This birth is a particularly powerful one for me. Photographing the New Zealand born couple, Pene and Jeremy becoming parents was a moving and memorable experience. It is with special thanks to them both for allowing me to share some of their images with you here.
I was called to Pene and Jeremy’s home just before midnight on the 14th August 2013. The mood was calm with sense of apprehension about what was to come and a hint of suppressed excitement. We took a brief opportunity to capture a posed moment in between contractions. It was the love I saw in this photograph that I witnessed wildly blooming as Jeremy saw the amazing power and strength Pene had within her. It is an image that set the scene of support and strength between them as a new family.
Pene prepared herself mentally for the journey ahead with a calming bath and rythmical chants, with Jeremy’s support as he attended to the more pragmatic details.
By 2am on the 15th of August, we were at the Flinders Medical Centre and Pene settled into her suite within the Midwifery Group Practice birth centre.
The intensity of a first time labour is always encompassing. Pene’s strength continued as she found relief in water with the support of Jeremy and the midwifery staff.
At 5am an examination was conducted to check the progress and membranes were ruptured.
This moment will stay with me, as Pene reaches the point where her strength wavers and she cries “I don’t know if I can do this”, in desperation. It is the response from her friend Vicki that resonated in my heart and made the tears in my eyes, roll down my cheeks. With calm knowing, Vicki replies “This is how it is done.”
Jeremy’s support and love for Pene was impeccably present, as if he would have willingly swapped places with his love at any moment if it were possible.
At 7:54am, Pene birthed their beautiful baby boy. He required some assistance to clear his lungs and a little oxygen. The staff who attended to his care were so compassionate.
After a short stay in NICU, baby Ethan was taken home. I went to visit them 2 weeks later to show them their photographs and enjoy hearing all about their experience after a little space from the big event.
Ethan is a real treasure! Thanks again Pene and Jeremy for allowing me the honour of being present at Ethan’s birth. xxx