Monday, September 10, 2012

Birthing is the most profound initiation to spirituality a woman can have. ~ { Triplet Natural Birth Photographer }

There are moments in your life, and people you meet that change your life forever. This year a most fantastic series of moments have all lead to this point, and in itself I know the moments of the last week will be life altering. How can they not be? To witness and capture the natural birth of triplets will forever stay with me, will forever be a highlight in not only my professional career, but my personal experiences.

A bit of the background: 
I met Chenoa through a series of events on the wonderful world of social networking. (Don't you love Facebook?) A mother she met via a group on Facebook was the mother of the gorgeous newborn triplets I photographed earlier this year, and she had posted a few of the pictures, this lead to Chenoa checking out my page and then seeing my posts about looking for some clients for birth photography...
Chenoa: "What about a triplet birth?"
Me: "Email me please!"
Within a couple of emails it was easy to see that we 'clicked' and we began preliminary plans. I know its hard to get a vibe from an email, but there was also a blog I could follow. (I recommend it for a read). So before too long we were emailing and messaging each other as she updated me with her pregnancy and milestones reached.
The only hurdle we seemed to have was that we were two states apart... a bit of an issue as far as 'being on call' for a birth, but this was no ordinary birth, or ordinary lead up. We knew that if (or rather 'when') she reached September everything was all set for a birth at her local hospital. She had a supportive Dr and an amazing birth team (not to mention the resolve and instinct of a woman rarely seen.) As she reached and passed her 33 week milestone an induction date was set... my flights were booked, and we crossed our fingers (and legs in her case) as we waited, possibly somewhat impatiently and uncomfortably.

The Universe's part:

Call it fate, call it luck, call it serendipity, I think both Chenoa and I always knew these sweet babies wouldn't make their appearance until after I had made it up to Queensland. That said the excitement was building and I felt almost like a stalker, watching Chenoa's page and blog and incoming emails hoping for 'no news' until I'd made it up the Brisbane at least.

An induction date was set for the 6th of September, and for some reason I couldn't shake the feeling that I should be up there on the 5th, so I booked flights and a car and practically held my breath until I drove up the long driveway to meet Chenoa face to face for the first time.

It was honestly a feeling of meeting an old friend, I instantly clicked with her and met the rest of the support team, including her best friend and her homebirth midwife who had been at her other two births. The only person I hadn't met was her husband, we later met officially between a contraction as we all arrived in the birth suite.

It was great to sit, relax, chat and then get a few maternity photo's in, partly to pass the time, and partly so Chenoa could get some walking in. I felt a little cautious, I don't know why, I knew she wanted to bring labour on. Their property is stunning, she was glowing, and honestly I was, I still am, in awe of her spirit and calm.

We both spoke of how blessed we were, how perfect the timing was, and how she was now 'allowed' to go into labour because everything was in place. We'd all laughed that we felt it would be a midnight dash to the hospital... we were almost right.

The Birth:

It may be best to read Chenoa's birth story for all the details, but from a photographers perspective it was intense. At around 8pm I got the message that her waters had broken and they were heading into the hospital in about 30 minutes. So after a quick coffee and shower, thinking it might be a long night, Taryn (Chenoa's best friend and in charge of videoing the birth) and I headed in to the hospital, and after walking into the birth suite we were instantly thrown into a situation full of activity. I heard the words "I need to push NOW!" from Chenoa and knew it was show time! I actually think the staff were frazzled... it was all happening a little too quickly for them. Chenoa seemed calm, her midwife/support was calm, Taryn and I were able to hide behind our camera's (and I honestly don't remember feeling freaked at all, the adrenalin was wild, but I never felt scared or frazzled.) Poor Dan, Chenoa's hubby was a little befuddled I think... he sat and helped in his own way, but he seemed to see it all unfold so effortlessly around him.

Only about 10 minutes after entering the room Isaac was birthed calmly and seemingly easily, I remember snapping like crazy, and tears streaming down my face. He was gorgeous, and had snuggles with his mummy straight away before being checked.

The next moment I remember, and it really was only a moment later, was seeing a foot, then another foot... Dylan was breech and gliding into the world in his own beautiful style. The staff were somewhat frantic and I think a Dr had arrived now, there was concern because he was breech, but honestly there was no stress from any of the support staff... I watched through my lens a birth I will never forget, a bum, a back, shoulders and welcome earthside beautiful boy. Chenoa was able to hold him immediately as he arrived and he made a small little squeak then whisked away as he was stunned and needed some assistance breathing for a little while.

Dan was by Dylan's side, and then only 3 minutes later Ailah , head first and honestly very easily from where I was standing, made her way earthside and onto Chenoa's chest. The smiles in that room could've lit the darkest of caves... everyone was beaming. It still gives me goosebumps thinking about it.

Dylan was taken to Special care and I then trotted from the birth suite to special care getting various images.

Only three hours after Ailah was born Chenoa was holding all her babies in her arms. Sitting in special care with her new babies her smile was beaming, the staff were in awe, Dan was as chuffed as any father could be and I was able to capture the first images of mum and dad with their triplets... what a buzz!

I headed back in the following day still on a high, and photographed Chenoa and Dan's older children having some cuddles with their new baby brothers and sister. What beaming faces, what pride, what utter awesomeness.

This birth will be one that will long be spoken about. A birth captured and an inspiration for other mothers. Not only mothers of multiples who truly CAN naturally birth their babies, but of all mothers. The instict and deep belief in Chenoa was, and IS where her absolute beauty comes from. She is truly a woman, in her most pure form. She is blessed, she is appreciative, she is alive and empowered. I feel truly honoured to have been able to capture the birth for you Chenoa and Dan. THANK YOU!

I'm sure I flew home still floating on a cloud.


1 comment:

  1. Loved it loved it loved it!!! Especially that part where you and Dan met officially over a contraction! You made me laugh and cry your words touched my heart, just as your images do. I am still floating on that same cloud with you! Honestly, I keep getting stopped in the halls here by random staff telling me what an amazing woman I am and that I am an inspiration. My Facebook has been flooded with messages from people I do not know telling me how much I have touched them and inspired them for their upcoming births. The message is out there. And it won't be forgotten. Thank you with all my heart for being there with me.