Image 10 – 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 10…

Our two girls decided to come to be part of the birth of their younger sister. This is our 8yo daughter, Alanah. This image was taken in the morning, after having my waters broken, there was a incredible amount of meconium, and our birth plan started to go pear shaped. Our girls were going to come in once labour was established, but came in to visit for a quick hello before things really started in case they weren’t able to come back later. This was when they were getting ready to leave… little did we know just how quickly they would be back again (but more to come on that later)!

I love this image because of the emotion, she’s excited but overwhelmed, and vulnerable, and just didn’t want to leave me. The last time I would hug her as my youngest, the next time I would see her, she would be a big sister.

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

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How To Spell Awesome

The moral of this story is:
If you are going to allow your 8yo to paint your belly with henna, don’t be surprised if there are spelling errors.

That’s right. At 39 weeks, I had the word “awesome” painted in henna on my belly by my 8yo, but it was spelled “awsum”.

And of course, when the 13yo points out the mistake, the 8yo cries. And when the 8yo cries, she drops the henna tubey-thing. And when the henna tubey-thing drops, it makes a mess. And when it makes a mess… well… this story just gets messier and messier!!!

But a few tears later, and then a whole lot of laughs… it was worth totally worth it!

Because this wasn’t just about taking some photos, it wasn’t just about decorating my belly or something to do on a Sunday afternoon… it was about having my two girls bond with their yet-to-be-born-baby-sister when we were aware of them having a larger age gap (one of whom is not overly emotional or naturally maternal by personality), with them feeling as though their whole world was turning upside down, with them still at 38 weeks still not feeling as though it was real and, in the words of my 13yo… feeling “meh”… not excited, not unhappy, not anxious, not impatient… just “meh”.

I blogged a few days about about my maternity images (which you can view here) and these are just a few more to help us remember it… remember the time in our lives, and remember the mess!

{ as always }
x

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My Maternity: Two-Point-Ohhhhhh!

I always toyed with the idea of having another baby, although at the end of each year when the annual scheduled conversation arose, it always played out the same way…

“I suppose we should talk about whether we want to have another baby”
“Oh yeah, we probably should”
“Talk about it again next year instead?”
“Yup”

And that was it. That’s kinda how my husband and I roll.

Our two girls always hinted at it, reminding us each year the time for “the conversation” was approaching and then hounding us to know if we had had the chat yet, and what the outcome was.

My youngest even drew this when she was three:

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It was never off the cards entirely, but for so many reasons it was never something that was on the cards either… and if it were to be, it would be something that was a decision and something we planned for.

So when we found out we were expecting, it was certainly a curve ball. But, while not planned, certainly not unwelcome.

I look back on my blog to September 2013 when I wrote a post (which you can view here) about my maternity and newborn photos of my first born, and how disappointed that 5 years on, I had nothing to show, and how much I wish I had what I give my clients now.

When we finally got over that initial shock that we were expecting again… I was excited at the prospect of being able to do so many photos!… I would be able to this time do it right! The ideas started flowing! Oh the possibilities!

For maternity… I wanted to do a timeline, a weekly progressive shot of my belly. I wanted to do some with my husband, some nudes, some to replicate again once the baby was born, some outside, some with my children, and all together as a family. I wanted the moody shadows of my usual style, I wanted some nice earthy outdoor ones, a silhouette up on the mountain at sunrise. I wanted to be able to take some more controversial ones, to even step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to embrace my (very) curvy body and show that we are all beautiful in our own skin, especially when pregnant! I wanted to do SO much!

Little did I know, pretty much none would come to life. I was just too sick (to read my story of surviving two HG pregnancies, click here). And it shattered me to come to the realisation that I would miss out on something that was so important to me. So important on a personal level, but professional as well. And of course, my belly was never a good shape, that wobbly bit from baby #1 never got firm, and I was terribly self aware!

With each week that passed, I would be saying “I really need to get my maternity photos done, we could have a baby by this time next week” and so many times I attempted to get up and showered and do my hair and make up… and I would end up crashing in tears at sheer exhaustion. In hindsight, I probably should have gone to have them done, but I was set on doing them myself, and the thought of being so ill at another photographers studio was a fear I didn’t chance.

So at 38 weeks, I pushed myself one day with the mindset that I try to convey to clients – that even one photo is better than none.

So all I wanted was to get one. One usable shot and I would be happy with that. Crushed I didn’t get all I had originally dreamed of, but one would be enough. And, after taking 3 or 4 frames, I couldn’t do anymore and decided that whatever I had would do and I gave up. I did end up having a second attempt later that day, after a long rest and an even longer cry about it all, they are of something else, and I did successfully get another 3 or 4 images (which I will share another day to come).

I ended up opting for a set up in my bedroom. Just me. Alone. This is how so many days of my pregnancy were – all spent here in bed, alone. Although the curtains were always closed and the bed unmade with me in it, looking like death and copious amounts of medication on the bedside and a second little table specifically for my bucket.

At the end of the day, as I explained in my blog post from 2013, I wanted something to be able to show my children in a few years time from now.

And, more to that, it is something that I truly believe – that we MUST EXIST in photos! No excuses!

In 5 years time, in 5 generations time, they won’t care if my belly wasn’t perfectly round, or my hair was dirty that day, or that my legs were too-many-days-since-the-last-shave-prickly… or any of those other excuses we concoct to avoid being in front of a camera.

So here is my maternity photo… and in actual fact, it’s a blinker shot too. But… it’s a photo of me, a photo of me pregnant, and that’s more that I thought was going to be possible. I’m disappointed, yes, I admit that I am, that I didn’t get all that I wanted. But, I have one, and that makes me so happy. Because one is better than none. And this one I will cherish.

{ as always }   x

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The Hurricane

I saw a quote that has stuck with me, it is simply the best way to describe something that really isn’t describable, something that no matter what words you try to use, is something that you can’t understand until you are in the depths of it first hand.

“If morning sickness is a drop of rain, Hyperemesis is the hurricane”.

Even just reading that now I have written it, it brings goosebumps and I am holding back tears. Truth.

I have suffered, and survived, two Hyperemesis Gravidarum pregnancies.
My husband too has suffered through two HG pregnancies.
I have given birth to two babies who have also survived HG.

So what is HG?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is severe vomiting and nausea in pregnancy.
It can last for most, if not all, of the whole pregnancy.
There is no conclusive cause, nor is there a cure.
There are options of medications to help manage, although with a limited degree of success.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Let’s go a step further.

Severe vomiting. We are talking non stop. All day. Waking up in the morning to choking on your vomit. Waking up with no time to even roll over to get your head off the side of the bed. Vomiting so hard that all the capillaries in your face and eyes burst. Relentless nausea. Breathing makes you nauseous. Opening your eyes makes you nauseous. Vibration and sound and light makes you nauseous. Your own saliva makes you sick. And still vomiting even though there is nothing left in your stomach. Vomiting bile, your stomach lining, and the acid burning your throat. In agony because your stomach muscles are constantly working and go into spasm. And the spasms make you nauseous. All day. Every day. Non stop.

Still not sounding all that bad?

You can’t eat, or drink. Unable to keep down water, not even little sips. Nor the dry plain crackers people suggest as a magic cure. You haven’t eaten in days. You are weak. You are malnourished. You are dehydrated. You are rapidly loosing weight. Yet you keep vomiting.

Then what?

You black out. You faint. You can’t string together a sentence because you have no clarity in your thoughts. You can’t sit up and can barely open your eyes. Everything makes you unwell… every sound, every smell, every movement.

My husband has had to carry me to the toilet. He has had to take me to the bath, wash me and hold me up because i’ve been too weak to lay there and keep my head above water. He has cleaned my vomit bowls, bowl after bowl after bowl, and changed the bed sheets, time and time again. He has seen me loose control of my bladder because i’ve vomited too hard. He has been able to do nothing but hold me while I cry, while I sob that I just want it to end. He has been totally helpless.

You need to understand that HG isn’t morning sickness. Morning sickness is a symptom of pregnancy. HG is an chronic, debilitating illness. HG can kill you.

Say what? Kill you? No way… vomiting and nausea can’t kill you!?

Yes, it can. Because it is that severe, and lasts for so long, that you become THAT malnourished. THAT dehydrated. Your organs shut down. No kidding, I went into kidney failure with my first and spent a week in hospital at 34 weeks. This time, I saw the signs earlier and was able to get treatment to avoid being admitted. I lost 12kgs in 4wks.

It is literally a matter of days before you become that unwell that you need a trip to the ER for re-hydration… needing a wheelchair to get you from the car… except you are that dehydrated they can’t find your veins. So poke after poke until they end up needing to use ultrasound to actually get the line in. Then litre after litre bags of saline go in… meds go in too, your electrolytes are out of whack and need balancing out too. But they don’t want to let you leave until you are eating. Which, after being in the hospital all day being “fixed up” you can manage a sandwich. You leave. For a moment you feel semi-normal. Exhausted, but semi normal.  And so does that meal on the way home in the car. And so begins another downhill spiral until next week when you are back again.

And through all this… inside you is a baby growing… how does that even happen. All those pregnancy joke lines about “eating for two” when you can’t even eat for one! That baby is sucking the life out of you, it is taking all that it needs to survive, it takes from your stores, which means there is no back up left for you. And those recommended pregnancy vitamins and folate tablets daily… no hope. You can barely keep down the copious amount of meds that are meant to help control the vomiting let alone adding anything else.

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HG robs you of your life. After days, after weeks, after it turns to months. Sick.
Without work. Without socialising. Without intimacy. Without leaving the house. The isolation is depressing. Simply not able to function. Not able to do the simplest of daily tasks.

And in fact, the number of women who end up with depression and post natal depression is alarmingly high. In addition, PTSD, HG is a form of trauma and eating disorders.

You can’t look after yourself. I know of women who have had to shave their heads in the end because the knots were impossible to brush out. The longest I went was 9 days without a bath. I know of women that have lost teeth because of the constant stomach acid in their mouth.

I missed school assemblies, soccer games, dance lessons, birthday parties… All I could do was listen on as my family sat down for meal after meal and my other two children saying “is mummy getting out of bed today?” or “can’t mummy just come and sit with us even if she doesn’t eat too?”

I watched my husband and children drive away on Easter Sunday to the extended family lunch… I was determined to go, I managed to get out of bed, I even had a bath that day… but that is where it ended… I prayed I would be able to manage, just to go in my PJ’s and sit in a recliner and do nothing, but at least I would be there. I couldn’t. I was just too sick. I couldn’t even stand up, and even though I maxed out on my meds, the vomiting just wouldn’t stop. I missed Easter.

And of course, any time I did manage to go out, it was so ridiculously heavily medicated and a struggled brave face, and the hour or so I was out cost me so much more in suffering for it afterward.

I am pregnant! I am meant to be glowing! Where is that glow I was promised!?? It robs you from that wonderful pregnancy you expected, the one where you enjoy every moment. Those cliche images you have in your mind are shattered. All those plans you had… the weekly bump photos, the nesting in the nursery, the baby shower, the resting the cup of tea on your belly… all of it, gone. The joy of feeling your baby move… gone… because it makes you vomit.

Now I do need to take a moment here to highlight a silver lining. I am so eternally thankful for the love and support of my husband, Ben. It is something that I am so very aware that not all women have (both in general life, in pregnancy and beyond), and more so, aware that HG breaks so many relationships. HG pushes relationships, it tests them, challenges them and in so many cases is too much for the relationship to survive.

My silver lining is that I had to lean on my husband in a way that I hadn’t before. I needed him in a way I hadn’t before. I needed him physically, emotionally and mentally in ways that I didn’t even know a person could need another. He was a rock. Not once did he ever complain, not once did he ever show how much it was hurting him, how much of a toll it was all taking or how helpless he felt. All he gave me was unconditional love and support, he strengthened me and gave me nothing but encouragement and understanding. He saw me at my worst, and he stood by me.

There was a period in which I could tolerate plain lemonade, only about 1 cup total spread out over the whole day, but it was something. One night I used the last we had. So Ben was going to go to the corner store in the morning before going to work to get me more. That next morning, he left, and he didn’t come back. And when I called and asked him where he was and if he had forgotten to get the lemonade, which he had, he cried. To him, he felt like it was the one thing he could do to help me, and he had forgotten and knew I would be suffering all day waiting.

I loved him before, but HG has deepened that love. I have the upmost praise and respect for Ben, he is an incredible man and I am so blessed to call him my husband, and there is no way that I could have survived without him.

And my other two… at the time, aged 7 and 13. To see their mum so seriously unwell. This is something that will stay with them forever. That constant disappointment (although understood, it doesn’t take away the heartache) when I couldn’t be there or do something or to even muster a smile or a hug.

My 7yo used to stroke my back as I had my head in a bucket, telling me that it would be ok and that she was sorry I was so poorly. She would come home from school and ask me how many times I had vomited that day, like it was an every day regular or normal conversation to have.

The number of babies that are terminated due to HG is astoundingly high. And I completely know how this is possible. Our baby wasn’t planned, but was not at all unwelcome. We wanted our baby. But, I admit, that it pains me to know that in my darkest hours I had thoughts of wishing it would be over, that I didn’t want to do it anymore. And then the guilt of thinking those things. Deep down it wasn’t how I really felt, but that was so far buried that I couldn’t even make sense of my feelings let alone actually know it wasn’t how I truly felt.

HG puts you into survival mode. And it doesn’t matter that there is a baby inside you, there is a life you are growing… it doesn’t matter how much you love that baby already… HG puts you on the brink of death where all of that doesn’t matter and it becomes about self survival.

And that is horrible. Just that alone is horrible. But then that it is your baby that you feel that because of… the guilt, oh the guilt. More guilt on top of the guilt you aren’t nourishing that baby like you should be.

Under 3% of all pregnancies are HG pregnancies. There isn’t even any real knowledge about what or why or how HG is caused… some say it’s genetic, and that it passes through the generations… some say it’s from the placenta… some say it’s caused by the father of the baby… some say it’s more common when carrying a girl… others say it a hormone imbalance… and there are a few other theories going around as well…

Some women have it it all pregnancies, some have it in only some, or have a varying degree. Some have it leave part way through the pregnancy, others all the way through, and others have it leave and then return toward the end.

Some women are instantly better after the birth. Others have it linger for months afterwards.

The medications that are used aren’t actually for HG and therefore their degree of success is limited. And, come with their own side affects too. I am talking severe constipation, to the point of needing to have your bowels dis-impacted.

I tried acupuncture. After 3 needles were in, I reacted so badly I burst into a hot flush and vomited and had an instant migraine.

Oh, and the fact that it is near impossible to find a medical team that truly acknowledge or understand HG is insulting. In fact, one midwife told me that it was “all in my head”.

I suppose what was in my favour this time was that I had been through it once before, so while this time around it was far worse, it was easier to manage simply because I knew what I was doing. And, we were able to advocate for me much more.

I sit here now and reflect back on what I have already written and although I am allowing the words to just flow, to just be honest and share my story… it really doesn’t even begin to do justice to what HG is really all about.

You can’t imagine HG. You can’t imagine what it is really like. And, you don’t want to.

HG is your body literally eating itself alive. And, a baby inside you literally eating you to survive.

Do not liken HG to gastro or food poisoning.

Don’t liken it to morning sickness.

It isn’t the same. Not even close.

It is a physical, emotional and mental struggle… on the edge of death, literally… day in, day out… for months and months.

It is violent. It is severe. It is debilitating. It is life threatening to mother and to baby.

I have survived two Hyperemesis Gravidarum pregnancies.
My husband has survived two HG pregnancies.
I have two HG babies.

It is just… a hurricane.

Welcome Back!

Oh it is SO very exciting to be able to sit down and write this blog post. It is something that I have been waiting to do for what feels like an eternity. It is hard to imagine just how how much time has gone, and so quickly too. It has been a whole year. And honestly, it has felt like a part of me has been missing for that whole time. Photography defined me. It was the thing that made me more than a wife and mother. It was this core or soul of me. And it was so hard to face the reality that I would have to stop, although not forever, for what has felt like forever.

So to catch those up who aren’t aware – here is the story in a nutshell…

In Feb 2016 I had the unplanned but not unwelcome surprise of expecting another baby. After an 8 year gap, it felt like having a first baby all over again. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t do pregnancy that well. After suffering Hyperemesis Gravidarum with my first, I was again knocked down with it again this time very early on into the pregnancy. The reality was, that there was no way that it would be at all possible to continue working. I put on my brave face and completed the sessions that I had already committed myself to (which I still high five myself for, I have no idea how I actually manage to do them!), but beyond those I have been non-existent since.

In November, we welcomed Eliza Grace. And since then, besides soaking up every moment with our new addition, I have been working behind the scenes here ready to relaunch.

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Yesterday saw the beginning of that… the fresh new face of Captured By Koorine Photography was revealed on Facebook & the website… a new logo and a splash of colour. And with that, a full information package available with all the session details by request.

cropped-blog.jpgAnd for the remainder of the month of March I will continue to be putting things in place, getting everything in order and releasing all of the exciting things I have planned up my sleeve ready to then open the books for bookings from April 1st onwards.

It feels like a new spark has been ignited. This fire that was burning inside of me before has become more fierce… both because of the break, but because too of the journey that the break entailed. It has been a massive year for me, and if nothing else (besides a beautiful new daughter) it has made the love for maternity, birth and newborn that I already had even deeper, a whole new level of appreciation, and something that I just can’t wait to fully immerse myself into.

It is hard now sitting here writing this, I really just want to do it all now and get things underway all in one hit… but the month of March will be over before we know it, and all will have clicked into place during that time.

So for now, I will leave this at that… I am so glad to be able to start fresh, and look forward to what this next adventure will bring.

{as always} x

Henry’s Story – {birth}

Every birth story that i have the honour of capturing steals my heart in a way that is special and unique to that baby, that family, that experience…

It astonishes me how every time i get the call that it is go time, i never know what i am going to walk into, what the birth will be like, what images i can create, or how that day will touch me and move me and change me… and in turn, what effect those images will have on the family afterwards, what emotions they will stir or what memories will they see that they didn’t even know existed.

It blows me away to think that when you go to photograph a birth, it is a once in a life time moment, that it is something that i will share in that i will never experience again, because each and every birth is so vastly different to the next, and those moments that i am part of, that i witness, that i capture and record… they really are once in a life time, life changing, life defining moments.

And that is huge. It is powerful. It is emotive. It is inspiring. It is amazing. Incredible. And it takes my breath away and brings me to tears each and every time.

The birth story of Henry is exactly that… and i still get goosebumps looking at his images.

The connection of Elizabeth and Richard was astounding, their bond and strength…
The support of Karen, to encourage and maintain focus…
The sheer joy and instant love for the little boy the moment he was placed in their arms…

This is… Henry’s Story. Click Here.

{as always} x

A Very Exciting Post – {Birth Giveaway}

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS GIVE AWAY HAS NOW CLOSED AND EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTED.

Hello! And welcome to such an exciting blog post!

I have a huge announcement to make!!

Let me give it to you straight and up front… i LOVE birth!
It is the most incredible and emotional genre to photograph, so powerful and a real blessing to be witness and capture new life coming into the world!
I feel (as cliche as it sounds), that this is really my calling… that it is what i am meant to be doing.

With that, however, comes the tremendous task of really getting concept of birth photography off the ground here in Hobart.
As much as that is a huge task, i am embracing those hurdles and taking on those challenges.

Part of that is building relationships with hospitals, OB’s, midwives (etc)… Ensuring that the genre of birth is built on a solid and professional ground right from the start.

But also to really show the community what birth is all about… And have you all fall in love with it as much as i am!

To show you the power, the beauty, the importance…

And 2016 is going to be THE year for birth!!!

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As exciting as that is for me… why does that make this blog post so exciting for you??

Because i am….

GIVING AWAY BIRTH PACKAGES!

That’s right!

THREE clients with due dates in 2016 will be selected to have their birth photographed by me…
Complimentary. On the house. Free of charge.

How amazing is that!???!!

Why am i doing this?? Because simply…
I want to share the joy of birth with you!!

In 2016, i look forward to being able to continue to grow as a birth photographer, continue to establish relationships with clients and medical personnel, expand my portfolio, share more examples of my work, reach into new community circles, give more reason for word of mouth to spread news of birth in Hobart…

I truly believe that what you put out into the world you will get back… and so i am putting my love of birth, devoting my time, sharing my skill… i am giving this all away to and i know that the reward i get back in return – the pure privilege in sharing in your birth story – will not only be something i can treasure myself, but it will be so rewarding for my goal of taking birth photography to the next level here in Hobart.

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So… To give you the basic run down of how this will work…

You are invited to complete an expression of interest form (click here).
This form will ask you basic questions for your personal details and your pregnancy/birth plan.

In addition, the form will ask you a few questions surrounding aspects of birth photography and in particular why you wish to have your birth photographed.
It is from these questions/answers that three clients will be selected.

All birth plans or birth scenarios are welcome to submit their expression of interest. The only criteria is a due date in 2016.
If selected, clients will be provided with the further information regarding what is involved, what they receive and the full terms with no obligation to accept the offer.

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Close of expression of interest is 1st December 2015 at 5pm.
Selected clients notified by 7th December 2015 by 5pm.

So if you are expecting a new addition (or two, or three!) in 2016 and would like the opportunity to have this incredibly special time photographed for your forever memories collection…
Pop on over to the expression of interest form (click here) soon, and cross those fingers and toes!

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What an AMAZING year 2016 is going to be!

{as always} x

PS –  Here are some links to more information about birth photography and samples of previous births i have photographed if you would like to know more:

The Why Question?
Uncensored Images – Beauty in Birth
Theodore’s Story
Ellie’s Story
Leila’s Story
Pippa’s Story
Eliana’s Story
Levi’s Story

Uncensored Imagery – {beauty in birth}

**** WARNING  ****

This blog post contains uncensored images captured during birth.
Please do not view this post should you feel sensitive to birthing imagery or hospital scenes.

*** VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED ***

This blog post is dedicated to a group of amazing women.
Women who have allowed me to into their most sacred of spaces… to be present to witness and capture the birth of their baby.
Women who i have the up-most admiration and respect for, who have shown such strength and determination.
Women who have helped shaped who i am today as a birth photographer, to whom i am forever thankful.
A group of women who know first hand the true value, the power and beauty in birth photography…
And have given permission for me to share these incredibly beautiful images with you.

How can you possibly describe the moment a baby’s head begins to crown? It is the most captivating moment.
When all that you have endured is almost over, when that baby is almost born, almost in your arms.
You watch on, holding your breath, in pure amazement…

And then you pause, the head is out, you see that little face for the first time.
Half in their world, half in ours. Not yet born.
It is, literally, breathtaking.
All that anticipation turns to sheer elation, pure joy…

And yet, all these beautiful moments, the birth of the baby, usually all goes unseen…
These powerful, emotional and brilliant moments… never seen.

But what if you could see it? What if you could actually see the birth of your baby?
What if you could see every single beautiful detail… captured forever.

This is the power of just one aspect of birth photography.

Thank you for the permission to share these images. Thank you for the honour to witness these breath taking moments.
Thank you for the support, encouragement and positive manner in which birth photography is appreciated. Thank you.

{as always} x

{PS} – Please note that not all birth clients wish to have these moments captured as part of their birth story. Birth photography does not *always* mean having these types of images included.
This is something that is very much a personal choice, individual to each client, and that decision is respected.  With all clients, these aspects are discussed prior to their booking and throughout the process leading up to the birth. No images are ever published without prior consent.

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Theodore’s Story – {birth}

This blog post has been a long time waiting to be published… because every time i sat down to write about it, i would either be overwhelmed with emotion and unable to write something other than a blubbering mess you wouldn’t be able to comprehend, or i would draw a complete mental block – not because i didn’t know what to say, but rather because i had too much to say and didn’t know where to begin.

I realised however, that those two things aren’t a bad thing at all. Perhaps yes in that the publishing of this post was delayed. But rather because when i now look back and think about my reactions, it really confirms to me not just how much this birth meant to me, but just how passionate i am about birth overall. I talk about that in all birth blog posts,  i know, but while all this time i have known it, i don’t think it was until this birth that i *really* knew it.

Some people come in your life and leave shortly after, they come and go.
Then there are others who come into your life and make an huge imprint in the events that unfold, but help to shape who you are and steer the path you are on.
And i truly believe that Liz is one of those people. I couldn’t have asked for her to come into my world – both business and personal – at a more perfect time.

Liz originally booked her maternity and newborn sessions way back in the very early days of her pregnancy, and eventually that booking was updated to also include the birth of her son.

My eyes are continually being opened to the world of birth and babies… it is absolutely fascinating, and my goodness the scope of it all is vastly wide. One of the things that i wasn’t aware of until beginning my journey in birth photography a year ago is the pressure to conform to many aspects within the pregnancy and birthing process, and in turn, the effects that this has on mothers. It saddens me that for something that is so special, this is over shadowed by feelings of confusion, guilt, obligation, rejection… and whats is worse, that women are left feeling like less of a woman and mother and left feeling defeated and weak.

I am of very strong belief that we all are entitled to our own opinions and feelings, and that they are allowed to be based on whatever we choose them to – whether tradition or religion or medical or even just preference… and that we should all be allowed the freedom and right to decide what is best for us (and our bodies, and our baby) and not be subjected to any judgement, or be left feeling like we are inadequate.

From personal experience i understood these things in regard to breastfeeding.
But until my journey into this world began, i was completely unaware that, just one other example in many, (some) women who deliver by c-section are also subjected to these issues as well.

And this is exactly why Liz booked her birth to be photographed. This is how Liz was feeling.

Now i don’t want this blog post to be a worm can opener… but what i do want to make very clear is that with me, as a business and as friend… every single woman is beautiful, powerful, feminine, strong, individual… every woman knows her body and her baby best, no one else… every single woman no matter how you deliver your baby – whether a c-section birth or vaginally, no matter whether you have pain relief or not, whether you choose to breast or bottle feed, co sleep or self settle… you are every bit woman, every bit mother… you are amazing, just the way you are. We are all different, yet we are all the same.

Liz was hoping for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean, her twins were delivered by c-section 9 years ago), but with the increased chance of another c-section, she wanted to be able to experience this birth in a different way… and should she end up having a c-section delivery, she wanted to be able to see the beauty of her son being born, not the associated feelings of not having the VBAC she had hoped for. And, with the twins birth details being a foggy blur of memory clouded with “champagne” (as the anesthetist would call it), she wanted to be able to forever have a his birth captured. And so this is where i come in… what an honour… what a huge honour!

As you know, i have been working so very hard behind the scenes with the local hospitals, midwives, OBs and various other associated personnel to establish and build a relationship for the growth of birth photography in Hobart. Particularly in regards to being granted permission into theater for c-section deliveries.

For the birth of Theodore, i was so warmly welcomed into theater to capture his birth. Expecting to be put on a perch and told not to move, the staff were incredible excited to have me there, giving me direction on the best vantage points for certain shots… even telling me to get in closer and double checking i got the shot before they moved again. Asking me questions, answering mine… even asking to take my camera and take a shot of me for me!

It was amazing… and i must admit not at all what i expected… it was even better!
There were light hearted jokes being flung around (apparently, according to the only man in the room, having a baby via c-section is just like digging around in your handbag for your phone!)… so very relaxed, yet with the highest professionalism and every effort made for comfort and reassurance. It was absolutely wonderful that the staff were so accommodating, not just of me, but also dropping the screen for Liz to witness the birth first hand… how wonderful is that!?

Often when i say to people that i was there to photograph it, they screw their noses up asking what it was like… and truth be told, it wasn’t as “messy” as i expected. That sort of thing doesn’t phase me anyway, but it was so incredible to see. I stood there inside my own head trying to work out what bits were what, where they were up to, what was coming next. “i think that is the uterus there” and “oh i think they are about to pull back the such and such”. Was amazing! Totally different from a vaginal birth, but oh my goodness just as incredible! Was breathtaking!

It was incredible. And it certainly has begun a new chapter for birth photography in Hobart.
Liz came into my world to help me open these doors, and I into her life to help ensure that her birth experience was all that she had hoped for.
And together, it has been the most amazing journey, and I am so thankful to have met Liz, and honoured to have been part of such a special occasion.

So for all those that have been waiting for more images from Theodore’s c-section delivery… it is with great excitement, great anticipation for the future and with great pride… that i can share these images with you today… And remind Liz that she is strong, she is woman, she is mother… and for those other women out there reading this, that they are too… no matter what!

This is Theo’s story…

{as always} x

PS – If you will be scheduled for an elective c-section for the birth of your baby during November 2015 to March 2016, special discounted rates apply for portfolio building purposes.
For more information please contact C A P T U R E D by koorine {photography} directly.

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announcement

 

Ava-Mae’s Story – {birth}

I’ve been searching for weeks to find the words to explain just how amazing birth photography is… it is almost as though whatever words i use just aren’t enough… they don’t do it justice, they don’t really convey what i mean or what i feel… that i can’t explain it… that it is perhaps just too amazing that the words don’t even exist to even begin to describe it!

And to be honest, i can’t even narrow down the list of what aspects of birth that i love the most. The list is just too long. I love so much about it. The whole package.

One of the things on that list is that every birth story is different from the next. Each birth story is unique and special and that it doesn’t matter how each baby is born or how their story goes, it is still an incredible story to be part of, to record those memories for the family and then to be able to share the story too.

Ava-Mae’s birth story is exactly that…
Special. Unique. Powerful. Emotive.

And if there is one thing that Ava-Mae was going to show us… it is that you can’t ever plan or predict how it will all happen… because birth is just full of surprises.
It is funny to think now, in hindsight, that one of the biggest things about Krissy and Brent’s birth plan was to simply be relaxed and calm and have a “go with the flow” approach.

Ava-Mae was born by caesarean section, and even then, she still didn’t really want out into the world!

Birth photography is very new in Hobart, and at the moment i have both the privilege and also the challenge of expanding this genre and really getting it off the ground here…
Birth photography is thriving on the mainland, alas we are a little slow to catch on here in Tasmania.
There are a number of challenges in order to do this, but i am excited and determined to find my way through them, around them, over them… whatever it takes.

One of those challenges is establishing a professional partnership with the hospitals, midwives, OBs etc…
(although after having midwife Debbie for this birth who remembered me from photographing another baby she delivered in 2014, i think i am almost part of the furniture!)
In the last 12mnths the foundations have been laid and this relationship continues to grow with birth photography being made more aware of, and warmly welcomed… unfortunately i am yet to be granted permission to attend in theater to photograph a caesarean delivery. (Note: yet!!)

I was so close for Ava’s birth. In fact i was given permission. I was gowned up and ready! However, it didn’t eventuate.

I was however able to send my camera in and it was handed around by staff who all shared playing photographer to capture some wonderful memories for Brent and Krissy.

There was some wonderful images captured of baby Ava-Mae being born, and i am forever thankful for those who did take the images for us.
It goes to show the potential for birth photography within a c-section, even these images that weren’t taken by a professional, on pot luck-fingers crossed-lets hope for the best camera settings.

Krissy and Brent have been so wonderfully supportive for birth photography and have given permission for me to share images with you…

It was absolutely incredible to view the images of the actual delivery, each frame seeing a little more of her appearing.
Oh how i wish i could have witnessed it first hand, and more, photographed it myself! It is incredible! One of those “you don’t see that every day” type moments! Breathtaking!
I have decided (and a hard decision it was!) that i won’t share the images of the actual delivery itself…
They are wonderfully powerful images, absolutely captivating…
But at this time, for the benefit of future clients who do delivery by c-section, the positive growth of the partnership with the hospitals is of the up-most importance.

But nonetheless, here are some beautiful images of Ava-Mae’s birth story…

It is important to note that the images taken in theater are not taken by me, however those leading up to and afterwards are.

Ava-Mae you are a dear little thing, and it was a honour to see you within moments of your birth, to share in such a special time with your family!
Thank you for the privilege of being part of your birth story!

{as always} x

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