life stories | birth: baby ezekiel

In the week leading up to her labour, I’d been ready. My phone wasn’t on silent at night anymore, my camera batteries were charged and clean memory cards ready to go at any moment.
I found out at 5am the day after her due date that Amy’s waters had broken overnight, and that she was being monitored.
Amy’s mum kept me updated as she laboured and as it got later and later in the day I started to prepare to be there. And then the phone call at 4:30; it wouldn’t be too much longer. 

When I arrived the room was quiet and calm. Amy’s fiancĂ© Ben was by her side, completely attentive, taking a moment to be a larrikin here and there and making her whole support team laugh.  Her mum Jodi rubbed her feet, and Lana, beautiful mentor and friend prayed quietly under her breath, offering sips of water and cold cloths for her head. 

Amy was the picture of quiet and determined strength. Which says a lot about the person she is, and the journey I’ve watched her take over the last couple of years.
She was focused, breathing through each contraction, frowning intensely at their pain and then resting, in between. The machine monitoring the baby beeped softly, and Ben and Jodi chatted, anticipating the size of their baby boy, and his features and hair. Everyone watched the clock, willing it forward – willing the birth forward. 

When the midwives found Amy had stopped progressing there were some discussions about the next steps. To maybe let her labour a few more hours, or to opt for the caesarian – ‘out through the roof’ as her beautiful midwife joked. Amy had laboured by then for almost 24 hours, and the exhaustion was evident. The decision was made, surgical gowns were donned and they wheeled her out ready for delivery.

It wasn’t the way she’d expected, and she had laboured so well, so determinedly – but in the end, her baby boy was born healthy and whole; the desire of her heart. And she is the sweetest, calmest mama to a tiny 3kg bundle of love, and Ben is the most doting father you could ever meet. Ezekiel you are exquisite. 

What a privilege. 

xx

(You can see my other birth story here. Please get in touch if you are thinking about having the birth of your child captured! x)

life stories | birth: baby Hudson

This time last week my phone and I were inseparable. I was waiting for the text that would tell me that my gorgeous friend Steph had gone into labour, the call to tell me to come with my camera. After her waters broke at 1am Saturday morning, I knew things would be moving along but I didn’t get the text until 5pm Saturday. “Back at the Birthing Centre and I’m 6cm and midwife thinks it’s all going to happen fairly quickly so head on over…”
It was drizzly with rain as I pulled out of my driveway and as I prayed quietly for peace, for a safe delivery, for God’s presence to be with me, tangible, I looked up and saw the most intense rainbow peel itself across the sky. If I wasn’t in such a hurry I would have stopped to capture it and it’s promise. I knew it was for Nath and Steph, and the baby boy she was about to bring into the world.

The only births I’ve experienced are my own. I’ll admit I was nervous. Not for my sake but for Steph’s. I didn’t want to be in the way, I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable with my giant 35mm lens snapping away. I didn’t want to feel like I was intruding on those intimate moments. 

Those worries disappeared as I arrived around 6pm. Greeted by Carly the most gorgeous, warm midwife and her offer of coffee, I was instantly made to feel welcome. The lights were dimmed, the worship music was a continuation of what had been playing in my car, and the oil diffuser bubbled away in the corner misting a blend that I’m sure added to the incredible feeling of calm and peace in the birthing suite. Between contractions Nath and Steph chatted easily, the room was warm, and the anticipation evident.

What amazed me was how well Steph seemed to know her body. How seemingly easily and soundlessly she focused on breathing through her contractions, and how she knew when it was time to enter the bath. I could tell the contractions were intensifying but I didn’t realise just how close she was to giving birth until the gentle encouragement from the midwife started coming, and all of a sudden he was crowning. Nath held his wife’s arms and she rocked, focused and intent, quiet and calm. And then, as she panted and pushed for what felt like just a few short minutes, at 7:52pm she birthed her beautiful baby boy and the midwife helped him up and out of the water.

Relief and wonder filled the room. I was in awe of Steph’s quiet determination and the beauty of the way life had been brought into the world. 

I didn’t stay long afterwards. I left them to their baby bubble, after Nath cut the cord, and Steph was tucked back into bed in their room. Two cups of teas brough in on a tray, and toast being made for the champion parents.
I left that room, warm and dim and full of peace and the beauty of new life.
What a privilege and a blessing it was to witness, to experience, to capture. 

 
xx