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

 

 

Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0068 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0069 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0070 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0071 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0072 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0073 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0074 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0076 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0098Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0077 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0078Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0079 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0080 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0081 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0082 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0083 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0084 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0085 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0086 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0087 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0088 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0089 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0090 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0091 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0092 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0093 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0094 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0095 Gauteng Birth Photography VBAC_0096

 

C-Section Birth Photography | Luan Viljoen

“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” – Ashley Montagu

I received a frantic call at around 12 in the evening, but I did not need to answer to know that a special boy was being born that evening. As soon as I saw the caller ID, I knew we were ready to roll, instantly my calm birth photography mode took over my sleep muffled brain. By the next morning the lives of my friends will be changed forever ….

On my way from Pretoria to the Wilgeheuwel Life hospital in Krugersdorp, I was thinking of all the surprises that comes with the territory of having a baby. There was a few I could think of and I few I knew would surprise Rickus and Tharien on their new journey. I made a mental note to do some reasarch on the most common themes to the ways that kids revolutionize our lives. Have a look at the top 10 I found and let me know how acurate they are.

Surprise #1: Your relationship with your partner will change
Surprise #2: You’ll have no idea where the time goes
Surprise #3: You may look different
Surprise #4: You’ll join an exclusive worldwide club
Surprise #5: You’ll be stronger than you ever imagined
Surprise #6: You’ll make “mistakes” you never anticipated
Surprise #7: Your friendships will change
Surprise #8: There’ll be times when you hate parenting
Surprise #9: You’ll be overwhelmed by love (and other emotions)
Surprise #10: You’ll have to let go sooner than you think

Luan saw to a couple of his own surprises that evening and being part of the incredible journey called birth photography, I got to witness and capture a few.

He started his strike of surprises by his birth, born at 36 weeks, which was a few weeks earlier than his scheduled C-section date. I think his dad knew he would love him, but I saw how the overwhelming love for this little boy took his him by surprise. His big brother was a little surprised by his first pictures, but that was soon forgotten as he got involved in a betting game with his grandfather over the size of his brother. The surprise and wonder of the miracle of Luan are almost tangible in the images below. The love for this boy striking, evidently beautiful, unmistakable moments of utter happiness! 

No matter how much you prepare for it, the birth of your baby and parenting will blow your mind.

Your kids will challenge you, bring you to tears, crack you up, and make you forget what you urgently had to do. They’ll shatter the life you knew into a million pieces. Then they’ll put it back together, like a stained-glass window, into something infinitely more complicated and beautiful.

Riki-Riks en Lallie, you are special friends! Enjoy every single surprise your little boy brings into your life, and by the looks of his beginning you’re in for the ride of your life!

xXx
Sam

C-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section BirthC-Section Birth

Luan’s Birth slide show

Vbac Birth Photography | Welcome Skylar

“It is said that women in labour leave their bodies… they travel to the stars to collect the souls of their babies, and return to this world together.” – Anonymous

First I think I have to explaining what a VBAC birth is. You will then understand the incredible strength this mom has shown throughout her delivery. VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After Caesarean section. It’s the term used when you give birth vaginally, having had at least one baby born by caesarean section. There is risk involved here, however many women feel robbed after an unplanned C-section. Having a VBAC birth give them their power back.

This is the story of baby Skylar being collected in the stars and brought back to this world ….

Charlotte, Bruce and I met for coffee about 2 weeks before her due date. Now normally by this time (around 38 weeks) I am already on standby and we have done our “meet and greet”.

Once you meet Charlotte, your will understand that “normally” and Charlotte just don’t fit in the same sentence. I was taken by her strength, courage and determination. And knew that if anybody can deliver this rainbow baby* through VBAC it will be her.

This mom was in no rush to have her baby and she wanted her to “bake” as long as possible. There were also a couple of anniversaries her mom wanted her to miss, like her great grandmothers passing. Charlotte wanted her daughter to have her own special day.

Never the less by 42 weeks we all got a little impatient with this baby…. but she just needed a day or 2 more. At around 03:00 Wednesday morning things started to happened and by 06:00 Charlotte knew it was early labour and contacted her midwife. She was only 1cm dilated by the time they got to hospital at around 9 and decided that a few more hours of home labour sounded much better than an overdue hospital stay. They would return at around15:00 for a check up unless labour progress significantly.

Charlotte is a seamstress so she went about doing some work in between contractions. By 13:30 her water broke but she calmly first took a shower and then a lovely relaxing bath. Hubby timing the contractions. I met them at the hospital around 16:00 and we went to the birthing house around the corner from the hospital. She was dilated around 4cm and active labour would start anytime.

Just after 18:00, we were back at the hospital and contractions were intense enough that she knew her baby was on her way. Surrounded by her midwife, husband, mother and two sisters, she breathed, moaned, and visualized the clouds of Paris to get through particularly painful contractions. “We move in a pack” her mother said to me.

Bruce and the women in her life stood by her side, rubbing her back as she rocked, sat, and walked, trying to get the baby to move into position. Somewhere along the way she got in the bath for the 2nd time, working with each contraction. Riding each wave, bringing her baby closer.

Five hours later her midwife suggest more movement to help get this baby earth side. Charlotte was tiring as she spend some time in the birth chair. Bruce right behind her, her midwife right in front, coaching and soothing. You could see her reaching deep inside, reaching for strength that she did not feel and could not comprehend.

She was moved to a squatting position next to her bed, her sisters taking turns holding her hands, encouraging, comforting and motivating her to reach even deeper. She got terrible calve cramps that just showed how exhausted her body was.

After 4 hours of pushing, she was ready to give up. She wanted out… her body was tired, her mind forgot all the techniques and methods she wanted to apply. She could not stand the pain any longer. She wanted SOMEBODY to do something. But within minutes she realised that no one could do anything. It was up to her, and solely her, to push this baby out.

She closed her eyes and reached into the darkness, into reserves she did not know she had, in order to bring her daughter into the world. At 04:20 am Skylar was born Kiwi assisted. A successful by VBAC.

If you have missed their birth slideshow, click HERE for the link

xXx
Sam

 

VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth

VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth VBAC Birth

*a rainbow baby is a child who is born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant/child loss — the rainbow after the storm.

 

Fresh 48 | David

Birth Photographer

[quote]”A wise woman once said to me that there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these she said is roots, the other, wings.” ~William Hodding Carter (1907–1972)[/quote]

“When I think of that word (roots), I picture an entanglement of yucky, brown, dirty stringy things. And above it, I picture a beautiful oak tree giving shade to young children at play. What’s amazing to me is this, in order for the oak tree to protect those children with its shade, it must be held up by the dirty, yucky roots that at first seem so unappealing.

God wants us to have roots. He wants us to go through life’s difficulties with one another and to be connected. Every year brings a new challenge to the strength and connection of every family. The loss of a family member, the challenge of illness, children acting out in school, a job change or loss…these are things that can cause strife within families. While they are happening, you wonder, will we make it through this? Your mind is flooded with negative thoughts. Think about the oak tree. In order for it to protect the children with its shade, it had to have the yucky, dirty roots. In order for a family to stand strong, it must often go through some of life’s yucky, dirty messes. The family that stays right with God, prays, and leans not on its own understanding can use those dirty yucky situations to build protection for itself.

It is important for us to go through struggles in life, and the family unit is affected by the struggles it goes through as a whole, and the struggles that affect just one of its members. Those struggles may at first seem so dirty and unappealing, but in time, their purpose is revealed.” (Extraction from A Walk of Faith http://www.faith4women.com/)

Meet little David Wilhelm Böhmer.  David meaning “Beloved” and Wilhelm “Determined Protector” can you see the Oak Tree?

Dear little David, may you always stand tall and detriment, may you fly high and always know unconditional love!

xXx
Sam

Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer Pretoria Birth Photographer

Birth | Andries

[quote]”You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin[/quote]

It was early morning when I got the first message to let me know Andries decided to surprise us a few weeks early, but it was not long after that that Larisa let me know that she is only 3cm dilated and she is on her way back home. Her midwife told her she should come back when she lost her ability to have a conversation 😉 Never the less by the time Larisa “lost” her voice, we met at the Midwifes Exclusive Birth House in Pretoria.

Actively in labour, Larisa worked hard, but every now and then she opened her eyes and gave her husband Deon a comforting smile, just to let him know she’s okay. Brave! That’s what she was! Brave!  I have seen this mama go from strong to feeling utterly weak and vulnerable and back to strong again, but never for a minute has she not been incredible brave!

Hubby Deon, Doula Anina and Midwife Christel made for unbelievable reinforcement team, couching and cheering, breathing and whispering when she needed it most and it was one of those extraordinary never to be forgotten moments when little Andries was placed in his mom’s arms. More beautiful birth images in their slide show HERE

Little Andries, may you always know how loved you are, may you always know how capable you are to achieve anything you want and may you always know the closeness of our Creator.

xXx
Sam

 

DSC_8397 DSC_8405 DSC_8407 DSC_8415 DSC_8425 DSC_8429 DSC_8468 DSC_8472 DSC_8487 DSC_8490 DSC_8519 DSC_8559 DSC_8577 DSC_8601-Edit DSC_8630 DSC_8635 DSC_8659 DSC_8717

Birth | Zayden

[quote]”Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers–strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” ― Barbara Katz Rothman [/quote]

If there is one truth about birth it’s that the plan can change and that’s okay……

Labour was induced early morning and everything progressed so well! Tharien fully dilated but baby changed position and it ended in a emergency C-section. Mom and baby was doing fine but the birth plan has changed. A lot of times this is really traumatic for a new mom but not for Tharien. Birth made her a mother, “…..strong, competent, capable mother who trust themselves and know their inner strength…..”

Thanks for asking me to be a witness to your beautiful journey.

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

xXx
Sam

DSC_6883 DSC_6896 DSC_6937 DSC_6945 DSC_6947 DSC_6965 DSC_6972 DSC_6983 DSC_7026 DSC_7028 DSC_7036 DSC_7045 DSC_7060 DSC_7094 DSC_7099

 

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

 

 

 

DSC_5290 DSC_5293 DSC_5301 DSC_5312 DSC_5320 DSC_5342 DSC_5347 DSC_5350 DSC_5371 DSC_5381 DSC_5383 DSC_5399 DSC_5410 DSC_5429 DSC_5434 DSC_5480 DSC_5489 DSC_5498 DSC_5504 DSC_5516 DSC_5527 DSC_5534 DSC_5536 DSC_5542 DSC_5576 DSC_5578 DSC_5582 DSC_5588 DSC_5589 DSC_5595 DSC_5627 DSC_5655 DSC_5657

Birth | Lané Johnson

[quote]”Fam•i•ly  \  fam-lè  \  Noun 1. relatives who love and care for each other deeply and oftentimes, put each other’s needs and preferences before their own. 2. a group whose love is not hindered by time, space or circumstances. [/quote]

You really are blessed when you started chatting to your clients even before they are pregnant 😉 This was the case with Anél and what a huge privilege it was to be apart of this incredible journey. It was a huge honour to meet their family and can I say I have never quite had such a gathering of loved ones at the birth of a new little one. This was indeed a celebration of life, with friends and family to share in the joy of little Lané coming earth side.  A more accurate description of family than in the quote you will not find they are truly a group whose love is not hindered by time, space or circumstances.

If you missed the birth slide show here is the link Lané Birth

Anél and Brett enjoy your miracle and always remember how blessed you are with a family as caring and wonderful as yours!

xXx
Sam

DSC_4429 DSC_4444 DSC_4458 DSC_4467 DSC_4487 DSC_4490 DSC_4494 DSC_4495 DSC_4497 DSC_4499 DSC_4511 DSC_4543 DSC_4563 DSC_4566 DSC_4570 DSC_4594 DSC_4601 DSC_4612 DSC_4626 DSC_4629 DSC_4631 DSC_4635 DSC_4642 DSC_4647 DSC_4655 DSC_4673 DSC_4687 DSC_4692 DSC_4712 DSC_4720 DSC_4722 DSC_4728 DSC_4736 DSC_4742 DSC_4780 DSC_4797 DSC_4811 DSC_4813 DSC_4833 DSC_4841 DSC_4846

Birth | Ilané Schalekamp

[quote]”From the moment they placed you in my arms, you snuggled right into my heart.”- Unknown[/quote]

I was just about to go to bed when my phone rang and as I saw the caller Id, I knew that this beautiful little girl was about to make her debut 2 weeks earlier than we expected.

I met a very excited big sister in the corridor at 23:40 in the evening at Kloof Medi Clinic, the excitement was much to big for her little heart to go to bed with ouma and oupa! So she waited to meet this little baby her parents told her all about. Ilané.

After a few words and a few pictures with mom and dad, I was unfortunately not allowed in theatre, I joined the excitement and anticipation in waiting for Ilané.

I’m a big sweet tooth and stole some of my babies Easter eggs on my way to hospital, just for a snack, you know. So big sister Milandri and I had a midnight feast eating Easter eggs and celebrating this brand new baby sister about to make her debut!  (I just have to add I had permission from Ouma to give her chocolates at midnight, so Leandi you need to fight this with your mom 🙂 )

The first time these sister met was so amazing to see and be able to capture, big sister Milandri was a little unsure as I don’t think the baby she had in mind and little Ilané looked much a like 😉 but I have to tell you that these girls were friends by the time they left the hospital…..

Leandi and Kobus enjoy your beautiful girls, and always stay as involved as you are in each other and your family! You guys warmed my heart, I loved witnessing how good Kobus are with all of his girls and how in love Leandi is with her family!

If you missed the birth slide show (which is amazing by the way) here is a link

Ilané beautiful birth

 

xXx
Sam

Sam Schroder_0017 Sam Schroder_0018 Sam Schroder_0019 Sam Schroder_0020 Sam Schroder_0021 Sam Schroder_0022 Sam Schroder_0023 Sam Schroder_0024 Sam Schroder_0025 Sam Schroder_0026 Sam Schroder_0027 Sam Schroder_0028 Sam Schroder_0029 Sam Schroder_0030 Sam Schroder_0031 Sam Schroder_0032 Sam Schroder_0033 Sam Schroder_0034 Sam Schroder_0035 Sam Schroder_0036 Sam Schroder_0037 Sam Schroder_0038 Sam Schroder_0039 Sam Schroder_0040 Sam Schroder_0041 Sam Schroder_0042 Sam Schroder_0043 Sam Schroder_0044 Sam Schroder_0045 Sam Schroder_0046 Sam Schroder_0047 Sam Schroder_0048 Sam Schroder_0049

Birth | Olivia

[quote]”Let her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains” – Unknown [/quote]

Charl & Bernadette welcomed their little bundle on a grey afternoon, which was actually very strange for this time of year. Little Olivia was greeted by a waiting room packed with family that were waiting anxiously to meet her.  Their first glimpse of this little princess were on a cell phone, as you will see in some of the images, and that’s just the way it goes in our technology driven world. Her new grandfather actually made a comment about how things have changes since they have had Bernadette and her twin brothers. Never the less the meeting of her new family was as special as I have seen. Ouma were in tears as Oupa was the very first one to hold her, after mom and dad.

Guys as you mentioned, let her sleep, this little one will have no problem moving those mountains with this family’s love, surrounding her, cherishing her and teaching her.

To see her Birth Slide Show follow link below

Olivia’s Birth story

xXx
Sam

 

_DSC5092 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-5 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-6 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-12 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-15 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-17 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-25 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-27 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-35 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-36 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-42 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-45 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-55 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-68 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-98 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-107 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-109 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-115 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-117 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-120 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-123 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-124 SSP151021 Olivia Birth-128