Couple Welcomes Baby After Devastating House Fire

Photographer: Cobi Sharpe




Instagram: @cobiphoto

Brief Description of Birth: Couple Welcomes Baby After Devastating Fire

What’s the meaning in a name? In Torey and Cory’s case, it means everything.

In April of 2018, my worst nightmare happened to these two. A fire burned down the apartment building that they lived in.

Everything. gone. 

I met Torey at school. We were both enrolled in a 2-year diploma program for digital photography at Georgian College. I was almost done my very last exam, she was almost done her first year. News quickly spread that one of ours had been affected by the fire.

My business class had just finished our final presentations. We had to create a business that would generate some income for the college, a charity and the members of each group. Once we heard of the fire and how it affected someone in our program, our class decided to donate all of the possible funds earned to help out Torey and her family.

Shortly after this devastation, Torey and Cory found out they were pregnant. I can imagine it was just the news they needed to help in the healing process of all the loss they had just experienced.

Fast forward a few months.

In her 39th week, I knew from Torey’s first pregnancy that her delivery only lasted 6 hours and that her babe came during Week 39. With a scheduled induction on February 1st (the due date of her babe), I was pretty sure that I would be heading down to the hospital on – or after – that date.

I received a text from Torey on January 29th at 9:46pm stating that her water had broken. I couldn’t even tell you about how excited I was!

I couldn’t sleep much because I checked my phone constantly throughout the night for updates.

I. heard. nothing.

When I was up at 4:30am to feed my babe, I checked in with Torey. Her text back was that she could barely breathe through the contractions anymore. And at 6:00am on. the. dot. I received a text from Cory stating that she was in active labour.

At 6:19am I pulled out of my driveway in darkness and started driving down to Barrie from Muskoka.

I heard a text while I was driving at 7:12am. When I checked later, it was from Cory saying that Torey was already 7 cm dilated! I was almost pulling into Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) parking lot. The sun was just starting to illuminate the landscape in it’s golden light.

I found their labour and delivery room, dropped my bags in a corner and started photographing. Standing around the hospital bed were nurses and Barrie Midwives who were delivering the baby. I didn’t even have a minute to collect myself. I got my camera out and started documenting Torey and Cory’s birth story.

Nearing the hour babe’s head began to crown. And at 8:02am Torey pushed out a sweet little baby boy!

Witnessing a baby being born will never get old. I’m so thankful that these two let me into their special birth space to capture their story.

So what’s in a name? Torey and Cory decided to name their baby boy Phoenix. The reason is because of the name of the mythic bird that rose from the ashes.

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