2020 was a year that taught us to overcome.
Birthing women know how to OVERCOME better than anyone.
These women attended appointments alone, cancelled their baby showers, birthed without their mother's and best friend's by their side, and as they always do... OVERCAME.
Congratulations to all families who overcame so much this year.
This collaborative story of birth in 2019 is one of strength, power and love. As I prepare to embark on my 4th (and last) birth journey, watching these women labour inspired me to feel stronger and braver. Birth is hard and honestly I'm scared... but there is a force in this film that carries over to those who watch it.
So thank you to my clients who have allowed me to share their intimate journeys so that others can also be inspired. This year, I happened to be one of those that was impacted...
Labouring through the darkness of the night and birthing in the early morning hours on February 14th, this birth story was a beautiful picture of a day filled with love.
I have so much love for this repeat mama. You can view her first birth story HERE. When her labour started, her husband was away on the island for work. She called him and told him it was time. Then she spent her day walking with friends and watching her birth story from her daughter's birth. Her husband took the last ferry home and got just in time as her contractions started getting regular. It was as if her body waited for him. He got home, packed up the car and drove her straight to the hospital.
I met them when they arrived at the hospital. Her body was still in early labour as they walked through the main doors but as soon as she arrived upstairs into the maternity ward, her mind relaxed... she was in the place she would birth her baby and her body finally took over and entered active labour.
Her labour was fast. She was strong. Nearing the end she tried nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and we all had a laugh as she totally relaxed. Moments later she was pushing.
This birth story still makes me cry and laugh when I watch it. This goes down as one of my favourite birth stories just because it shares so many different emotions.
I'm so honoured that I won the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers Image Competition with an image that so many women can relate to. You labour at home as long as you can, and then you realize "it's time" to go to the hospital. Or in the case of this mother, she was planning a homebirth but had some complications arise and needed to transfer to hospital mid-labour. That car ride can be intense for both mom and dad. Mom closes her eyes and feels every bump and turn along the way while dad puts the pedal to the medal and runs a few yellow lights to get there as quick as safely possible (or not safely.)
I had been at home with this family capturing their labour journey. When the midwife came to assess her and recommended transferring to hospital, I knew I would travel with them in their car. This mom was having her 2nd baby and even though she was 8cm when she got in the car, I knew how quickly things could progress for a second time mom. As we sped to the hospital (a 10 minute drive) I could hear her contractions getting stronger and knew she was already 10cm and ready to push even before we got to the hospital. Thank goodness she stayed calm and breathed through all the intense desire to push. I was sitting in the back seat praying this baby would not be born in their car. At the hospital entrance door, we pulled up a wheelchair for her but she found it more comfortable to walk. She walked herself up to maternity ward and since our midwife called ahead, she walked straight into her delivery room, crawled up to get checked and her midwife confirmed she was 10cm and ready to push. She was asked to lay back, but found it more comfortable to squat and moments later, her beautiful surprise daughter was born into her arms.
Watch the full emotional birth video below.
~If you recognize this family it's because I photographed their first birth and submitted a photo from their first birth story into the 2014 image competition. Watch their first birth journey here.
~Jaydene Freund is a birth photographer and film maker located in Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Canada. She has photographed and filmed over 100 unique birth stories over the last 6 years.
2016 was an incredible year filled with so many unique and beautiful birth stories. I met a family that welcomed twins via c-section after trying to have a family for 7 years and were on their last round of invitro. I met 2 moms that birthed at home in water and sang throughout their entire labour. I had a repeat client that laboured for 27 hours with her first baby, and surprisingly welcomed her 2nd baby on her bedroom floor after only 1 hour of labour. I witnessed births that took 3 days, and witnessed births that took 25 minutes. Some women wanted epidurals and couldn't receive them in time, and other women didn't want epidurals but asked for them after their labour took unexpected turns. Each journey is unique. Each woman is strong. Each story has beauty. Enjoy watching the Best of Birth Moments 2016.