I got the call from Talitha at about 1:30 am. I grabbed my gear and drove
the hour to her house through the quiet dark highways.
The house was so quiet and dimly lit. I put down my things and slowly went
upstairs to the loft bedroom where Peter, Talitha and their midwife Ayla
I quietly greeted and sat for a while to acclimatise and feel the space
out. I tiptoed downstairs a little while later and brought up my tripod
and camera and a spare memory card and battery and started, very
occasionally, to take a few pictures to capture the scene.
Talitha was at quite an advanced stage of labour when I arrived and within
an hour things had become increasingly intense for her. She moved around
very little until at one point she kneeled, on a yoga mat, at the end of
their plastic and sheet covered bed and she began to moan and push through
active labour. Her husband Peter quietly but firmly held her in her space
and Ayla stood back behind her, her hands in blue gloves, waiting calmly.
She began to push, she was surprisingly quiet, I almost didn’t realise it
was that time. I moved around as fast and quietly as I could to the other
side of the bed. A better vantage point. I caught the moment as all three
caught Noah as he made his way out of the womb and into the world. Peter
and Talitha gently pulled him up into their arms. A warm aura clung to them
in those moments. The look on Talitha’s face was peaceful yet intense. I
wondered how her body must feel after having a baby leave her moments ago.
They slowly got up, Talitha holding Noah and Peter holding Talitha and they
made their way onto the bed where, relieved and thrilled, they stared at
their baby and kissed each other.
Those moments were sublime but also became increasingly difficult as we all
waited for the birth of her placenta which usually comes out within
30minutes of the birth of the baby. Eventually Ayla clamped the umbilical
cord and handed Peter the scissors.
They touched his toes and his tummy and his face and between smiles Talitha
cramped and cringed in pain with the contractions of the placenta, which,
after more than 35min, had not yet come out. Ayla spoke about
ambulances…she put a drip into Talitha’s arm and I took the baby so that
Peter could stand on the bed with the drip held up and Talitha could focus
on pushing. It was agonising to watch and at the same time a precious
moment to hold in my arms such a brand new little human.
Thankfully her placenta eventually made its way out after injections and
drips and pushing. I handed Noah back to his parents and peace slowly
settled into the room. It was about 3:30 am now and I made my way downstairs
where I rested and waited for dawn, for the house to wake up.
Little Summer, their daughter, woke up, her hair sweetly dishevelled.
Talitha’s mother and Summer made their way upstairs behind me. I wanted to
capture this special meeting for them.
Early morning light flooded the loft and Summer tentatively met her little
brother for the first time.
After capturing a few moments I said my goodbyes, packed away my gear and
quietly left into a beautiful, fresh early morning.
Story and photos by Leah Hawker – Birth Photographer