I don’t even know where to begin with this story. Other than I’m still buzzing from capturing it.
Elaine + Hopkin contacted me earlier in the year asking if I’d like to photograph the birth of their little girl. There is something about birth that makes it a different kind of beautiful to weddings and families. Birth is so raw, so unscripted, and so full of emotion. For first time mama’s, like Elaine, you can prepare yourself in a hundred ways and have all the plans but you never fully know what to expect.
Elaine planned for a water birth. She was to labour as much as she could at home and Hopkin was to text me when they were leaving for the hospital. We would arrive at the same time and hopefully not too long after, they’d be meeting their baby girl. Plans are a funny thing!
I received a text from Hopkin late afternoon to say that Elaine had been labouring at home for a few days and her waters had broken. She hadn’t slept, was totally exhausted and nothing seemed to be progressing. They arrived at the hospital where the doctor’s were concerned about the risk of infection due to her waters being broken for a long period of time and made the call for an induction following an epidural. After tucking my own baby into bed, I arrived at the hospital at 9:00pm to see Elaine was indeed, well and truly over it. She needed rest and the midwife was certain that she wouldn’t see the baby on her night shift. We were in for a long night. I was hesitant, but left at around 10:30pm with a plan to come back in the morning before traffic got crazy. All the plans!
It was around 1am when I’d just fallen asleep and received a text message from Hopkin to say that Elaine had progressed very quickly and was about to start pushing…holy wow! Back into the car and
speeding down the freeway, I was certain I wasn’t going to make it. But this time, plans went our way. Elaine had just began pushing as I arrived. Her body was tired but for just under an hour she gave every last bit of energy she had left and welcomed her beautiful little daughter earth side. At this point I couldn’t see through my viewfinder due to full blown tears but I was clicking the button hoping for the best. Seeing this little life be born and placed into her mothers arms was a magic like no other. Those very first seconds, minutes, moments as parents is just indescribable.
I stayed for an hour or so after Audrey was born. She lay skin to skin with her mum and began to feed with little help. It was so so beautiful. I left just after 4am, feeling all the feels and on a total “birth photography” high.
Thank you, Elaine + Hopkin for asking me to document this incredibly special moment for you both. It was an absolute honour and a moment that I feel so blessed to have been able to capture.
Welcome to the world, sweet baby Audrey.