Giving birth is hands down the most incredible thing I’ve done on so many levels. There is nothing in my life that has taken such a oneness with my body and my mind. In the final moments of giving birth the second time, the midwife leaned over to me in the midst of contractions and told me that if I didn’t push this baby out in the next few minutes they were going to have to intervene and cut me to pull her out. Her heart rate had been plummeting due to an umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. I gave birth, just in time, to a full resuscitation team and a clearly on edge room. In those last moments I didn’t know there was a team of medical staff, I don’t remember seeing anything at all; I just knew my baby and I had this.
A photographer friend was there capturing all this. Every time I look at these photos I am transported back to that time of stress, relief, and utter joy as my daughter let out her first scream. My 4-year-old loves these photos I got made into a book. She constantly asks to have the book ‘read’ to her, squealing with excitement at being able to witness the first moments of her life.
Everyone’s birth story is so different and beautiful in their own way. One of our fave birth photographers, Kate Kennedy, shared her top birth photos and moments with us and they are STUNNING. From the mum captured holding her newborn a year after a stillbirth, to the women who sat through her father’s funeral in labour to give birth 40 minutes later. From home births to hospital births to caesareans. This is the power of women.
“Skye was walking into her father’s funeral when her water broke. She sat through the service enduring strong contractions and with water gushing. She immediately headed for home at the conclusion of the service and within 40 minutes of being home, she gave birth to baby Nylah who was in a surprise footling breech position. Her youngest daughter was by her side throughout the entire labour and birth.”
“Baby Alexis, the smaller of identical twin girls born in a gentle caesarean section.”
“Annabelle’s mother and grandmother are both midwives. She happily wandered around the room and played while her mother laboured with her baby sister, but when her Mum reached the point of transition and the labour was at it’s most intense, Annabelle cupped her mother’s face in her hands and grounded her in the very same way a midwife would.”
“With her twin sister still tucked away inside, baby Emily comes face to face with her mother for the first time. We are incredibly lucky in Australia to have access to family centered caesarean sections, where the screen separating mother and baby is lowered at the moment of birth so the mother can see her child and feel involved in the birth process.”
“Taken at one of the very first births I ever photographed, this is the moment when Claire and her midwife Nancy celebrated the safe arrival of baby River in the lounge room at home.”
“The plan was for me to arrive at Jaime & Trevor’s house to document some labour at home before travelling to the hospital together for the birth. However, within a few minutes of my arrival it was apparent that we wouldn’t have the time to make it to hospital, and so with the paramedics on their way, baby Archie arrived on the bathroom floor.”
“After giving birth to a stillborn baby only a year earlier, this was the moment when Laura held her second baby boy to her chest. Such grief and joyous gratitude all at once.”
“This image was taken in the minutes following a beautiful home birth at dawn. The mother had gone off to have a shower and left her three boys to have some skin to skin time. They sat facing a window, soaking in the first light of their first day as a family of four.”
These amazing pics have been republished with permission by Kate Kennedy Birth Photography. You can check out more of her beautiful work on Facebook or Instagram.
Have you heard our podcast? You can listen to Rachael Finch talk about her two VERY different labours below and subscribe to our pod here. It’s awesome!