Michelle is one of my closest friends, we met while our husbands were in school together. We experienced so much side by side, supporting our husbands through a doctorate program, being pregnant for the first time, welcoming our first baby girls together, moving. I’ve leaned on Michelle and Spencer on more than one occasion for support, whether it was an afternoon tea and cry/laugh fest, or our weekly “family dinners”, the list goes on and on.
It must have been something in the water, because all of our closest friends have had baby girls, and now, a second set of baby girls has come along! We just had to laugh when the Smids announced that they were having another girl, this was the forth girl this year, born to our school “family”.
I was so honoured when they asked me to be part of their birthing experience, though birth photography. I can’t thank them enough for trusting me to capture such an amazing moment in their lives. Many people feel a little nervous about birth photography, and Spencer felt a bit uneasy about the whole thing. But thankfully they sat down and watched our birth video, and his worries were put to rest.
I’ll leave the images to tell the story, but the best moment of the whole day, was when Jane was handed to Michelle, and she whispered
” I’ve waited so long for you”
Jane, you are so, so loved
Take 4 minutes and watch the video.. So much love
You can read Michelle’s take on her birth experience on her BLOG
If you’re interested in hiring a birth photographer, I am available to shoot births in Abbotsford and Mission B.C
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Sometimes organizing an extended family shoot is impossible, but in this case, a date to do the session was the easy part. Who would have thought that in mid August, you’d need to worry about the weather. Our original session was scheduled on the only day of rain we had for weeks, but luckily we were all available to shoot the following week, and I’m so glad we rescheduled. You just can’t beat a sunny, evening shoot.
I had been emailing back and forth with Joan, and she was so sweet. It turns out that she found me on Google! I guess my summer reading, “SEO for Dummies” actually worked!
I arrived to the session, which was at one of my favourite sunny locations in Abbotsford. This big, beautiful family was waiting, and they were so much fun! I tell ya, you could really feel the love. The cousins were having fun, everyone was laughing and I feel like we got some beautiful, heartfelt images.
After some facebook stalking (stop pretending you don’t) I found out that Sarah is actually a successful writer! You can find her book Jesus Feminist HERE ! She has almost 10 000 facebook fans, which obviously means you’re famous :)! Go on over and visit her facebook page HERE You could be her 10 000th ‘Like’!
Things are still in boxes, but we’ve somehow found the time to spend our days at the beach. Something about our favourite lake (Hayward) that seems to make all the stress just melt away. Brian and I have spent our whole lives coming to this lake. This is where we came as friends, then a young couple, got married here, and now bring our two children. It’s crazy how things change, we’ve lived all over, travelled, studied, and never really thought we’d move back to Mission. But if one place feels like home, this lake is it.
We had been expecting to meet this little baby long before she came. I was dilated and baby had dropped many weeks before her due date, and I was even put on the “take it easy” plan from the midwives, but thankfully she stayed put until the perfect sunny Good Friday.
Thursday evening I had a midwife appointment, I was already 4 cm dilated and they stripped my membranes and said that she would expect to hear from me soon when things picked up. We ordered pizza because I was just too tired lazy to make dinner, and then headed to Lowes to get some PVC pipes so I could make Maddie a cool fort.. Don’t ask me why that was a priority, but it was. Every toddler needs a birth fort. I was having mild contractions throughout the evening/night, but nothing too crazy.
I headed to bed around 12 and got a solid 4 hours sleep, before I woke up and started feeling some contractions a little stronger. Off to the couch to catch up on the latest episode of Scandal, because what else can you do when you’re in labour, in the living room, by yourself, at 4 in the morning. I called my mom and sister to ask them to get ready and head on down, it was Good Friday (Canadian holiday) and I didn’t want them to be stuck in a long border wait for hours and hours.
Maddie woke up at 6, and I tried to read her stories, and play in her new fort, but my contractions were pretty strong and I kept having to stop while I was reading “weeed mommyyyy” she would yell. So I woke up Brian and informed him that he wouldn’t be going to work today, and he was on Maddie duty for a while.
I called the midwives around 8 am to let them know what was going on, they wanted me to head to the Birthing Center right away since I was already 4cm the night before. She was worried I might not make to the center if I waited too long. I really wanted to wait until my mom and sister arrived, so that they could care for Maddie, so we waited until they arrived at 9:30 to go in. It was great to be able to labour a home for a while, rocking back and forth while making myself toast, being able to walk and rock while roaming in our own home.
I arrived at the birthing center, waiting for me was my wonderful photographer Heather and my fabulous midwives Ann and Jesse (and student midwife Sarah who was AMAZING). It was comfortable, and I was walking, rocking, swaying and laughing through contractions. They checked me not long after I arrived and said I was about 6/7cm dilated, what a relief that was, only 3.5 cm to go! I was already almost completely effaced for the last few weeks, so I knew my body didn’t have too much work to do.
Brian went back home to eat some breakfast and get a few things we forgot. My contractions were getting a bit stronger so I got in the tub and let my body soak and relax. Brian came back, and we put on a podcast (Who doesn’t love a little This American Life) so I could be distracted. The podcast turned out to be a bust, the only episode we hadn’t heard was 522: Tarred and Feathered, and as you can imagine, that wasn’t the most positive birthing background. I asked Brian to head back home to get us some playing cards so I could kick his butt at crib, but the Midwives suggested that they check me before he went anywhere. To my surprise I was already at an 8! I shot a text to Heather, who had just run home to feed her baby, and called my mom and sister to head on over, and my friend Megan to watch Maddie (Elaine, Brian’s mom was stuck at the border).
At this point my contractions were getting stronger, but I was still able to laugh and enjoy conversation. I had read Hypnobirthing and was happy to think of these contractions as “surges” and “intense sensations”. It’s amazing how you can trick your mind into perceiving pain differently. I was stuck at an 8 for a little while, and I was starting to feel tired. Breaking my water was suggested, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. With Maddie, once my water was broken I felt like I wanted to die. My contractions were so intense and didn’t let up at all. But since I was stuck at 8cm, we thought that it might help things along. It didn’t make my contractions worse this time! But it didn’t help much either. I hated being out of the water, so I jumped waddled right back into the tub. They checked me again, no progress. I sat on the birthing stool and Sarah tried to stretch me during each contraction, it was very painful. I can’t remember if that helped or not, but eventually I got back into the water.
9cm-10cm was hellish. I was up and down in the tub, thrashing around like a wild woman. I remember Sarah looking at me, and calmly telling me to focus my energy to get baby to descend downward. I finally started to feel transition, and I could feel her descending, but she was SO heavy. I was fairly certain that at once point I was going to be the first person in the world to poop in out a baby. I was on my hands and knees swaying back and forth,trying to relax, but it was impossible at that point. Sarah was behind me putting pressure, and everyone was assuring me that I was doing great.
Still on my hands and knees, I birthed her. Sarah caught her from behind me, still completely in the water and swam her through my legs. I lifted her up out of the water in front of me. There she was. This little baby, so perfect with every crease and roll, and hair, all that work was SO worth it. The feeling of complete exhaustion and relief while holding your baby for the first time, is something that can’t easily be explained. It’s euphoric.
Someone helped me to the bed, I was checked and everyone left us to have a few minutes of peace. Brian, myself, and our unnamed baby. We cuddled on the bed, looked down at her and named her. Sadie. It was perfect.
This was such a positive experience for me. I felt in complete control, it was so amazing to experience birth without intervention. I wasn’t being poked and prodded. I was left to birth, naturally, letting my body do exactly what it was meant for.
Maddie and Elaine came to meet her, and we cleaned up and were home within three hours of her birth. I loved being at home in my own bed, able to cuddle this new child in the comfort of our room. Elise spent the night, and took great care of us all. Sadie has just fit in to our family so perfectly, and I can’t imagine our life without her.
Birth is just so amazing, I still feel like I’m on a high from having this natural birthing experience. I can’t thank my birthing team enough for their love and support. Jesse, Ann and Sarah were absolutely amazing midwives. Heather did a beautiful job capturing such an emotional day. My mom, who had been sick for many weeks, was able to make the birth which meant so much to me. Elise who is such a natural caregiver. Elaine and Megan for making Maddie feel comfortable throughout the day. And of course Brian, who was as laid back and calm as usual, and gave me the gift of those few tears post baby, just like after Maddie.
9 pounds 5.5 ounces | 22 inches long
Images from the day taken by Heather at Jagger Photography, and shared happily by me. Hopefully this will encourage people to look into midwifery care, and birth photography. Two of the best things we had chosen to do this time around.
I love collaborating with different businesses, and Buttons Diapers was no exception. I had been looking at purchasing some more cloth diapers to add to our stash and quite a few people suggested to look into Buttons Diapers. Honestly, I had my doubts, how on earth could they be charging so little, but be as awesome as everyone said?
“Quality, affordable, and adorable cloth diapers. Buttons’ is an easy to use two-in-one system. Our one-size diaper covers can snap to fit babies from 9-35 lbs, and are made of 2 layers of soft wipeable PUL with double gussets around the legs. Our snap-in diaper inserts are soft and absorbent, and come in two sizes.”
Yaya, moms swore by them on the moms groups, the website made them sound awesome.. But…. I’ll be the judge. The Fedex man came, and I tore open the package. I can’t be the only one who opens packages before the mailman leaves the door like a wild animal, can I?
I was SO impressed. The diapers are such good quality, super easy to use, and fit both our 3 month old, and our 2.5 year old! The fabric is beautiful, the snaps are good quality. Love love love. All the moms were right, the website wasn’t exaggerating, they are that good! Even my Brian loves them, ” these are pretty legit” he says.
* I have not been paid to post this review! But if you’re looking for some easy to use, cute, affordable cloth diapers, look no further! *
GIVEAWAY (Winner has been chosen)
Buttons has generously offered to give one of our lucky readers.. Drum roll please…
One Cover and Two Daytime Inserts!! Head on down to the bottom of this post for details
One lucky winner will receive their choice in any in-stock Buttons Diaper Cover and two Daytime Inserts, in the size of their choice! This giveaway is open to USA & CANADIAN residents! So whatcha waiting for? Enter away!
Giveaway will last until July 31st when a winner will be announced! Winner will have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be chosen. You MUST ‘like’ Buttons Diapers and Michelle Cervo Photography on facebook to enter, and you can get extra entries by following the rafflecopter options below