Category Archives: Birth

Kiran and Sandeep

I just returned from an amazing birth today!  A wee bit ahead of schedule, but such a lovely entrance into the world for this little one.  He chose a beautiful day to be born. Kiran and Sandeep were an amazing team bringing their family into being together.  Kiran – you were amazing!!!  I’ll post more later, but couldn’t resist a few images from today.  Congrats you two… now three!

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Also posted in home birth, water birth

The Vote!

Birth Photographers are creating quite a stir and engaging in conversation around birth, photography, art and sharing.  I submitted a photo from a water birth to a contest that the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers is holding right now.  This is the first time I’ve ever submitted a photo of mine to any  kind of competition, it feels great just to participate and have an image that I took displayed alongside so many talented people.  I’m a newbie when it comes to birth photography, and seeing so many beautiful, powerful images is inspiring.  There has been a lot of debate about the nature of the photos, and a lot of sharing too!   Apparently, there has been so much attention, the site has crashed.  So, if you’re trying to see the images and vote, be patient…it’s worth it!  I have to say that all of the photos submitted are gorgeous and are helping to share what birth can be.

International Association of Birth Photographer’s Contest

A different kind of birth…

Over the weekend I was privileged to shoot a different kind of birth for an old friend… the birth of their family through adoption.  What a joy to be able to capture the first family photos of their 3 year old twins who have now found their forever family!!  Due to privacy concerns, I won’t post any of their photos – but believe me -those twins are cutie pies!  I have a few friends who were adopted themselves and a few who have adopted internationally and locally.  It’s so beautiful to see the relationships form and families be born.  Not always an easy road, but immeasurably worth it.  Congrats you guys!!

Also posted in adoption birth

Isabella

I was privileged to get to visit little Isabella a few days after she was born.  What a little bit of thing!  A few weeks early and in need of a little sun, she was soaking up the rays in her little tanning bed when we stopped by for a visit.  Congrats to Maria and Gord on your sweet girl.  So glad she’s home now and doing well!!

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Birth Photography?

It is interesting that on the day I am making changes to my website to highlight the direction that my business is going into, my newsfeed is going crazy with “Birth Photography” messages.  Yesterday there was an article on the CBC about Birth Photography.  It focused on sharing photos of births and the ‘new trend’ of having a birth photographer present at a birth.  I think it’s great to see people talking about this!  I have to say I disagree with one of the interviewees that it’s “silly” to have a professional take photographs at a birth (obviously, I’m of a different opinion!)  There are many people are commenting negatively on the story, saying it’s ‘too gory to document’, ‘it’s embarrassing’, it’s ‘too much sharing’.  I think that these comments are interesting in that they speak more to our society’s perceptions of women and birth in general in my opinion.  I, for one, am glad to be able to help document births to show women in such powerful moment… unashamed of the hard, physical work of birthing.  I want people to celebrate birth!  Each person’s comfort level is different, so we respect that.  Each person’s desire to share those special moment’s is going to be different, so we respect that.  For those who wish, Birth Photographers offer an invaluable service to start to collect real family images and event memories. To be able to capture the beauty of birth, and yes it is beautiful, is such a privilege.  My recent experience photographing Miles’ birth was natural.  It wasn’t awkward.  It was wonderful. Being present to capture the memory of the first time he took a breath was an honour.  Photographing the first time he opened his eyes and latched them onto his gorgeous mother and father was connection at it’s finest.  Witnessing the love exchanged in the blink of an eye, and photographing that for a family to have forever, is amazing.

I wonder how many of the people commenting negatively have had the opportunity to actually see birth photos of someone they care about.  I know many people I spoke to when I said I wanted to get into Birth Photography (especially in my parent’s generation) were a bit cautious.  Now that they have seen the actual photos, and can see how beautiful it can be, they get it.  So many people I’ve talked to wish that they’d had good photos of the real-life moments of their child’s birth. I am so thankful to Kaelyn and Adrian for letting me document little Miles’ arrival into the world… and letting me share the pictures that show the raw beauty of birth!

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Amazing Women

This is one of my favourite moments from yesterday’s birth of Miles.  Really, there were so many very beautiful, intense moments… but I love this capture between mother and daughter in front of a birth painting during a particularly hard contraction, just before Kaelyn entered the pool.  The strength and support of her mom’s presence, constantly encouraging her and telling her she can do it!  A few years ago, Kaelyn and her mom got matching tattoos on their forearms partly in memory of Kaelyn’s dad who had passed away.  In a way, he was there too cheering her on.   I love that their symbolic remembrance is also a sign of solidarity, courage and strength.  Amazing women.

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Welcome to Miles Bailey McFarlane!

Today I had the wonderful privilege of seeing baby Miles enter the world!  I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing it was to witness the strength of Kaelyn as she birthed her son.  I am in awe of this woman who laboured through a fast progression of 4 hours of contractions and safely delivered at home with her midwife colleagues at her side.  When I arrived this afternoon at 3:30, I began to cry – what beauty!  With Adrian and her mom as supports, 3 hours later baby Miles arrived. There were moments ofsuch calm and serenity as well as excitement  and immense struggle as we cheered on her pushing at the end.  Everyoneis doing amazingly well and are very healthy.  There is so much to share as I reflect on today, which I will share in upcoming posts. For tonight though, just a few quick images from today’s amazing and life altering experience.  Welcome baby Miles!

Miles Bailey McFarlane, July 14, 2012 @ 6:31pm  8 pounds, 1 ounce.

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Also posted in home birth, water birth

Hypno-Birthing

I had an interesting experience a while ago… My friends Kaelyn and Adrian invited me to come along to their Hypno-Birthing class to learn what it was all about and to be better prepared for their birth.  Kaelyn is a midwife and has had some experience witnessing the effect that hypnosis can have during birth.  We went to see Lara at HypnoBirthing Hamilton, who is such a peaceful and caring instructor.  Not knowing anything about Hypno-Birthing, I was an eager student to learn about how self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques can be used to eliminate fear and tension and to have a positive birth.  It’s not just about avoiding pain though, it’s about creating powerful moments and deciding the way in which you want to approach the entire experience.  No pain scales, no clocks to pressure Kaelyn – just the experience of the birth for what it is.  I’ve explained to people that it’s similar to how professional athletes use visualization techniques to improve their physical game.  In the same way, the mind is taught techniques to help tell the body to be calm, be relaxed, be open, and help to guide the body’s own natural anesthesia.  We watched a few videos to compare hypno and non-hypno births.  So fascinating!  It actually makes a lot of sense to me and reminds me of life in general.  We can be in a tense moment, straining with effort, but can choose to accept it and go to the deeper experience that is offerred.  What you seek you will find – and if you focus on the pain you will certainly find it.  Now, that’s not to say there won’t be pain.  Of course there will!  Anything that’s of value requires effort and pain on the journey.  But I love that through it we can choose to be grace-filled, positive people in the midst of struggle.

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Home Visit!

In just a few short weeks (or maybe sooner?) I will have the privilege of attending the birth of Kaelyn and Adrian’s first child.  To say I am excited is an understatement!  In preparation for the big day, I tagged along to the home visit with midwife Diane.  Instead of a clinic or office, Diane came to their home where the birth will be happening.  Completely at ease, we all had a relaxed time as we talked about the intentions for the birth and Diane checked on Kaelyn and baby’s health.  Diane’s son was along for the ride and gave Adrian some practice kid-wrangling while mom and Kaelyn were busy.  So cute!  Snagged some fun pics of the visit for your viewing enjoyment.  I have to say – I am a HUGE fan of midwives!  More on that later…

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~ Kaelyn & Adrian ~

My good friends Kaelyn and Adrian are having a baby!  We went to the park last week to take photographs and spent some time laughing, being silly and, of course, having some Moose Tracks ice cream.  You two are amazing!  So sweet and fun, yet we were able to capture some truly tender moments as well.  I can’t wait to photograph the birth!  I am overjoyed and honoured that you chose me to be present and help document all those first moments.  The way that you have opened your lives up to me is a gift.  Stay tuned for more pics of a hypno-birthing class and home visit from their mid-wife Diane…

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