Updated: Sep 16
I am a birth photographer. Being on call and sleeping with my phone next to me comes with the job. I am also a highly sensitive person and I feel places and people’s energy very easily. I would probably call myself a witch if we lived 400 years ago. Giving, listening, advising and healing has always been a huge part of me, along with being creative. This story was the universe's gentle way of reminding me to not leave myself out. Let me tell you how.
I offer a free maternity shoot with my birth photography package. I think it is a lovely way to get to know the mother and to let her get to know me as a person who will be in her birth space.
I met Joy for our maternity shoot, about three weeks before she gave birth. I liked her straight away. Such an old soul in such a young woman. She has been through so much in life and happily it resulted in her being super confident and comfortable in her own skin.
She knew exactly how she wanted to birth her baby. This wasn’t her first birth. In fact it was her fourth baby and with the first two she had a c-section. Her third baby was born in a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) at home, naturally. But still she had her fears and trust-in-self issues. She wanted to birth this baby with no fear. To be present in the process. Empowered by birth.
We had a long chat and I offered her an EFT session during which we touched on her fears and what she felt was holding her back. I think it worked because she did go on to have an amazing birth, just like she wanted.
I think… because I wasn’t there…
How I missed the birth? I was so close to being there.
Usually during the days before the baby is coming, mothers will have contractions on and off. This could last for days. Especially if this is not their first birth. A way for the body to let you know it is getting ready. So I knew it was coming and I was fully on call and ready to go.
But on the night it happened, I never got the call.
That night I had a feeling the baby would come. I got ready for bed but before I fell asleep, I took out a notebook and wrote down a well wishing blessing for Joy. A good spell… I wished her an empowering and beautiful birth just like she wants.
But I forgot myself. I forgot to include myself as part of it. Forgot to wish myself to be part of it. But maybe I didn’t forget. Maybe I just wrote down what felt right to me. Maybe I just felt Joy and her need to be alone.
She birthed almost completely alone, only her lovely partner was there with her. The kids were asleep.
Indie arrived as the sun rose on the first day of spring. And she arrived quickly too so I wouldn’t have made it on time anyway.
They called the midwife only at the very end, in time to welcome the baby.
I had an uneasy sleep and woke up to a message that said that Indie has been born.
When the moment came and Joy knew she was having her baby she had the overwhelming feeling that she didn’t want anyone around her. She was with herself (and her partner) immersed in her body, knowing it was doing its job perfectly.
So maybe my part was not to be there with her. Maybe my part was to bring her there. To believe in her. After all, empowering women is part of my job and I do it with an open heart.
Her birth story is Joy's to tell. My story is that I was a bit disappointed to have missed it, but I completely and utterly respected and understood her needs.
Probably felt them too.
Moreover, I am so so proud of her that she knew exactly what she wanted and needed.
As I missed the birth, I came the day after instead to meet her new gorgeous baby girl and we had a lovely “Fresh 48” session in her newborn bubble.
“Fresh 48” sessions have their own magic. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful these sessions are. It is not even a newborn baby; the baby is so fresh, between worlds, getting used to this one in a magical bubble with her mama.
Only a week later she already looked completely different.
You don’t have to hire a photographer but please remember to document these days. These are the moments we don’t remember because we are sleep deprived and because they go by so quickly. But these are the moments that our arms and milk and smell and sound are a direct continuation to what our baby knew in our womb. The nurturing which continues so beautifully what the baby’s placenta did before.
Those days after your birth (days/ nights it’s all mixed up together) go by so fast. And although I wasn’t there for the birth, I was there to catch those fleeting moments. And this is just as precious. Both for me and for Joy.
This is what Joy wrote to me after I visited her: "Thank you! I can't express how priceless it is to have these moments documented, that previously just never have been".