Whoops its been a little while since my last blog! Its been SO busy the last 2 months, I don’t know where to start and what to blog first! Well I do sort of know what to blog first, and thats Amelie’s birth story!
When my sister asked me to be her birth partner I was so thrilled. She always said she wanted me to be present if she ever had another baby, but it was one of those things you say as sisters, and I never thought she was serious! When she found out she was pregnant 9 months ago she asked me again and I was so honoured but so nervous (not that I told her that!!). Steve and I were (and still are), going through our own fertility issues for our much longed for second baby, and to be honest I was worried about how I would deal with it. Clients births, babies and children don’t phase me, but this was my sister and my potential niece or nephew and I really didn’t know (in a very selfish way) if I would cope with it all, or cope with seeing my little sister in so much pain during the birth.
As Mel’s due date approached we had plenty of false alarms. I had 2 weddings in the time frame of her due date, one of which that was in Cornwall (and the day after her first sweep!), and a client that had also booked in for birth photos in Burton. The first wedding came and went and so did the other birth. I missed the moment the baby was born in Burton by minutes and I was so worried I was going to miss Mel’s too. I so desperately wanted to be there for her and was planning the quickest way back from the Cornish wedding only a few days later. We got through the wonderful weekend in Cornwall with a few false alarms that almost had me on a flight from Newquay airport, and all settled down ready for the next sweep.
I had a newborn booked in the day after Mel’s next sweep who sadly had to cancel due to illness. Luckily I didn’t book anyone else in as I was woken up at 6am by a phone call
‘Just thought I would let you know bab, I’m having quite a few contractions, I’ve been up since 2am, can you be ready just in case’
Que me springing into action! I’ve never got up that fast before!! Got Max a lift to school, shoved stuff in a bag, grabbed my camera gear and headed to Mel’s house. She wasn’t massively keen on me photographing her in labour but thankfully her wonderful community midwife talked her round! Mel’s first baby was born in 4 hours, so I was expecting this to be an eventful morning and I’d be home in time to fetch Max from school.
Mel was so brave. She laboured alllll day. We timed the contractions, we walked and walked and walked. Paced the garden, the house, even jogged on the spot. We even went out for dinner, although the look on the waitresses face when Mel was leaning on the table having contractions was a picture, and we did have incredibly quick service!!! After lunch we went for another walk and the next 2 contractions almost floored her on the side of the road. It was time to go to the hospital.
After a couple of hours in triage, Mel was released. 3cm dilated. Not far enough along to be admitted. It was going to be a long night!!
I went home, got Max from after school club, had snuggles with him and a coffee and thought I would have a little time and maybe a nap before the next phone call.
5 minutes later my phone rang, it was Mel’s boyfriend Aaron;
‘Lucy, I just thought I would let you know, Mel can’t get off the toilet.’
Me; ‘Oh dear, that sounds bad Aaron, it sounds like she should be at the hospital’
Aaron; ‘ yeah thats what I thought,calling the hospital now she just wants a quick shower and we are heading there’
Me; ‘ ok I will meet you there’
I put the phone down and thought to myself, this is going to be quick, I hope we make it to the hospital, sounds like she doesn’t have time for a shower!!!
I drove as fast as I could and as I was getting to the hospital I see them in front in the car. Aaron veers off to the maternity entrance and as I’m pulling in I only see him and not Mel.
I ran. I ran really fast.
We got to triage together and he runs ahead. As Im looking through the window I see Mel on her knees on a wheelchair being whooshed past by midwives and Aaron with all the bags running like he was missing the last train. The security guard swung the doors open and just said
‘Run, run fast’
I caught them up at the room and they just managed to get Mel on the bed as she was pushing. Apparently she had almost had the baby in the car and had her feet up on the dashboard trying to stop herself, and then almost had the baby in the lift but was helped by a passing stranger to get to the doors of the unit.
17 minutes after getting to Russells Hall, baby Amelie made her entrance into the world.
I can’t describe how amazing my sister was, hopefully the photos will give you some idea of how wonderful she was. She was just so calm and so natural. I always think women turn into warriors during labour. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, you manage to draw this incredible strength from somewhere and carry on. Amelie was almost born with her waters intact which would have been a fantastic photo but they broke on the penultimate push! Aaron, was so strong and so supportive, he held on to her and kissed her shoulders so tenderly whilst trying to hold his own emotions together. Mel’s midwife was so wonderful, she let Mel’s body take charge and supported her like they had been friends for years.
There was just so much love.
I’m crying as I’m writing this because every time I start thinking about all the little moments that happened it brings back how much love was there. I know birth photos aren’t for everyone but they are such a memory to keep forever. Imagine being able to show your child their first breath or your face when you saw them for the first time? I really wish I’d have had someone there to capture Max’s entrance into the world and the love and support from everyone around me, its such an emotional time and you forget so much when its over.
Amelie I want you to know that you are loved. In 15 years from now when you are arguing with your mom and dad about not being able to go out, or do what you want to do and you throw out that phrase that all teenagers do in anger; ‘you don’t even love me’, or ‘why do you hate me so much’ etc etc I’m going to show you these photos. We will sit down together and I will show you the concern your dad had in his eyes when your mom was in pain. I’m going to show you how he held her up and wished her pain was his and wished you were here safely and that your mom would be ok. I’m going to show you how strong your mom was because each contraction that floored her bought her closer to meeting you. I’m going to show you the joy and the love your mom had for you when she saw your beautiful face for the first time after spending 9 months wondering what you would be like. I’m going to show you how they held you and each other and cried and gasped and kissed you over and over because they love you so much and that you are theirs. In 15 years when you think no one cares, these photos will show you they did and that they still do.
I love you so much already Amelie! So many congratulations Mel and Aaron, I’m so grateful you let me be there xxxxxxx
Ps thank you to Aaron for the photo of me and Amelie! I love it!!!!
Angelfire Photography specialises in birth, newborn, baby, family, child, maternity and wedding photography in West Midlands, England and surrounding areas including but not limited to Stourbridge and Birmingham.