the nausea, fatigue, aches, flutters and big movements of my baby rolling and growing inside me again. I knew that I wanted to be present in those last round weeks and every moment during her birth. And I was. And I am forever grateful.

There is a mighty force that takes place during a birth. And it can affect everyone present if willing. As I labored and opened my body and heart to bring Aoife earth side, I was able to watch my daughter and husband open up as well. I watched and felt how hard my husband worked to support me in every way possible. There was this moment towards the end where we were both so present in between my contractions. That we both touched my tight and full belly and stayed there realizing that I would never be pregnant again. That as badly as I was ready for her to join us, I just as badly wanted to keep her there. Right there. That moment passed as the next contraction roared its powerful head, but that moment is relived in my mind frequently. And that moment was photographed. Because some day…when my memory isn’t as sharp as I hoped it always would be, I could look at the photograph and just maybe I would remember it all.

Our older daughter opened herself as well that day…she became a sister. A sister that started to believe after two weeks of prodromal labor, that her little sister would never make her appearance. But after waking her in the wee hours of the morning to go to the birth center, she was also present and doing anything she could to help her sister in her journey to us.

Aoife’s arrival has changed us all. But her birth…her glorious birth took us all to a tiny crack in the world that opened up and let us feel the raw power that happens when love and God blend.

This is my hope for all mamas. That however their baby decides to enter the world, it is met with wonderment and love in the pure power of a new little human. That everyone is present enough to feel the world change.



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  • Holly StutzBEAUTIFUL work Jay Eads…as always!

  • Meg DawleyJAY!!! amazing.

  • Tracey Jasas-HardelLovely. It brought me to tears.

  • Brittney McCrightAstounding!

  • Alise MarshJay Eads these are incredible! What a beautiful family they have!

  • Leah NanselAwesome! You captured the essence of this beautiful family and their baby joining the world. Gorgeous mama, gorgeous family, gorgeous photos.


Before and after is a concept I always thought would be fun for maternity and baby, but I never thought I would love it as much as I do. I love story, I love bookends, and this feels like the perfect way to show that. I’m not into bubblegum maternity, but give me something with some mood to it, and I’m a happy camper. I could never say it better than Hanna, so her words will carry the actual story below.

From Hanna: On December 17th my life changed forever. I honestly thought I could never have children…the pounding in my chest, the speed at which my mind was racing, the overflow of deep emotion those two little lines made me feel. I never thought it would happen, even buying the test, I’d done it a million times before, what was different about this day? Everything. There they were…or there it was, one line, the one I was used to, not pregnant, but that second one, never saw that before. I stared at it hyperventilating for what felt like ten minutes, then a calm came over me. What are you afraid of? You’ve cried sloppy drunk to your best friend at 4am thinking you couldn’t have children, and now here you are. So fast, so sudden, a mother. They say a woman becomes a mother when she finds out she is pregnant and a man becomes a father when his baby is born. This is true in my life. I became a mother that day, even not knowing how far along I was, or if anything was wrong, or if it was a boy or a girl or if I was ready, if we were ready. None of that mattered. From that moment nurturing the innocent little soul the size of a blueberry inside me was the only thing I could think about. I was consumed. My pregnancy was a rocky one, I didn’t get the picture perfect Pinterest inspired crafting, the nesting, and the stereotypical pregnancy you see in the movies. I did it mostly alone, but the blueberry that grew into a butternut squash is what kept me whole, she inspired me and she continues to, to this day. I have been a single mother, I’ve been a mother going to night school to make life better for herself and for her child. Now, because of her, no matter what I do or where I end up I will forever be a mother. Stay at home mom, working mom, fun mom, serious mom, crafty mom, musical mom, health nut mom, mom, mum, mother, mommy, mama. There is one common thread in all of those titles, and there are many more, but we are all mothers…from blueberries to butternut squashes, to the perfect squishy screaming bundles of love that eventually leave our warm protective bodies, which carefully grew each eyelash and pinky toe. A mother’s love can never waver or be challenged.

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better….but because I knew you….i have been changed, for good.” – Elphaba maternity before and aftermaternity photoseugene oregon maternityoregon maternity photographerjay eads photographyoregon maternity photography

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