Last month I had the absolute honour of photographing my first ever birth!
My friend Nat had asked me if I fancied doing it when we were out walking our dogs together a few months ago. She didn’t mention it again until a couple of weeks before she was due so I went round for a cuppa and we chatted about her plans for a water birth at home. I was beyond excited but also a little nervous as I had only ever seen births on the TV, I’d never actually witnessed one in real life.
Nat started to get contractions about a week before her due date so I was basically on call in case the little guy made an early appearance. I finally got the call late one Thursday night to say the contractions were closer together, Helen the midwife was there and partner Nick was filling the birthing pool with water. I got my equipment together and raced round to find everyone in a calm and happy mood. Nat was in the bath, in quite a bit of pain but relaxed and laughing. Once the birthing pool was full we moved to the living room where we spent the next few hours waiting for the main event.
I was quite surprised by how calm and relaxed the whole process was. The room was lit by candlelight and Nat was encouraged to let nature take its course. No harsh hospital lights and beeping equipment. No midwife screaming at Nat to “PUSH”, just a lovely mellow environment for the baby to be born into. I didn’t interfere with anything, just watched what was happening and made the odd cup of tea for everyone! I didn’t really take that many shots either, it was more about watching and waiting.
Nat was absolutely amazing throughout the whole thing! She was obviously in pain and completely exhausted but with the reassurance and support of Nick and Helen and Jenna from One to One Midwives, managed to have the home birth she wanted and little Theodore arrived at 3.38am on the Friday. After hours of waiting the birth itself was really quick, he actually flew out! He also arrived with a caul which apparently is very rare (fewer than 1 in 80,000 births!) Thanks to the TV programmes I’d seen I was expecting him to come out screaming his little head off but he didn’t make a sound, just snuggled in to his mum and started feeding!
I must admit, I did feel myself well up and my heart expanded in my chest! What an experience!
I stayed for a few hours after Theo was born so I could have a little cuddle before heading home, shattered beyond words but so, so happy!
THANK YOU Nat & Nick for allowing me to photograph such an emotional and personal time for you both. Theodore is absolutely beautiful (takes after his mum!) and I warn you now, I’ll be round for snuggles again soon! xxxx
And here’s a crappy phone pic of me at 6.30am with my new best friend!