Good Morning Annabella

{birth story}

When I met Kelly Swartz she was 17 weeks pregnant with her third baby dragon. I love that she loves dragons so much because I also love dragons so much! We walked around Trinity Bellwoods Park during the cherry blossoms and snapped some baby bump pictures, (which you can see HERE) and she told me a bit about herself. She has travelled, knows quite a few languages, she has experienced life, and studied hard and now she is an Erotic Expert and Health Coach who raises baby dragons. She’s the woman behind Awoken Beauty! In fact, if you are interested, she is hosting an upcoming workshop called, “Sex, Cannabis, and Intimacy - for women” because since the legalization of Cannabis here in Canada, Kelly has explored a whole new world! Check it out! It sounds like the kind of Mother’s Day gift everyone deserves!
Anyway, I followed Kelly on Instagram and watched as she documented and shared her life with 2 toddlers and a growing baby. It got me more excited to document this beautiful day. When I got the call that early morning, I raced to the birth centre. Third babies are predictably unpredictable. When I arrived labour was in full swing. This mama was circled with love and support. It was a beautiful sight. After learning that meconium was present talk of transferring to the hospital started. But Kelly knew better because mama’s always know!! She knew that there was no time to transfer. Contractions were coming hard and fast. And she was right! In no time at all sweet little Annabella made her debut and everything was absolutely perfect!
I invite you to scroll down through these gorgeous moments captured, and then press play to watch her beautiful birth story!

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***   now press play to watch this beautiful and powerful birth story   ***

Good Morning Baby J

{birth story} 

Before I book birth clients I meet with them first. I want to make sure we're a good fit before we agree to anything because having the birth of your baby documented is a very intimate time in your life so you want to make sure the right person is there to capture this epic day for you. We usually spend a couple hours together, chatting over a coffee (or in this case, a hot chocolate), and we snap a few photos around wherever we meet this way you can see yourself in my work through my eyes, and can get a feel for being in front of the camera.

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So after I met this couple and did their mini maternity session, I felt that we were a great fit and I hoped that they felt the same way! They did! There was just one hiccup...I was to be out of town for 3 days for a wedding in and around their due date making it a little risky. So I called on my back ups! And one of them agreed to be on call for that weekend just in case. Of course I understand that when you hire a photographer, an artist, you are hiring them for their work, their eye, so having a backup come instead is a little disappointing, but sometimes, it's worth the risk. (And in this case it was!!) 
We were 48 hours away from my departure and still no sign of Baby J. However, another one of my birth clients called and they were going in for a c-section. So, off to Sunnybrook hospital I went. While gearing up in my beautiful OR scrubs, I got a text from this couple saying they are being induced at St Mike's and to stand by because Baby J was coming! I went in to a bit of a panic, but contacted my girls (the other registered Canadian Birth Photographers because we are such a supportive group) and they eased my stress and one of them had my back in case things moved fast. The c-section birth I was at went much much longer than usual due to the hospital being so busy, so I didn't leave Sunnybrook until 4pm. But unfortunately still no sign of Baby J. The doctors decided to send these mama's home and told them it would likely happen in about 48 hours, which means I would miss it. We were all sad. We just crossed our fingers and toes for something to happen in the next 12 hours, but regardless of me being there, a sweet beautiful baby was coming in to the world, and luckily another professional would still be there to capture the unforgettable moments. As we were accepting this fate something shifted! The doctors decided to keep them in and monitor them. Baby J knew it was time! So at 10pm, I headed to the hospital. I walked in to a room that was filled with so much love and excitement. I watched as this mama laboured like a pro! Her body and her baby knew exactly what to do. And in the early hours of the morning, we were looking at the most precious bright eyed little lady who had such a calm presence about her. If this old soul thing really does exist, then I am certain she is an old soul. I stayed to photograph the joy until the sun started to rise and then I headed home, jumped in a car, and drove 4 hours north. Good timing Baby J!
Here is a collection of some of my favourite images, and if you scroll down, you can watch the whole birth story. You'll need tissue for your tears first. ;) 

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I love what I do so so much. And I love all of you for supporting me by reading and watching my posts. Of course I will always be forever grateful to these families for hiring me and trusting me to capture their family through my lens so honestly. And I especially thank the families who allow me to share their experiences here with you. Sharing helps tremendously in the birthing world. It helps other women with their birthing experience, and it helps educate people so they have a better understanding of birth. Sharing life experiences in general helps expand that range we call "normal". 

***   now press play to watch this tearful birth story   ***