A month or so ago, I was honoured to attend the beautiful water-birth arrival of a little girl named Avalon. Her mother, Dayna had contacted me about newborn portraits earlier this year and when I mentioned birth photography she said she was very keen to have hers captured. Dayna had planned her birth at the RBWH Birth Centre, a place close to my own heart as I have welcomed my two water-birth babies there. Like myself, Dayna loved the idea that the Birth Centre offers an experience similar to a natural home birth, but with the added knowledge that there are the best medical facilities only a few doors away if required. The midwives there are wonderful, and I thoroughly recommend the wonderful work they do, empowering mothers to trust in their body’s amazing design for birth.
The story for me began when Dayna texted me during the day on a Monday and said that things were progressing well (after a few weeks of false starts). There was a sense of anticipation for me – not knowing if it would be soon, or still a day or two away. At 6.45pm I received another call, this time from her sister saying that labour was progressing fairly quickly now, that Dayna was in the bath and I would need to come in soon. My hubby had just arrived home and the kids were in bed, and I had been keen to have dinner and freshen up but something told me just to leave, and leave now. So I grabbed my camera gear (ready and waiting) and began the 45 minute drive toward the city. I was filled with butterflies at the thought of what I was about to capture, whether I would make it in time and also planning how I would work with the low light and make sure I was the quietest of observers, to let Dayna do her thing.
When I arrived at 7.30pm, the room was peaceful and Dayna was leaning on the side of the bath, deep ‘in the zone’. From my own experiences, I could tell that she was very close to the pushing stage – quiet, concentrated and in tune with her body. Within only a few minutes of arriving she began to push and within 20 minutes of my arrival, we met little Avalon! It was amazing to witness a little life come from the womb into the world and to see the joy on Dayna’s face as she met her baby girl. I was then able to spend their first hour together capturing portraits of Avalon with her mummy and daddy. It was wonderful and beautiful to share this moment (and made me rather clucky again!).
A week after the birth we also met for Avalons newborn portraits with her family and big brother too. Dayna wanted to share a few words about the whole experience of birth photography: “I am a big fan of Maddie’s work. I didn’t even notice her taking the photos and looking at all the precious images now, I am SO glad Maddie was there. I will cherish them forever! I wish I had beautiful photographs like this of my first birth and I can’t keep myself from recommending Maddie”.
This post is a collection of images from Avalon’s arrival and her first hour in the big wide world. Whether it is a home birth, hospital birth, natural or ceasarean, welcoming a new little person into the world is one of life’s greatest moments…I look forward to sharing in more little people’s arrivals over the coming years! Maddie