Eagerly awaiting notification of an impending birth. I had been a little on edge and was carrying my phone with me everywhere and on the morning of the 10th of March while preparing my children’s lunches for school and kinder I recieved a text from my client, Jess;
“Don’t want to get too excited but I am thinking today might be the day!”
I then started making arrangements for my children for the day. I kept in contact with Jess throughout the day and she sounded as though she thought it would be a long wait with her contractions coming only every 20 minutes. I could tell at stages she was feeling discouraged and she was prepared to try a bit of dancing to see if it helped get bub moving a little quicker. She sent me a clip of her dancing in her loungeroom to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, which was quite a sight but it did look like a lot of fun and I kind of wished I had been there at that moment to take some photos! My mum came to help with my youngest child and after I picked my 4 year old up from kinder at 2:30pm I decided I wanted to be with Jess to start capturing the story of her journey to giving birth to her daughter.
I arrived at Jess’ at about 3pm and I had a feeling she felt she had put me out, that she may not even be giving birth that day. Jess and her friend and work colleague, Taylah were relaxing in front of the TV watching the US version of One Born Every Minute… I made them turn it off and told them that they were scaring the baby and there would be no way she would come out after watching it 😉 (honestly this show sends my blood pressure soaring and is a sure way to get me to yell at the TV!!)!
Jess and I soon had a chat about what was happening and Jess was keen to try a couple of things to get bub into a better position (she had a feeling baby was posterior where baby’s facing the front). We did some rebozo sifting (sifting, or jiggling the entire abdomen with a sheet in this instance, that can relax tight ligaments and may help a baby rotate in pregnancy or labour more easily, and help a birthing woman relax into her labour) and I also gave her a foot massage and put some pressure on a couple of pressure points. Soon I finally met Jess’ Hubby, Stu after he returned home from work. Stu had been working FIFO but had quit just a few weeks before Jess was due to give birth and returned home after their dear friend, Daniel had died, So previously I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet him.
According to Jess and Stu their son, Jordan wasn’t in much of a hurry to be born and Jess’ labour was quite long and somewhat traumatic, and I could tell that both Stu and Jess were sceptical that any other length of labour could be possible. Stu went about doing some tiling outside while Jess and I stayed indoors.
Soon it was time for Jordan to be picked up from daycare and I took this opportunity to capture some special moments with mum and Jordan… some of the last moments he was an only child.
Jess’ labour was still very slow and relaxed so I soon felt Jess may need a few moments on her own so I took my leave for a bit and went to visit my sister and have some dinner. I returned at about 7pm and Jess was enjoying company from Taylah and another dear friend and birth support Tamara. The light outside was beautiful as the sun dipped below the horizon and it inspired Jess to go for a walk to see what a quiet stroll would do. So the 5 of us set off to take Jordan to the skate park with me at times scooting ahead to take photos.
It had become evident that the short stroll had helped, Jess was stopping every 5 minutes or so to relax through a contraction. We didn’t stay long at the park (much to Jordan’s dismay) and the sky was growing dark as we walked back home. Taylah soon makes her way home and we make our way inside where it is becoming increasingly evident that it is beyond Jordan’s bedtime.
Stu is taking it easy on the couch playing xbox (or something, I’m not so savvy with games) with his brother via wifi where he chatted away to him with an ear piece. Jordan soon calms down and sits by his dad while Jess sits at the kitchen table enjoying her more regular contractions. With each one she flushes and fans herself to try and alleviate her high temperature. Tamara scoots off to bring back a fan to make Jess more comfortable and then goes about making herself a coffee then cleans the kitchen. Jess moves about a bit and eventually (at about 10:30 pm) finds herself standing in the lounge room where her waters break on her brand new rug. Stu begins to get anxious to get to the hospital and they make a phone call to the labour suite. Jess can’t talk on the phone for long as her contractions really ramp up and it isn’t long before she starts getting cold and feels a bit nauseas! Screams transition to me!!
Jess’s mum arrives to collect the sleeping Jordan while everyone in the house prepares for the trip to Shepparton (about 20-30 minute drive). I take my own car because I live in Shepparton and didn’t want to get stuck without a car and I have a feeling that things will be quite quick. I decide to take an alt route, which was silly because I forgot that the way I go is blocked due to roadworks. So I arrive at the hospital after the birthing crew had already made their way up to Birthing Suite.
I pass through the emergency waiting room and advise the staff that I am on my way to a birth and they giggle and let me though… I later find out that Jess made quite a scene on her way in. I walk up the stairs to the Birthing Suite and I see Stu waiting for the lift to go back down. He warns me that things are happening quickly and I wonder why he is leaving, turns out they were in such a hurry to get Jess upstairs that the car was left running.
I make it to Jess’ room and she is kneeling beside the bed with her thongs still on contracting in a way that is quite consistent with 2nd stage (the pushing stage) . Stu appears soon with Jess’ bags and immediately joins Jess on the bed.
Jess is quite uncomfortable but doesn’t move from the side of the bed, she holds tight to the bed sheets and it isn’t long before baby begins to emerge…. head first… then fist!! When baby arrives, Claire, the midwife assigned to Jess, passes Jess’ new daughter to her through her legs where Jess immediately embraces her with her whole body!!
This is a moment that is irreplicable! Words can not even begin to explain how a woman feels right at this moment!! Photos paint a much clearer picture and I am so happy to have captured this moment for Jess and her brand new daughter that her and Stu named Dakota.
Written by Tanya Minotti Photographer – Shepparton Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photographer