The Birth Story of Eliza Grace Searle

Over the past 10 days, I have shared my favourite 10 images from the birth story of
Eliza Grace on 9th November 2016.

This blog post is to share the entire story…

Credit to these images is given to Jes Jackson of Itty Bitty Photography who has become more than my birth photographer, she has become a colleague and friend. I believe it was more than just pure chance that the same week we found out we were expecting was the same week Jes announced her return to birth photography at the conclusion of her own maternity leave. Throughout the pregnancy Jes and I chatted almost daily via text and she quickly became more than my hired photographer, she was a support, an ear, an encouraging and uplifting soul and a friend… and come the birth, she was an advocate, a strength and a friend… and now that all still remains, and with that, I am very much looking forward to what the future has in store for us as colleagues.

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I’ve deliberated as to how I wanted to share these images. I felt as though being a birth photographer myself I needed to do something grand. But I sit here now and realise that it wouldn’t really matter what I did to share them with the world because to the world they will speak differently on their own merit to each who views them…

But whats more, as someone who has now experienced what it is like to first hand have their own birth photographed, the profound impact it has had on me is deep… it gives me a whole new appreciation and love for birth photography, it reignites that passion I have for the genre… It is truly incredible to sit here now and view these images and understand to the full degree what it is that my clients experience when I capture their birth for them.

More importantly though, these images are my personal story, and they will speak to me in ways and in volumes that no one else will understand, and that is the true power of birth photography. And these images I now have forever. And each time I view them, no matter how many times I already have, they continue to bring me to tears.

So here is the birth story of Eliza Grace…

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Image One – My Favourite

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is the final one out of the 10… here is my favourite!

That first look when between worlds.
Her first look at the world.
Our first look at her.

How could I possibly not love this image? How could I possibly not love that moment she takes her first breath? This is the moment that the last nine months led up to. This is it. This is her birth. This. Right here.

This is a moment I would never have seen. A moment. A single moment. The most powerful, the most meaningful, the one moment where everything stops and stands still and in the next moment everything is changed. The moment my daughter was born. I gave birth to my daughter. And I get to see her being born. Amazing! Beautiful! Emotional! Incredible! Birth!

That’s my 10 favourite images from my birth story… want to see the whole story? Watch this space, I will be blogging it in it’s entirety soon.

Image credit (with not enough words to describe how much these images mean to me):
Jes Jackson – Itty Bitty Photography.

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Image 2 – My Birth Story

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is yesterdays, image number 2…

“I can’t do it”
I can barely type what he whispered in this moment without tears welling in my eyes!

I love this image because this was such a personal moment, so powerful and emotive, it was when I lost all belief in myself but he still believed in me.

I might have said that I can’t do it, I might have believed in this moment that I couldn’t do it… but I did. My body did. My baby did. We did it (and in only an hour!). But we couldn’t have done any of it – the pregnancy nor the birth – without this amazing man.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the next image!

Image credit (with so much love and immense thanks):
Jes Jackson, Itty Bitty Photography.

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Image 3 – My Birth Story

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is yesterdays, image number 3…

One of the biggest things I love about this birth (compared to Alanah’s) is the afterwards… afterwards I was able to enjoy those first precious moments… something that I missed first time around. I don’t remember Ben holding Alanah for the first time, all those moments are awash between sheer exhaustion and the medicated daze. It highlights the importance of birth photography in that those moments I missed I can’t re-live through images. This experience was so different. Both in how it happened, and in now having these moments recorded to re-live over and over!

I love this image because although I look tired, I am content, and his kiss is like saying “thank you” for enduring all that I had – both in pregnancy and birth – to give him another daughter. And who doesn’t love a bit of daddy-baby-skin-to-skin!

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the next image!

Image credit (with adoration):
Jes Jackson, Itty Bitty Photography.

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Image 4 – My Birth Story

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is yesterdays, image number 4…

I remember during the birth burying my head a lot – whether into Ben, a pillow, a face washer or my hands… and in my head, saying “don’t bury your face, it won’t make for good photos and you’ll regret it later”… oh the thoughts only a birth photographer would have mid-labour!!

I had a cannula in my wrist, it was in such an awkward place, and terribly uncomfortable and painful anytime I used my wrist and I complained about it since the night before when it went in. My labour went from nothing to full on in a matter of minutes, and birth within an hour of that. I remember being in this position and Ben saying “well it must be more painful because you aren’t complaining about your wrist anymore even though you’re bending and leaning on it”!

I love this image because I remember the humour in that the bed wouldn’t go up and down (the second of three beds that were broken), the loss of care over the cannula in that it was the start of things really ramping up, and that when I look at it I can see the connection between us and remember the things he whispered in my ear.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the next image!

Image credit (with much appreciation):
Jes Jackson, Itty Bitty Photography.

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Image 5 – My Birth Story

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is yesterdays, image number 5…

When you knees are weak and your legs are shaking, when you can barely stand… but you have a pillar to hold you up and to be strong together…

I love these two images paired together because for the entire pregnancy I could sink into his arms and everything would always be ok… and this encapsulates that perfectly

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the next image!

Image credit (with gratitude):
Jes Jackson, Itty Bitty Photography.

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Image 6 – My Birth Story

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is yesterdays, image number 6…

This is Jade (14) and Alanah (8)…
This is sister supporting sister.

And I love this image for all the love, maturity, responsibility and nurturing… for the smile and the blocked ears – so many emotions in one expression… and that without it, I wouldn’t know this moment ever happened.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the next image!

Image credit (with admiration):
Jes Jackson, Itty Bitty Photography.

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Image 7 – My Birth Story

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is yesterdays, image number 7…

This image makes me giggle every time I look at it… It absolutely captivates me how even in those first minutes, even before the birth, these little precious babies have their own unique personalities… and this here is her exactly! It isn’t that she is a grumpy baby in mood, but she just has grumpy face. She did the moment she was out, and did weeks and weeks. It was just her face. And my two other girls found it hilarious!

I love it for it’s accuracy, this is her all over, spot on. And now we will never forget that little face so full of expression and personality!

Image credit (with smiles of laughter):
Jes Jackson – Itty Bitty Photography.

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Image 8 – My Birth Story

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is yesterdays, image number 8…

From the moment we said to our girls that they were welcome to come to the birth if they wanted to, she was amendment that she was going to cut the cord!

I love this image because this is Alanah setting her free of my body and in turn, this special “big kid” moment is her embracing her new role and her little sister. Alanah can’t wait to tell her about it one day, and now has this photo to help tell that story.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the next image!

Image credit (in awe):
Jes Jackson, Itty Bitty Photography.

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Image 9 – My Birth Story

Currently on Facebook I am posting one image a day over ten days showing my top ten favourite images from my birth story.

Here is yesterdays, image number 9…

This is family. All hands on deck. All pitching in. All sharing the highs and the lows. All there for each other. All together. This is the husband, the father, the man of the house taking the lead, and encouraging us to follow.

I love this image because it is so simple, it’s an every day snap shot into our lives, exactly as we are. This is our family. Together.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the next image!

Image credit (with pure pride):
Jes Jackson – Itty Bitty Photography.

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