A daylight homebirth

When it comes to birth, my philosophy is that what is good for mum is good for everyone. The January Harshe quote comes to mind:

"I don't care what kind of birth you have...a homebirth, scheduled cesarean, an epidural hospital birth or if you give birth alone in the woods next to a baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices and that you were respected."

Im careful when I talk about birth/feeding because I don’t ever want you to think I would or could judge you for your decisions. Thats not my role. I subscribe to the concept of unconditional positive regard, which means that I believe in your decision making and will support you regardless.

So with this in mind, Im going to start sharing more birth stories on my blog (naturally, if you’re seeing it here that is because I have express permission from the families I serve)

The Arrival of Silver Lou

This particular birth I arrived just in time. Just.

We were awaiting the arrival of their third baby, mama had been on-again-off-again labour for two weeks. Dad called me around 11am and said ‘look im just heading home from work, she might be in labour…I don’t know if you want to come down?’ Since this birth was just over an hour from my home and I knew the traffic would be light I said ‘Look, id love to come down now and if I arrive and its too early or you feel like im bothering you i’ll leave.’ I found out later that as he left work the guys joked that he would be back in an hour.

As I pulled up out the front of the house and went to get my camera bag from the passenger seat I could hear mum and thought. Oh we are ON! My many years on the triage desk at The Womens’ Hospital has attuned my ear.

I raced across the road, took a deep breath and stepped into the house as gingerly as I could. They were right in the zone. Dad in the pool with mama and the nurses were relaxed but close by. This baby wasn’t far away.

When I went back to look at the time of the photos from the moment I arrived out the front of the house to babies arrival was nine minutes!

This mama so calmly breathed her baby out and I will never forget the looks on their faces when they realised they had a baby girl after two boys. Because Silver was born into water, the nurses explained, she hasn’t realised she’s been born. She was so calm as Rhiannon gently blew air onto her face as a way to let her know she had reached the surface.

Im so incredibly blessed to work with these amazing families who not only allow me to witness and document such a sacred moments but also allow me to share these image with you.

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A few of my favourite things.....

I LOVE: 

- Coffee. Ill either have a Long Black or an Almond Magic depending on the mood

- Bulgogi and Kim Chi (Korean food for the win!)

- Thick paper and the smell of old books

- Loose leaf tea in handmade ceramic mugs

- The benefits of meditation, even though I sometimes struggle to prioritise the practice

- Reading the daily routines and rituals on https://mymorningroutine.com

- Podcasts of all descriptions but especially Health Fuels Hustle, The Life Coach School and Good Company with Grace Bonney.

- My favourite flowers are ranunculus 

-  Both the mountains AND the beach (please don't make me choose)

- Dancing with my husband when no-one is watching, in the lounge room, in the Coles carpark..in my experience real romance is not like the movies

- Birth! The pulsing umbilical cord, the vernix, the quiet moments between contractions, the sweet whispers in your partners ear. People think I'm a birth photographer because I like babies but Ive gotta tell you a little secret...... for me its not about the babies. I love strong, wild women. I love seeing the connection with their partners. I love seeing them in awe of what their body is capable of. Who wouldn't fall in love with that? 

Now its your turn, tell me at least 3 things you LOVE. 

Fine wine, cheese....some things get better with time

Some things get better witth time. Have you ever thought about purchasing something, ummed and ahhed and then eventually gone through with it?. Then as time passes its become more valuble? 

I had a family portrait painted by one of my favorite Etsy sellers. I think I had been following this artists work for about a year before I decided to take the leap and make the purchase. At the time it was slightly more than I would like to spend and it felt like such an indulgent purchase. Who was I to spend so much on something just for me? 

Fast forward 3 years and I'm ssoo glad I did! Shortly after I made the purchase she announced that her business was going in a different direction and she would no longer be doing custom portraits. I loved this picture when she sent it to me and I think every time I look at it I love it more and more. Gradually the meaning of the picture changed, from a cute family portrait that we later printed on our wedding invitations, giving it so much more meaning. 

Its now printed on high quality, 300gsm paper, framed and has pride of place in the back of our lounge-room. The picture has already moved house with us once and I can only imagine what will unfold in the future. 

So if you're hesitating when it comes to either birth photography or updating those family photos, whether its because you want to lose a few kilos first or because it seems like an indulgent spend. I like to think of the 'front porch' analogy. Now I have no idea why the oldies in this story like to sit on the front porch..but thats where they hang out. So think....you're an old lady sitting in your rocking chair with your bestie rocking next to you. What are you talking about? How tidy your house was when you got a new Dyson? Or how your life got better the older you got? Are you marvelling at how tiny your waist was when you were in your 30s and cursing that younger version of yourself for being stressed out about the occasional indulgence? Are you flicking through your family albums? I don't use the word 'investment' when it comes to photography because I know that you wont one day sell these photos and get a great ROI. What I do know is that financial markets aside, what is the point if not for a little indulgence? Not only will your-elderly-self thank you. But your great-great grandchildren will too. As much as I hate to think about it, I do worry that future generations will be left with millions of fast photos in a cloud that they never look back at. So hire a photographer, whether thats me or someone else. Hire someone to capture these memories forever and to distill the story into an album for the ages. 

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Picture by Jess Miles of In the Daylight

The myth that you "aren't photogenic"

"But if a mirror ever makes you sad, you should know, that it does not know you,"  

Kabir

I would guess that approximately 80% of my clients say some version of ‘Im awkward in front of the camera’ or ‘Im not very photogenic’

Of course this isn’t at all true and I wonder if this is the legacy of the a cringeworthy school photo where they had patches on the ground of where to put your feet and turn your head a little then BAM the flash right in your eyes resulting in WAIT I wasn’t ready!! But its too late they’ve already moved onto the next kid for their photo.

Or maybe its series of bright flashes- papparazzi style straight into your eyes when your great aunt takes a photo when you’re almost sure to be blinking in the photo and it takes a few seconds for your eyes to readjust.

Or maybe its the way you look at yourself in the mirror, programmed to see ‘flaws’ often these flaws were sold to you by someone who profits from you feeling bad about yourself.

This is the opposite of what you can expect when you work with me. Its not invasive or intrusive, instead its about presence. I love getting to know the people I work with so we will chat about the holiday you’re planning or how excited you are about your first baby arriving. Maybe we will chat about how you took your sleep for granted before becoming a new parent.

There is beauty in the way you hold yourself, the way your hair moves in the wind, Ive practiced anticipating and catching these moments of beauty so you can see what I see.

At worst you can do what I did and close your eyes and hide in the lavender

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The second phrase I hear a lot is ‘my kids are a bit boisterous’

Well of course your children might run around like maniacs - this is to be expected and part of the fun so instead of wanting it to be different lets embrace the moment exactly as it is. Because these moments are fleeting so lets make some magic now.

Contact me to discuss details or to book.

Xoxo