The unplanned homebirth of Archie!

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Jaime and Trevor had a plan. It was an ideal birth plan that involved labouring gently at home for some hours, during which time they would call their friend Bec to come over for extra support and they would call me to come and take some labour images at home, and finally they would call their friend Annie to come and stay with their daughter Isla when it came time for us to head to the hospital. It was a good plan but baby Archie was having none of it.

I received a call from Jaime as I was putting my kids to bed for the night. She sounded happy and fresh, and just wanted to update me that she was having some contractions which felt quite strong but were still irregular as it had only been an hour or so since the onset. Jaime is a midwife and I knew that she would know the right time to call me, so I told her to keep me posted over the next hour or so, and started getting myself organised for the long night ahead. I was starting to feel nervous an hour later. Something that I couldn’t put my finger on was making me feel like I needed to start moving but I was still waiting on the call asking me to come over. Suddenly my phone rang and it was Trevor saying that I was welcome to make my way over to their house whenever I felt ready. I didn’t waste any time and left immediately. When I knocked on the front door and was greeted by Trevor, I asked how things were going and he replied “Yeah good, I think we might need to head to the hospital soon!”

I peeked into the bathroom where Jaime was labouring in the bath and could see that she was deep in her zone. Her friend Bec was holding her hand and Trevor was whispering affirming words. I quietly knelt down in the doorway and it was a few minutes and a couple of contractions before she looked in my direction and gave me a half smile. I knew then that we wouldn’t make it to the hospital. The contractions were intense and coming almost on top of each other.

I had only been there about 10 minutes when a strong contraction swept over Jaime and her waters broke. She knew it was time to do something but was at that point of transition when things seem very confusing. She got out of the bath and Bec gently suggested maybe we needed to call an ambulance and I quickly agreed and got my phone. Right at that moment there was a knock on the door and I ran downstairs to find Annie who had come to mind Isla (who was sleeping soundly through all the action)!¬†Annie’s expression of wide eyed excitement grew when I quickly told her that we were about to have a baby. After a couple of minutes on the phone to Emergency Services I handed them over to Annie so that I could get back to capturing this birth and making sure that every time Jaime opened her eyes she had someone smiling at her and reassuring her that we had this.

What ensued was some of the most incredible moments I’ve ever been witness to. Jaime reached a point of realisation that her baby was coming quickly and she got herself into an optimal birthing position. Bec prepared to catch this precious baby boy and Trevor didn’t miss a beat with the encouraging words of confidence that all would be well. Annie relayed the advice coming through the phone to Bec, and it was only a couple of minutes until she was passing beautiful baby Archie through to his mama.¬†The ambulance crew arrived about 5 minutes later but by then we were all laughing at the lack of emergency and the perfect baby who was crying and turning a lovely shade of pink.

Archie’s birth affirmed in me just how natural this process is. How women who are well supported and feel safe, progress so beautifully and instinctively know how to birth their babies. It is with such a grateful heart that I am allowed to share this birth with all of you!! X

 

 

JOY!

I have been so busy for the last 12 months witnessing amazing things! So many babies arriving into this world and so many families rejoicing in their arrival. In the crazy haste of it all, I have fallen ridiculously behind with my blog, but fear not! You can see snippets and slideshows and just general amazingness from many of the births I have been photographing over on my Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/katekennedybirthphotography

Here’s a little insight. A compilation of some of my favourite moments of birth. A testament to the strength of women and to the love of their partners. Enjoy!

Maggie.

October has been a busy month, and I have been falling behind with my blog! Although I’m not yet finished editing the images from the beautiful, perfect and speedy birth of Maggie, I wanted to share just a few that I love, and hopefully more will be coming soon! This serene Mum did such an amazing job of labour and delivery. So amazing in fact, that little Maggie arrived barely 10 minutes after me!! When I received Matt’s call at 5am to say that he and Val were just leaving for the hospital, I mistakenly interpreted his relaxed and casual tone for time up my sleeve! I’m still not entirely sure if he actually did think it would be a little while before we would be hearing those beautiful first cries, due to his wife’s calm demeanour, or if he is just super relaxed. Either way, I thought I had enough time to stop and go to the bathroom on the way into the hospital, when in reality I should have held on!
Maggie’s grandparents were all there to greet her immediately following birth, and her very excited big sisters too! It was such a special room to be a part of at that moment, and I feel so privileged to have been there.
Oh, and maggie was the most quiet, calm and captivating little newborn I’ve ever seen. She barely cried at all! She just lay placidly and wide eyed on her mum’s chest, taking in the room. I was a little bit in love with her…ok, alot!
Thankyou so much Val and Matt for allowing me to be involved in such an incredible moment and with such a lovely family! x
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Max.

My phone rang at exactly 3:00am last Wednesday morning. Mel was finally in labour! I jumped out of bed and grabbed my camera gear. I couldn’t anticipate how completely special the next 8 hours would be for me. To witness a woman experiencing childbirth for the very first time, was something which I will never ever forget. Mel showed a strength and calmness which I thought only came with experience, and Ryan’s love and support for his wife was unwavering.
Welcome sweet little Max. x

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I am so grateful to Mel and Ryan for allowing me to share these images of Max’s incredible birth with you all. It was such a beautiful calm birth, and this slideshow hardly even does it justice.
Music used for this slideshow is ‘Bloom’ by THE PAPER KITES.