North Vancouver Birth Photographer | Baby Nicolas
“Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear.” ~ Jane Weideman
We want to capture images of our children from the moment they are born. Their little toes and fingers, the little rosebud mouths, wide-eyed expressions, and how small they look compared to the world around them. Then there are the big and little developmental milestones and everything in between that we deem so precious and want to document with our camera. I've been a Mamarrazzi through the early years of both my girls' lives and now, being a photographer, it has not lessened that role one little bit. I can truly say I don't regret chasing after my children with a camera because I want to record the moments that my mind will forget in time.
But what about the exact moment in time your child enters the world? For me, it was a feeling of pure joy, an adrenaline rush that felt everlasting; I was truly on top of the world! And as a person who sees the world through her frame and photographs, I wish I had hired a birth photographer to document both events. I can only remember fleeting details of the hours leading up, the critical moments of transition and pushing, the delivery, and the first hours of my newborn babies. I wish I could have seen the face of my husband as I told him the baby is coming, as I caught my first born and passed her over to him, the moment he cut the umbilical cord (despite not wanting to prior to birth), the first moment of skin-to-skin, nursing, and first kisses. These are moments I will never get back and my memory is only failing me more as days go by. This is why I wanted an opportunity to capture such a momentous milestone for someone else.
My hopes are thankfully answered by Francini and Eduardo. They are a wonderful couple who are friends of a good friend of mine who had connected us to each other. It is going to be their first baby and we are excited about being able to do this together. When I first chatted with Francini, I felt her positivity right away and support her conviction that birthing is what she makes of it. Francini and Eduardo also kindly entrusted me to also capture some maternity images for the final weeks of Francini's pregnancy. When I met her for her maternity session, she was so radiant and all smiles. They shared their hopes for this first birth and how they will be sharing this special moment with both their mothers who will be travelling from Brazil. We also talked about the empowering material she has been reading and the hypno-birthing work they have been doing together. They have this calm, prepared, grounding energy about them that resonates strength in each other. It is going to be a beautiful thing to witness and I couldn't wait to see it all unfold and help them remember it through my lens.
On the morning before her baby was born, Francini has been keeping me abreast of her progress of labour. I cleared my schedule and called in help with my family. I have to be honest that those on-call hours are unnerving. Every text or phone call you get, it makes you jump a bit. Then it grew to be night time and I was informed that Francini's contractions are getting closer and more consistent. I thought I should really get some early rest but I just laid in bed, wide awake with excitement for their call.
Then, it came. It was Eduardo, being his calm self, announcing the baby was crowning. I left immediately for their apartment. Sure enough, when I got there at 11:25pm, Francini had given birth already. Her contractions came fast and furious and in three contractions, she pushed out her beautiful baby boy in her bathroom and handed him to Eduardo. She did this all on her own, with only Eduardo and her mother present. Lindsay, their midwife on call that night, did make it shortly after the baby was born and when I got there, she was already in full swing of postpartum management. Amazing story to relive, and one that I can surely identify with as I had a very similar first birthing experience.
Despite missing the birth, I was there to see the joy on Francini, Eduardo, and Francini's mom's faces as they soaked in the cries and sounds and sights of this beautiful newborn. I was there to capture the first moments of parenthood, newborn wrinkles, nursing, and cuddles. They may have conceived him but it is him who has made them into parents and into a family.
Welcome baby Nicolas!
So here I sit, feeling so grateful to have been part of this new hours experience with Francini and Eduardo, and thankful that they have chosen me. I am humbled by their strength and grace and reminded that I am truly blessed to have experienced two of my greatest accomplishments: my girls. A friend asked me if I would do it again. Despite the on-call nature of the job and hectic juggling of logistics for my own family, absolutely! I would love to try it again, at least a couple of times.
I am fortunate enough to be part of a culture that supports the empowerment of women during birth. The hiring of doulas and choice of midwives over doctors, when possible, is a testament to that. In my opinion, birth photography would be a natural fit to document that wonderful journey that these mothers have envisioned for themselves. The images captured redefine these moments by way of positive memories. Even for traumatic births, birth photos can serve as a healing point to help mothers process the birth and bring focus to the addition of a healthy beautiful baby to their family. For more information on birth photography and reasons to hire a birth photographer, please visit the Canadian Birth Photographers.