Birth Photography | Lilly-Su Dreyer

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“It is time!”  and I knew I had to hurry…..

When you are a birth worker, these words are magical, not as much when there is a history of fast deliveries. Ranel birthed her first two babies in record time, we anticipated a 3rd fast delivery. The Dreyer family waited 9 months and a little bit, for this day! (This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24)

Heather (the midwife) was just in time, I however, missed this beautiful girls birth by seconds.

I was welcomed by a dad that was a little flustered, two wide eyed smiling brothers and “tannie Elanie”. They were all mesmerized by what just happened. The atmosphere was loaded with excitement, pretty pink balloons and a beautiful drawing. A drawing of lilies with the meaning of her name, by her mom to help welcome little Lilly-Su.

Lilly: elegant flower, innocence, purity, beauty, humility…Su: gracious Lilly ….Janel: God is gracious.

Ranel was holding her against her breast Johann was wiping tears of gratefulness from his eyes, touching and talking to his perfect little girl, while the two now big brothers was pouring warm water over their brand new baby sister to keep her warm. Priceless moments. Ranel held Lilly-Su ever so gently to float on her back, while Johann cut the umbilical cord, a home birth like they wanted.

A water birth like they imagined, in these moments every prayer were answered and every sacrifice worth it.

I enjoyed listening to the tales of Johann and the boys running up and down to fill the birth bath with water. How they couldn’t get that perfect temperature and had to through ice in to cool down the water. How relieved everyone was when Heather arrived. Just in time to get Ranel into the birthing pool and Lilly-Su safely in her mom’s waiting arms. I loved Lilly-Su’s first birthday party, complete with cupcakes and her family singing happy birthday. Truly a day to rejoice and be glad in.

I missed my very first birth. It saddened me a little bit, but I knew all was well and exactly as it should be because Lilly-Su was fashioned for greatness!

If you missed her Birth video here it is 🙂

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Birth Photography | Liemè Graaff

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine.”- Isaiah 43:1

Birth Photography is sometimes hard, most of the times the hours are extremely long. They take you away from your own family in order to capture the beginning of a new family. At times it could seem that the sacrifices you make, are just too great. Then you get to be a part of the birth of little Liemè Graaff……

When Lulindie originally contacted me for birth photography, I was a little sad that her due date was the 25th of December. You see, that is our annual family holiday time. I met Lulindie at the birth of her nephew Aaren in 2015 and was already booked for the birth of her twin nieces, in a few months time. In my heart I knew, there is no way that I could miss this one….

Lulindie and I started planning around this actually huge obstacle. Each of us hoping that the little one would make her appearance a little later than planned. Lulindie’s family were on holiday over the same time period than I was. Nevertheless we planned around this and agreed that I will fly in from wherever I am and there is the possibility that I might miss it all together.

As I was packing the last things for our camping holiday, I spoke to Lulindie on the 15th of December. Her midwife were happy and baby was perfect. She even thought that this little one might just wait for her Granny to get back from their holiday on the 30th. Relieved at the news we left the morning of the 16th, our wedding anniversary, at 02:00 in the morning. As was expected the roads were extremely busy, but we had a save journey. Now for setting up camp!

Those whom have camped with me before, know this no quick job. Although I LOOOOVE camping, I hate struggling. So, when we go camp, I pitch every fold UP table I can, closets, basins, you name it! As I was unpacking the last of the suitcases, kids fed and in bed, I got the message from Lulindie…. “Lyk my Liemè is haastig” Long story short, 20min later I got a flight and was on my way back to JHB.

This HBAC (Home Birth after C Section) was one of those life changing experiences, one that can never be explained to anybody.

Lulindie had to work really hard through this birth. There were some moments that you could really see her struggling, doubting and not knowing how this will end. But she never gave UP! There was something insides of her that urged her to go with it, to work with her body and not give up, everything was under control! Under His control! Oh and did I mention, she also had the amazing support of her husband Dirk, incredible midwife Elrika and fantastic doula Tertia. They helped her through this journey that she later described to me as being incredibly “stormy”.

In the early hours of the 17th Lulindie was fighting fatigue as her legs started cramping during contractions. As the last couple of leg cramps past, and the next contraction was building, Lullindie suddenly asked for her phone. She selected “Oceans” by Hillsong United. This was Lulindie, communicating the storm inside her, the fight she was fighting, the new beginning that was about to happen.

“….. lead me where my trust is without borders.Let me walk upon the waters. Wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander …..”

These lyrics were floating through the room and as Lulindie surrender this storm inside her to her Savoir, her daughter was born, and with her, new life, new beginnings, promises and the end of an era.

Liemè Graaff, you were called by your name!

xXx
Sam

 

 

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Birth | Mikael

[quote]“Although birth is only one day in the life of a woman, it has an imprint on her for the rest of her life.” Justine Caines.[/quote]

Christel gave me “that” call at around 3 in the afternoon. She’s been in labour for a while but will only go to hospital when her contractions are around 6min apart. We met at the Femina Midwife Unit at around 11pm that evening. Christel and Christiaan both excitedly, anticipating the birth of their baby boy. We had a couple of walks around the parking lot and some more around the hospital, but soon Christel was very cold after each contraction and we stayed closed to blankets 🙂 We knew a contraction was close each time she threw of her blankets and that they have passed by the time she started shivering again.

It was incredible to watch how this almost mom worked and breath through each contraction through out the night and around 3 she got into the birthing tub. The warm water immediately relaxed and calmed her shivers. Christel made some notes of her favourite verse from her Bible. These were stuck to the wall at the birthing tub and the moments Christiaan read these to her, was magical and surreal. Christel was incredible strong and focused and with the loving support of Christiaan (the dad) and Estie (her midwife) their beautiful son was born just as the first rays of light appeared on the horizon.

It was a long night of labour and love, and little Mikael was the incredible gift to a mom and dad that will remember this night forever!

If you missed the birth slide show, you can have a look here

P.S. I loved how dad also got to use the birthing ball 🙂

xXx
Sam

 

 

 

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