Brisbane Birth Photography – Melli’s Birth Story

The birth story of Willow Anne at Mater Mother's Hospital

Over the Christmas break I was on call for the birth of a baby girl. Melli was due on New Years Eve and we were both hoping for any day but Christmas day or New Years Eve but little miss Willow had other plans. We all had a great Christmas with our families and then I got the text at 430pm saying im in labour, my contractions have started again, Ill keep you posted. So I was then on the edge of my seat waiting for the next update to say head to the hospital. 930pm comes along and the text was we are heading to the hospital now, I asked whether they wanted me to head up then also, I got a response 'LEAVE NOW' so off I flew out the door heading off to the Mater Mothers Hospital. I arrived at 1010pm to Melli is being in very active labour. I didnt think bub would be far away from her arrival. Only 1hr 25mins later miss Willow Anne was born 🙂 Boy oh boy she was in a hurry! She flew out at a rate of knots following by a tsunami of waters to follow. lol. I reckon she might be the next top swimming champion! haha! She was so little and dainty and oh so beautiful. 

I asked Melli to put her birth story into words for me so I would like to share it with you all below along with some images from the birth.

WARNING there is some slightly graphic images in this post. Approved by mum to share with you all.

"In March 2014; Scott and I made the decision to expand our family.
With one little boy already we knew we wanted a second baby to complete our family so from the beginning of March we started trying for number 2.

It didn’t take long and by April I took a home pregnancy test and much to our excitement it said POSITIVE! We were on the way to having our baby.
Unfortunately at 12 weeks gestation we had a scan and received high risk figures, I was immediately referred to the Mater Mothers Hospital for further testing, I was scared as I knew how much we both wanted this little baby to be ok, after enduring an extremely scary CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) which involved a very large needle into the placenta to take a sample of our babies DNA we then had to wait.

At 15 weeks I received the phone call with excellent results! Our baby was very healthy and progressing well, we also found out our baby was a little GIRL! We couldn’t believe our luck! One of each! Isn’t that what every parent dreams for? We were over the moon.

It was at this stage I knew this would be our last baby, this was the completion to our family that we had hoped for, during my excitement Scott & I discussed recording our birth, we knew from our sons birth that we always wished for more photos of the birth as It was such an amazing experience for the both of us. It was with that in mind that I started looking for a birth photographer.

At first Scott was a little unsure, wouldn’t birth photography be gross? Why would we want a stranger in the room with us? But he knew how much this meant to me and he agreed to look into it.
After asking for recommendations on a Mum N Bubs Logan Facebook page I was referred to Desire to Inspire Birth Photography. I had viewed a few other pages previously but they just didn’t stand out, upon viewing the Desire to Inspire Website I was instantly in love, I showed Scott the photos on the page of other birth’s captured and both of us loved the raw beauty behind the ‘gross, messy & hushed part’ of a persons birth. We saw real emotion, we saw the beauty behind the photos and most of all we saw the story come to life. This was our choice of photographer, there was no second options, no backup plan just this lady.

Upon contact with Desire to Inspire I received a friendly message back from the lady behind the camera; Angie Petersen, After our initial communication which was 100% professional and friendly I also found myself connecting personally. We chose the ‘Full Birth Experience Package’ which included the Maternity Shoot, Birth and Newborn Shoot, with an easy payment plan available we were able to have the photos I had dreamed of. Over the following months the connection between myself and Angie grew and I found myself really comfortable with Angie as a person and even considered her a friend. When I had an emotional day she helped me through it with her positivity and when I had an amazing day she enhanced it with her excitement of the upcoming birth. She was 100% supportive throughout my entire pregnancy.

November came along very quickly and soon I was 35 weeks Pregnant and getting ready for my Maternity Photoshoot! I was incredibly excited and after many outfit changes, a studio session followed by a location session it was done, Even more exciting was within mere hours following the days photoshoot there were already a few sneak peak pictures available for my friends and family to view!

The next few weeks I experienced Braxton Hicks and the occasional spontaneous contraction, I knew the birth wasn’t far away. On Friday 20th December Labour began, Angie was in contact with me every step of the way, we made our way to the Mater Mothers Hospital with contractions roughly 4-5 minutes apart, this is it I thought.

We made it into the birth suite at only 2cm dilated, I enjoyed making use of the room by having a nice relaxing bath, comfortable movement on the gym ball and watching a bit of television while lying on the bed, it was here we decided it was taking too long, I wanted this baby to hurry up so Scott and I began walking the corridors, after 7 hours in the hospital the midwife decided to check my progress, much to my dismay I had only gotten to 3-4cm! We decided to head home, Angie wasn’t bothered by this and was very supportive.

The following few days I experienced a long slow pre-labour with sporadic contractions, I felt like this baby was never going to come, I went next door and borrowed my neighbours stairs to walk and run on, I drank Raspberry Leaf Tea and then finally attempted bringing on the labour with some one on one time with my husband, none of which worked.

Christmas day arrived, Scott and I enjoyed a day with the family, all the while I was still having sporadic contractions which I felt were getting stronger as the day went on.
Finally around 4:30pm I said ‘It’s time to go home as these contractions are stronger and I wish to lay down’ we packed up the car and as pregnancy would have it I quickly used the bathroom for the millionth time that day and was pleasantly surprised to see my bloody mucus show!
We decided even though it may not be labour yet we would still drop our son at my best friend’s house for the night, even if it wasn’t labour at least I could relax without having to be a mum first.

How lucky were we that we made that decision as once I had gone to bed the contractions started to feel stronger again but still not regular so I went to sleep.
9:15pm I was awoken by a very strong contraction that had me gripping Scott’s arm like it was a life rafter! (I’m sure he still has imprints in his arm from my nails) this contraction felt like it was never going to end! But then it did… POP my waters broke!!!! Oh gosh did I have a moment of panic! QUICK HONEY GET ME CLOTHES! Poor Scott was demanded around left right and centre! Change my underwear for me! Get me a new dress! Clean the bed! Grab my Bag! Get the car! HURRY UP!

Scott kept calm and followed every direction like he was born to be a support person, quickly we were out the door following a very quick ‘Leave Now’ message to Angie.
We raced down the highway, the contractions were coming hard and quick now, 1 minute apart! All I kept thinking was we are not going to make it, this baby is going to be a roadside birth! But Scott kept on, stayed calm all while driving as fast as he legally can and having his arm practically ripped off by me during each contraction, as I saw the exit sign for the hospital I reminded myself to calm, to breathe, it was going to be ok, we were nearly there. That’s when I finally gained control and managed to breathe through the contractions, it really helped with the pain.

We arrived at the front door around 10pm where Scott raced in to grab a wheelchair as there was no way I was walking at this point, 5 nurses came running out as I had the feeling I needed to push slightly, they hastily wheeled me through to the birth suite completely missing the assessment unit. I had my eyes shut and when I opened them a few minutes later, Angie was there! Wow she arrived quickly!

I met my midwife for the night, Mr Nigel Cee, I had never seen a male midwife before but the contractions were too quick for me to think twice about it, I informed him I didn’t want any internals as they stressed me out too much, he was pleasant and simply took a seat next to me. His supportive words over the next hour were wonderful, he told me to trust my body, to do what my body told me to do, there was no assistance or interference in my birth, Scott listened to my every (very few) words, Angie took photos during each stage, she even held my hand a couple of times and stepped in as a support person when I requested. Then at 11:30pm I felt the contractions change, this baby was coming, my little girl was coming! After a few hard pushes during a long contraction the head was out! Scott was helping guide her out and somehow managed to also hold my hand and be right next to me, I grabbed the gas tube and bit it, I broke my tooth! I didn’t even notice until later. Then Nigel told me to stop pushing, just breathe through the contraction, breathe with little pushes he said, I did my best to listen and follow his directions, then finally the 2nd contraction and she was out! It was so quick! The rest of my waters followed resembling what Scott and Angie said was like a tornado! I didn’t care, my baby was safely in my arms. Angie was taking photos like a member of the superhero clan, Scott cut the cord and it was done.
2.5 hour active labour through to birth, no medical attention required and very smooth recovery following.

My little girl, 6lb 3oz OR 2808g, 47cm long, 34.5 head circumference, Birth time 11:35pm 25th December 2014 (my little Christmas baby) we called Her Willow Anne Young, she was beautiful (Slightly smooshed prune looking but beautiful nonetheless) I caught Scott trying to avoid Angie for a moment and realised he had tears of joy, he didn’t want her to see.

Angie stayed with us for a couple of hours, taking photos of our first moments. I requested as she had now become what felt like a member of our family that we would love for her to announce Willow’s arrival on our behalf. She did so the next day when we had time to recover and expect phone calls. Her announcement design was the most beautiful design I had ever seen, I couldn’t imagine anyone doing a more memorable announcement on our behalf.

I was discharged from the hospital the next day at 12noon and the days following were absolutely pleasant, we were lucky enough this time round to have a peaceful contented baby girl who took to her brother easily and just slept.
Day 5 saw us attending Angie’s studio for our newborn photoshoot! There were so many setups ready and we had a lot of fun the whole day playing with props and different styles.

Willow was very comfortable throughout each setting, I found Angie was exceptionally gentle and caring with her, my little girl was definitely in the best hands.

My whole birth journey was such an amazing and memorable experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life, I still can’t believe I have my two children here and I look forward to what the next stages in life will bring to me."
 

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