Birth Photography | James Garnett

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If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”- Wayne Dyer

I couldn’t make this birth and was extremely grateful for my back up photographer Lerissa form Lerissa Kemp Photography to step in (This is one of the many things you have to consider when booking a birth photographer, make sure she has a support system in place 😉 ) Even thought these images are not mine, I still love to share birth stories. I feel that they empower woman in their diversity and hope that they could challenge some of those rigid ideas around birth.

One of the things I love most about birth photography is that like every child, every birth is different. Their stories are different, their beginnings are different. This is a story that started with the Absa Cape Epic Entry.

“When you meet your soulmate, and you plan your life according to all the things you love to do together, you think life can not get better. Life is all about planning. Planning things the way you want it to be.

And then life happens….

We thought we would live life and do most of the things before we have children and before we are too old. That was our plan….

As a wife of a keen cyclist (and a keen cyclist herself), what better gift to give your husband than an ABSA Cape Epic entry? I thought it was a good idea to TRY to enter but in the back of my mind thought, “what is the chance?”. Yet I was one of the lucky 9-second people who managed to get an entry for 2016! I was over-the-moon and super excited and happy. 

We started to prepare. We started to train harder than we have ever done before. We planned. We organised.

We trained, we ate, and we slept Epic.

In between we worked and somewhere in between life happened. Our focus was Epic, until one Friday afternoon, a month before the Epic, when my husband shared devastating news with me. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Our plans, hopes and dreams were shattered in minutes. All our hard work felt like a waste of time and energy.

As we got our minds around the disappointment, the fear and anxiety, my husband had a successful operation and has been cancer free ever since. The organiser of the Epic gracefully postponed our entry to 2017.  We were preparing for our new journey to  the ABSA Cape Epic 2017 when I discovered I was pregnant and the baby would be due on 24 December 2016.

The first thing that went through my mind was “what about the Epic?”!

I even tried to work out if I would manage to get fit and strong within a few weeks after having had the baby. I was making plans and trying to figure out a way because I still believed that there was a reason why I was one of the lucky 9-second people, but unfortunately we were left with the choice of entering or being refunded. We decided on the refund hoping to get another entry one day.

Two days after I have asked for my refund, I had a miscarriage.

I was devastated and was blaming myself for the miscarriage. Perhaps I am getting punished because I was disappointed that we won’t be able to do the Epic. So many thoughts and emotions crossed my mind.

My focus moved slightly away from the desperate need/want to do the ABSA Cape Epic and I have realised that events like this will always be there but having a baby doesn’t just happen. After all we have been married for more than 3 years with no luck. We have tried and planned and I started thinking that perhaps we were not meant to have children.

I’ve tried our last resort, the fertility lab. We had our first appointment where the doctor told us that we won’t be able to fall pregnant naturally or without any help. We had to think about all our options but our 2nd appointment never happened because I discovered I was pregnant.

Naturally! Without any help.

We were over the moon. Fear and anxiety was obviously a major thing and the first trimester was quite stressful for me. It turned out to be an awesome pregnancy without any issues or complications. I had a little bit of food aversion up until 16 weeks but otherwise I was healthy, and the little baby was healthy.

We have decided that we didn’t want to know the gender beforehand. We wanted a surprise. This was the best decision we have ever made and the anticipation and excitement of not knowing was wonderful. And oh, my word, what an awesome surprise it was!

My plan was to have a natural delivery but unfortunately things didn’t work out the way I have planned, which was okay because I have learned that life doesn’t always happen the way we plan it. Luckily, I was open minded about everything from the beginning and I was more than happy to do whatever was best for our little baby. 26 October, 38 weeks 4 days, was THE day.

I went for a nice relaxing pedicure that morning with my sister-in-law. I asked for pink toes because I teased and said I think I am expecting a little girl. From about 9am I started getting cramps which at that point in time I didn’t know was the start of my labour, in fact, it felt more like menstrual cramps and I could manage with it.

I expected severe pains from the word go as well as my water to break, just like in the movies.

I didn’t make much of it. After my pedicure I went to work. During my staff meeting my “menstrual cramps” started getting worse but I have put on a straight face and nobody noticed that I was experiencing some discomfort. At about 4pm I decided to go home, and I told Alasdair that I don’t think he should come home too late. I thought I will have a nice warm bath which will help with the “cramps”. And at that time, Alasdair came home. The bath didn’t help much. I contacted my doctor who advised that we should go to the hospital so that they could check me out. And that is when I contacted Sam to inform her that she should be on standby. Luckily my bags were packed. On the way to the hospital, in 17h30 rush hour traffic, my cramps got more intense and 3-4 minutes apart. We both realised that this is it, I am in labour. And yes, at the hospital they confirmed it, I was in active labour and I was about 4cm dilated, and no, I am not going back home. My doctor came at 9pm to check on me. And then she gave me the news.

My baby is not coming down ,

even though I am in full labour and I am dilating. On the examination both baby and I were still doing fine, and she said we could wait a while to see if baby will come down, but she was not very hopeful, and the possibility might be that baby can go into distress which is not what we want. And I obviously was not keen on the idea of being in labour for days. We’ve decided to opt for a caesarean while baby and I are still healthy and happy. After we made the call, things happened so quickly. So quick, that Lerissa, the photographer couldn’t make it in time to the hospital to capture the whole process. But at the end, the pictures afterwards speak a thousand words and will be treasured forever. Alasdair notified the family and they came immediately and waited in anticipation.

I was calm and relaxed and had a feeling of contentment. I was quite surprised that there was not a negative feeling of anxiety or nervousness. The time has come where we are going to meet our little BabyG. Our little surprise. My doctor and the staff were superb, and I knew I was in good hands, both of us were. A lot of pushing from the doctor, her assistant as well as the anaesthetist to push the baby down. And then, next moment, at 22h17pm the doctor pulled the baby out and lifted him in front of me… “It’s a boy!” she shouted.

A moment I will never forget. Tears of joy rolled down my face.

The family was super excited to meet BabyG and welcome him into the family. They didn’t mind waiting at 10pm after a long day of work to meet the new addition to the Garnett family. Lots of happiness, excitement, and adoration. A small family with a close bond and I never thought that a little baby can bring a family even closer together. Something special happened that night, something I can’t explain but I feel a warmth in my heart every time I look at the images from that night. This baby boy is so special and will be loved so much.

When that tiny little hand grabbed my finger

as if to say, “please mommy, don’t leave me, you are the only one I know, and I am not sure about this thing called world” and I looked at those fingers and saw pure perfection. I couldn’t believe that we made a tiny little human being. That little baby boy grew inside of me. He was growing for 9 months in my tummy. Pure perfection. I am in awe. I am content. This is pure love.

Even though I was the only person he knew, it was such an amazing sight when Alasdair took him, and he laid on his chest and he didn’t make a sound. He was happy and peaceful as if he knew this is his dad who is going to love him and take care of him. The bond between father and son started immediately.

A little baby boy climbed into our hearts and we will do our best to raise him to the best of our ability.”

Images By Lerissa Kemp Photography
Editing By Sam Schröder Photography
Music Slide Show By Sam Schröder Photography

 

Birth Photography | Troy Liebenberg

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“You can do the impossible, because you have been through the unimaginable” Christina Rasmussen.

Dreaming of the day we give birth to our own, looks different to everybody. I can however assure you that complications during pregnancy are not included in those dreams. Unfortunately to some it’s their reality. To Danyella and Ryan TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome) became a devastating part of their reality.

” Twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a serious disorder that occurs in identical twins and higher order multiples who share a placenta. This occurs when the blood vessels of the babies’ shared placenta are connected.

This results in one baby (this twin is referred to as the recipient) receiving more blood flow, while the other baby (this twin is referred to as the donor) receives too little. Twin to twin transfusion syndrome is also referred to as chronic inter-twin transfusion syndrome.”  – http://americanpregnancy.org/multiples/twin-to-twin-transfusion-syndrome/

Read Danyella’s story of heart ace, desperation, hope and the birth of a miracle baby.

“The Story of Chase and Troy…My Twin Boys

It all started during week 8 of my pregnancy, I went to my first check-up appointment with my gynaecologist after finding out we were pregnant. My mom booked me an appointment while I was still travelling in America so that I could be seen the very next day after our return from the USA without having to wait very long.

Lying on the bed, I was so excited to hear my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. The Dr took a few moments and there it was – the heartbeat. Probably the most incredible moment of my life at that point. It was so clear and crisp, beating so fast. That was my baby. After a few moments, the Dr said: “Okay, there’s one more thing I need to tell you”. Eagerly I waited, until he said: “There’s another heart beat!” What?! This can’t be – I am having twins? At this moment, a flood of emotions ran through me, I was excited, but weary, happy, but scared, thrilled but nervous. I started thinking of everything a baby needs and doubling that, including the financial aspect of it. Regardless of it all, I was super excited to phone up the family and let them know. Before I got to that point the Dr told me to dress myself and come meet him in his office for a quick chat. I thought this was normal protocol and did so. As I sat there, my Dr started preparing me for the pregnancy. He mentioned that there are things such as a phantom twin, the pregnancy is usually consisted high risk, I have what they call a mono di twin pregnancy, and it is one of the most high risk pregnancies.

It was all a lot to take in, but I didn’t want all that information to take away from the joy I was supposed to be feeling about the news I just received.

We were going to be blessed with TWO gorgeous human beings – both identical to one another – boy or girl – it didn’t matter, they were going to be our miracles.

Our next appointment was when it all began. It was our 12 week appointment and we were so excited. It was with a MFM – a Dr that has some very high tech scanning machinery that allows you to see very clearly what is going on with the pregnancy for precautionary measures. This appointment very quickly took a turn for the worst when the Dr mentioned that there was a size difference in our boys. One was clearly a lot smaller than the other, which gives rise to the concern of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. A term that was going to haunt us for the remainder of our pregnancy. Most of what I remember about this appointment was simply bursting into tears as the Dr read me right act on termination options, and suggesting it quite strongly. I remember rushing out of the Dr’s room mid conversation to take a breather in the corridor. It was such a difficult moment for us, but it was only the beginning.

We ended up going for more appointments, each with a 2 to 6 week gaps in between that seemed to take a lifetime to pass. Each appointment we went to, our little babies size difference grew bigger and bigger and the option of termination was stressed upon us even more. I researched everything there is to know about TTTS.

It didn’t look good. My options were limited.

During our 16 week check, the Dr gave us our last ultimatum. Termination or laser surgery. He mentioned that SA is very far behind in terms of the laser surgery and I should look at going overseas for it. Europe was his first suggestion, and Australia was his second. I didn’t know what to do with this information and began feeling very overwhelmed. SA has one Dr who can perform laser surgery on TTTS – I emailed him immediately while walking out of the Dr’s rooms and he came back to me also suggesting to go overseas as he has only had 8 out of 25 successful surgeries and my chances of both twins surviving was less than 30% as opposed to an 80 – 90 percent overseas. I then got home and started emailing all the hospitals around the world who offered laser surgery to ask for assistance. I had so many calls with nurses and Dr’s explaining my situation, many of which required me to understand all the medical terms around TTTS. I remember feeling so stressed out and concerned that as a pregnant woman going through all of this, I was left on my own to figure out everything there is to know about this surgery without any help from my Dr’s. It turned out that my medical reports that I was sending to Directors of hospitals around the world were incorrect and showed no evidence of TTTS. I went back to my SA Dr’s and they got very irritated with me for needing to change their reports. I was trying to figure this all out by myself and felt like I was drowning. I had numerous panic attacks. I remember sitting on my bathroom floor struggling to breathe while my fiancé held me asking me to take a deep breath. This was not the plan. I was always supposed to have an easy pregnancy. This doesn’t happen to me. Why is this happening to me? What am I supposed to learn from this? Why would God put me through this. How are you supposed to get stronger from this? I hate this. I had so many conflicting thoughts, I was distraught.

I eventually made contact with the Chicago Children’s Hospital in the USA who would perform the laser surgery for me. I needed to get documentation from my MFM regarding my pregnancy. I needed to see my gynaecologist for measurements of my amniotic fluid of both boys, I needed to get flight clearance. There was so much prep for getting me ready for my trip to America but I knew it was all worth it. I had an 80 to 90 percent chance of my boys surviving the surgery and all being well in the end.

Until I received the bill.

I needed to pay over R600 000 upfront before I could board my flight and attend my booked MRI appointments in the USA and my laser surgery thereafter. This killed me. It was a Thursday morning. I had battled during the week with time communication to and from the USA due to the time differences and I couldn’t waste any more time. I would need to sell my house to make this trip.

My fiancé sat me down and brought me back to earth. I couldn’t do it. It’s unrealistic. It’s impractical. I would need to spend weeks in America after the surgery in bed rest. I didn’t have the money for it, I would be alone and who knows how my work would take that news. I just couldn’t do it. This broke me into a million pieces. My last hope was gone. I remember feeling like a failure. My one job as a mom was to protect my babies, and 16 weeks in, I have already failed.

The next best bet would be to meet with the SA Dr who could perform the surgery. I went from an 80 to 90 percent chance of survival to a 30 percent chance of survival, but I had no other choice. We made contact with the Dr and he scheduled an emergency appointment for me in Cape Town at 9:30pm. I arranged flights from JHB to CT and we made a plan to clear our diaries to go see this Dr. We were silent the whole flight to CT and the day seemed to drag on. Eventually we walked into the Dr’s room, ready for our scan to see if we could start the surgery immediately.

He paused and looked at me.

“Before we continue I need to let you know that there is only one heartbeat and I am sorry to say that you have lost one of your babies”.

At this point I thought I was going to burst into tears again but there was nothing. I couldn’t feel anything, I went numb. He continued the check up and I just lay there. His words were a blur and I don’t remember much of what he said thereafter. This was a taste of what the following weeks were going to be like. I was numb. I went into a state of shock where I just couldn’t feel anything, I couldn’t cry, and I couldn’t mourn the loss of my son. The next 3 weeks I spent in bed. I didn’t eat, I couldn’t get up, my fiancé did everything he could to help me but I was a wreck. It was the worst time of my life. You supposed to cry, you supposed to be sad, but then you are supposed to be relieved that the other twin is alive and well. These were all these feelings that I was supposed to feel but there was nothing.

We had another appointment with an MFM who brought up termination again. I thought we were past all this but now it was different. Now, due to the passing of one twin, his body could break down and flow into the surviving twins supply and cause brain damage. When was the bad news going to end? On top of this, the surviving twin received all his nutrients from his brother so he may not survive because he needs to figure out how to obtain the nutrients himself.

There was so much to consider at this point, I reached a point in my pregnancy where I gave in. I gave into what God had planned for me and believed that I just needed to accept things as they are and needed to give this baby boy the best chance of survival. I needed to start eating properly again and I needed to start being happy and enjoying the gift of pregnancy. I fought with myself but I knew that I am strong willed and I can convince my brain to do this. From that day on, I made a decision to be strong and healthy for my boy.

It was then that we named our sons, Chase, the donor, my angel who passed away and Troy, our survivor, our soldier who fought through the worst odds and survived.

7 months later I gave birth to a miracle. Troy was health 3.2kg’s heavy and 50 cm tall. He had his scans and he was an over achiever.

I was a mommy. After everything, I learnt that I am blessed to have my boy, safe in this world and healthy. There is nothing wrong with him as the Dr’s feared and he is perfect in every way.

He is a miracle.

He is my Troy.”

Baby Troy’s Birth slideshow 🙂

 

I hope that you as you browse through these images, you find hope, believe in love and witness a miracle.

xXx
Sam

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Birth Photography | Nadia’s Birth

“Don’t give up on your dreams…… keep sleeping” – Unknown

Bianke and Hannes stopped sleeping with the birth of their daughter Nadia, but they had to learn to trust. Trust and not give up. They had to keep sleeping….

“After being diagnosed with Endometriosis Stage 3 I knew our struggle to have children was real…..

We got married on 27 August 2011, on the most beautiful sunny day, at Avianto. Everything was perfect, and I knew, I married my best friend. Someone that will be with me and support me no matter what challenges we face….

We wanted to get to know each other for a few years before starting a family. As we reached 3 years of married life, we both knew we wanted a baby….

After trying for almost a year there were no signs of a baby…

I decided to seek medical advice and my Gynae recommended that we go and see a fertility specialist. We did and he said that I might have Endometrioses. He recommended that we do a laparoscopy to see how severe it was. I was diagnosed with widely spread stage 3 Endometrioses. Our chances to conceive naturally without the help of IVF was 14%

I immediately started doing research and knew that our struggle to have children was real. The thought of not having children made me sick to my stomach and I knew it was something I would not be able to handle.

In 2015 we made the decision to start IVF.

Nine eggs were retrieved, five fertilized but only three was good enough to freeze. We decided to take a chance on two. After 2 weeks of waiting and praying the results came back negative.

I was not pregnant, I was devastated….How can both not work?

We had 1 Embryo left and I placed all my hope in my last Embie. A month after our pervious failed attempt, we decided to use our last one. Full of hope that this was definitely the one we went back for another round. But after the 2 week wait the results came back negative….again not pregnant….I cried uncontrollably….how could it not work again…I had so many questions going through my head. Both myself an my Husband went through a very emotional time but we were not ready to give up. After this full failed cycle we knew that we would go back again. My husband reassured me that even if he needs to max out all our credit cards, our dream for a baby is one we are not going to easily let go of…..

God spoke to me through Habakkuk 2:3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay

This verse carried me through our infertility journey, and I knew that there was a bigger plan for us….
My husband wanted to go back immediately after our failed cycle but I was not ready. I just wanted a month of no injections, no pain, no heartache, and no Doctors….who knew???

The month that we waited was the month our little miracle Nadia happened…..naturally….”

Here is there little miracle

“I hope that our story encourage others that share in the struggle. Know that there is hope and it’s not always what the doctors say….

Never give up, no matter how big or small and especially not if its a dream to become parents.

Bianke & Hannes Nortman
X”

 

 

Birth Photography | Samantha Graham

“We do not remember days, we remember moments”

The birth of your baby is one of the most life changing, pivotal days in your life. Definitely filled with moments to remember forever. Definitely worth getting a photographer for, specifically for that “moment of birth”. Right?

Wrong!!! Yes, you want a birth photographer at your baby’s birth, but to get permission from some hospitals and doctors allowing your photographer access can be a nightmare. I often get the question from prospective clients about access at hospitals, and I have to admit, I love capturing the whole thing but it’s not a deal breaker. There is so much more to your baby’s birth story than the actual moment of birth.

Here is Samantha’s birth story, we knew from the start that I wouldn’t be allowed in theatre. Normally I wouldn’t post the images the dad or staff captured on my website, because it’s not my work, but I decided to show you what is possible, even though I was not in theatre…..

I think we pretty much still “GOT” the birth 😉

Here is her birth video, you decide …..

 

A note from Michelle to her daughter Samantha;

“My liefste Samantha

Jy is al twee maande oud ! Dit voel nogsteeds onwerklik dat jy nou elke dag deel is van ons lewe!! Elke dag is net n blessing!

Jou geboorte storie :

Jou oorspronklike geboorte datum was die 10de aug, maar dr.laker het besluit om jou vroeer uit te haal omdat jy nie gegroei het soos jy moes nie. Ek is toe al die maandag hospitaal toe sodat hulle vir my steriods en magnesium kan inspuit om seker te maak jy is mooi gesond. Die drie dae voordat jy gekom het,het maar vir my baie lank gevoel en ek kon nie wag vir donderdag nie!!

Donderdag het finally aan gebreek! Pappa was al vroeg die oggend daar en ons het saam gewag in opwinding! Dit was die langste paar ure ooit!! Finally was dit ons beurt!

1uur was ek in die teater in. Ek was maar bietjie bang omdat alles so nuut was. Maar ekt geweet Liewe Jesus is by ons en dat alles perfek sal wees! Die nakootiseer het die spinaal gedoen, die inspuiting was bietjie seer, maar dit was glad nie so erg nie. Daarna moes ek gaan le en hulle het my begin prep. Die dokter het in gekom, toe was ek bang ek is nie heeltemal dood gespuit nie en dat as sy sny gaan ek dit voel, maar die volgende oomblik toe kyk sy vir my en se “knyp knyp” , ekt na haar gestaar en gese “huh?” , toe  haal sy n knyp tangetjie uit en se “ekt jou geknyp, het jy dit gevoel?”

Dankie tog ek het nie. Die dokters het gesels oor hulle vakansies en langnaweke terwyl ek en pappa baie anxious wag. 10min later (13:13) is jy gebore.

Wow wat n asemrowende gevoel! Die pediater, dr.angela colquhoun het vir ons die fotos geneem, sy het net aanhou se “aah, sy is so mooi!” ! Ek kon jou net so vinnig oor die lap sien, toe het die dokter jou gevat en pappa het langs jou gestaan en jou bekyk. Later op die fotos was dit vir my so special om te sien hoe hy saggies, met liefde aan jou koppie vat. Hy het toe jou umbilical cord gesny en hulle het jou bietjie in die broei kas gesit om warm te word. Na so 5min het hulle jou bo op my kom sit en ek kon bietjie na jou kyk. Die nakootiseer het toe n medisyne gespuit wat maak dat my baarmoeder weer terug trek, dit het my bietjie duislig gemaak. Ek was toe bang jy val van my af omdat ek jou nie meer so mooi kon vashou nie, die suster het jou toe weer in die broei kas gesit. Pappa het langs my gesit en my hand vashou en my verseker alles is oky.

Toe hulle my klaar toe gewerk het het ek vir so 10min in die recovery saal gele, jy en pappa was nog saam met my, pappa het jou vas ghou. Toe het hulle my saal toe gestoot en jy en pappa is na die baba kamer. Hulle het my gou kom was. Daarna het jy en pappa weer terug gekom en jy het so bietjie gevoed, wat amazing en special was, en ons het lekker skin to skin gedoen terwyl Sam (ja ook Sam, how cool!) vir ons stunning fotos geneem het.

Ouma tutti en oupa charles was eerste by ons. Dit was vir hulle so lekker om jou te ontmoet, en ek is so bly hulle kon hier wees. Oupa sam , ouma lorraine en jou ouma grootjie ella het toe ingekom. Hulle was so bewoe. Ons het toe ook vir die eerste keer vir ouma lorraine gese dat jou tweede naam raine gaan wees . Sy was heeltemal onkant gevang en so surprised. Dit was so special.

Daarna het ek so bietjie gerus en pappa het gou gery om boris en linka te voer. Maar hy was gou gou weer terug, haha. Jy het heeltemal jou pa se hart gesteel!!! Ekt so bietjie pyn gehad en vir die susters gevra vir iets. So, daai ietsie het my heeltemal deurmekaar gemaak, en die res van die dag is bietjie n blur, maar

Ouma lorraine, oupa sam, ouma ella, oom louis, oom stephen, tannie carien en tannie vicky het die aand kom kuier. Oom louis was heeltemal in awe met jou! Oom stephen was sommer afgeskrik omdat jy so klein was, hehe (nou dat jy bietjie grooter is, 2 maande, hou hy jou baie lekker vas) hulle het nie lank gebly nie omdat ek nie heeltemal by was nie, maar pappa het tot laat gebly en jou vas gehou terwyl mamma op haar trip was 😉

Die volgende dag het ek baie beter gevoel. Ekt vir die suster gevra om die kateter uit te haal sodat ek kan gaan stort. Die stort was maar bietjie moeilik, ek was maar seer. Note to future daughter – drink eers n pyn pil voordat jy gaan stort! Tannie jenny, vicky en lene het ook vir jou kom kuier vandag. (Oom ruan, danie en tannie karen het die saterdag vir jou kom kuier. Asook oom wynand)

Die vrydag aand in die hospitaal kon ek jou nog in die baba kamer gaan los dan sou hulle jou elke 3 ure bring om te voed. Ekt jou die aand gevat. Oh, by the way, daar was 9 babas gebore op die 3de aug 2017 in kloof hospitaal!!!! So… Toe ek jou vat toe is al 8 al opgeline en ekt jou in die que gesit, my hart het alklaar gebreuk! 2 ure later , (nadat  ek vir 2 ure luister na verskillende babas wat nou en dan huil ) het ek besluit, nee wat ek gaan my baba haal!! Haha ekt jou gaan haal en jy het die hele aand op my bors geslaap, selfde met die volgende paar aande in die hospitaal! Dit was so lekker en ekt geweet jy is veilig en gelukkig.

Die volgende paar dae im die hospitaal het maar vinnig verby gegaan en ek kon nie wag vir sondag om huis toe te gaan nie!!

Sondag was ons so 12uur by die huis. Al jou oumas en oupas was daar asook oom louis, oom stephen en tannie carien. Ons het almal lekker middag ete saam geeet en toe het almal gery en dit was net ons. Dit was so lekker om jou finally by die huis te he!!

Die eerste drie weke was pappa hier, en wow , dit was vreeslik lekker om saam as n gesin net deur elke dag te gaan en mekaar lief te he, en elke nou en dan vir jou te staar 😉 pappa het n nuwe favourite gekry, jy was instantly sy oogappel! Hy is regtig my mr.perfect! Hy help met ALLES! En nie omdat hy moet nie, omdat hy wil. As jy n geluid maak is pappa daar! As ek net dink dis tyd om jou doek te ruil is hy daar! Ek en pappa het actually gefight vir beurte om jou doek te ruil hahaha!!

Pappa was baie hartseer om weer terug te gaan DRC toe! Maar vandat pappa daar is video call ons elke aand, en oggend oor naweke! Jy kyk aandagtig na die skerm.

Vandar jy begin smile het op 6 weke het jy sommer baie hom gesmile. Toe jy 7 weke oud is die saterdag oggend toe pappa bel het jy die hele tyd vir hom gesmile!! Dit was so special, little daddy’s girl! Voor dit het jy maar net nou en dan vir my en oupa en ouma gesmile. Maar nie so baie na mekaar nie! Dit was regtig ongelooflik om te sien! En van daar af het jy altyd baie gesmile as hy met jou gesels.

Pappa kom nou weer oor 11 slaapies en ons kan seriously nie meer wag nie!!!

Ons lewe is soooo geseen met jou in dit xxx

Oh ja, nog n ding , ek neem te lekker fotos van jou! Oom louis het gejoke en gese eendag as jy groot is en jy vra vir al jou baba fotos , dan gaan ek se, ja hier is al die 12 000 baba fotos my kind, haha

Maar ek dink actually dit gaan meer as dit wees, haha

Ongelooflik, ontsettend baie baie lief vir jou!!!

Liefde
Mamma
Xox ”

 

Newborn Photography │ Luan Viljoen

Newborn Photography

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” ~Desmond Tutu

Having your newborn photography session is hard work, but this little guy was just amazing and handled it like a pro! He was just one happy content bub that loved being cuddled by his new family.

Little Luan was born a few weeks ago (If you missed the blog post on his birth click HERE) to Dad Rickus, Mom Tharina and Big Brother Rian. He is adored and loved, as you will see in the images below, and completes the circle of family for the Viljoens. I loved spending time with them and his dad was a blast to photograph!

He is not only a gift to his own family, but also to mine.

The Viljoen family might not be blood related but they are a blessing from above and part of my Family

Our family started out on a couple of KTM motorbikes (you’ll see some motorbike accessories in the pictures below ;)) and grew to a family of friends that have been irreplaceable in the past 2 years. The dads of the family will get together early Saturday mornings on their orange machines and meet up afterwards for a braai with the wives and kids. (I’ll do a post on the orange machines in the new year and tell you all about the purpose of these weekly motorbike meetings)

We have all prayed and hoped for little Luan, and now that he is here we can’t thank God enough for this little soul! He has changed his mom and dad’s lives already and have captured the hearts of many.

Little Luan Viljoen, may you always know how loved and treasured you are, how adored and special and may you keep on touching lives around you as you have already done in this short, short time you have been a part of our journey on earth.

Love you lots Viljoen’s, thanks for being the special friends to my family that you are!!!

xXx
Sam

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Newborn Photography | Skylar Howarth

“All the stars in the universe danced on the day you were born….” – Unknown

For those who don’t know, a rainbow baby is a child who is born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant/child loss — the rainbow after the storm. Newborn Skylar is a Rainbow Baby and I found this letter to the parents of a rainbow…

“Dear Rainbow Mom & Dad,

Congratulations on your newborn baby! I know how hard it was to announce this baby, the complicated mix of jubilation and guilt. You want to be excited about this new life, but you want to be respectful toward the life who is no longer here.

This is the tightrope you’ll walk down for the rest of your life, but it will get easier.

It’s OK to be afraid. It’s OK to take it day-to-day. It’s even OK if you’re not excited. You’ve learned, in the worst possible way, that nothing in life is guaranteed. But it’s also OK to have hope, and make plans. Yes, the baby deserves that, but so do you.

A baby after loss is scary. Be kind to yourself. Accept help when it is offered, and ask for it when you need it, even if it seems outlandish.

There will, of course, be people who assume that with the arrival of a newborn baby, you are “better.” They won’t get why you’re “still sad.” There will be others who think you’re a terrible person for daring to go forward with your life, as if having another baby means you’re replacing the one who is gone. These people will never understand.

Aren’t they lucky? Ignore them.

Life can still be good (even great) after unthinkable loss.

Every day, you will be able to breathe a little bit deeper. Every day, you’ll love your babies — all of them — just a little bit more, until one day, that love overtakes the pain.

Congratulations on your beautiful rainbow.”

If you have missed this rainbows birth, you can view it here BIRTH. Their beautiful slideshow can be viewed here SLIDESHOW

xXx
Sam

(Extracts from Huffington Post – To the mother of a rainbow baby)

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Newborn Photography | Sharlette Rose

“You will always be the miracle that makes my life complete.” (George Strait)

Having a newborn in the house mostly don’t feel like the miracle you expected.  You’ve probably heard that all a newborn baby does is eat, poop, cry, and sleep. Sounds simple, right?

It may become simple, but chances are it won’t seem that way at first. That’s okay. That is also perfectly normal. O wait. Normal, perfect and newborn are not alowed in the same sentence! Nothing about taking home a tiny human being feels normal. Everything about your newborn that you imagined would be perfect, feels and looks a little alien like….

Now here is a little truth. Your little newborn alien are perfectly yours. Your own little miracle!

Sharlene shared her miracle baby Sharlette’s story with me.

“I remember the day clearly. We had just returned from our fabulous honeymoon. It was a wonderful week of delicious food, parties on Long Street and even paragliding, however it was time to settle into married life.

I felt really ill so Shav suggested that we do a pregnancy test just to rule that out. So there we were on Christmas Day in the bathroom, waiting anxiously for the results. Those blue lines changed everything. Four positive tests later, we left the bathroom feeling a ton of different emotions.

What a wonderful day to discover we were going to be parents. Our very own Christmas miracle.

I always wanted to be a mom. Shav loves kids and has a wonderful way of relating to them. We had discussed kids many times so finding out we were pregnant so soon after our wedding felt like a blessing from God.

You see, diabetic complications would make it difficult for me to fall pregnant. Shav and I had prepared ourselves for the worst but then God chose us to be Sharlette’s parents.

Everything about our daughter is a divine gift.

From having a wonderful Doctor who walked beside us on this journey to her uncomplicated delivery, Sharlette Rose is proof that God’s love and mercy has no limits. Even whilst tucked in my womb, Sharlette Rose was working her magic. Her very existence deepened our faith in God.

We prayed that she would be strong, fierce and compassionate. I truly believe that Sharlette Rose will move mountains one day.

Our little angel was born on the feast day of the Assumption of Mother Mary. The 15th of August is the day Mary’s soul ascended into heaven, a special day that is celebrated by millions around the world. It’s now Sharlette’s special day too.

She is the light in our home and most importantly our lives. Without her, life has no meaning. We are honoured that we were chosen to be her parents”

xXx
Sam

 

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Newborn | David Böhmer

Gauteng Newborn Photography

“Never let the odds keep you from doing
what you know in your heart you were meant to do.”
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

You have met David already, if you have missed it here is his Fresh 48. He was extremely chilled during this whole newborn session. He gave a few moans when we fiddled too much and he needed some milk but overall a sweet, happy, content baby. Any photographers dream for a newborn session.

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How do we get to be content? Content with life, in a state of peaceful happiness……?       Now this, will never happen if you live to be someone you are not meant to be.

This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your journey, embark on a new one. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start loving yourself. Stop over-analyzing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful and deserve to be heard. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people; we are united in our differences. Ask the person next to you what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating. Live your dream and wear your passion. And lastly, live and love in the truth.

I am still learning what contentment for me will be, but I am enjoying the adventure along the way. I don’t know what my future holds and no matter how hard I try I won’t know until I get there. I’m learning to live for today because yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.

Dietmar, Linda and newborn David, enjoy every moment of this adventure. May you always be happy and content!

xxx
Sam

 

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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

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Birth | Vosloo Twins

[quote]“ Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into. – Henry Ward Beecher[/quote]

Meet two little flowers that God did not forget to add beautiful souls to! Louisa and Fleur Volsoo!

As many births go this was a little “unplanned” welcoming of the girls at only 36 weeks (see their maternity session HERE only 2 days earlier), but the smaller one of the two had a little trouble. (I think her sister ate all her food 😉 )   As we discussed some admin the night before the birth, one of the questions was if they have decided which little girl is going to be named Fleur and which Louisa. The first born will be Louisa, it should be the smaller one and the second one will be named Fleur. (Because of the girls positioning they could make an educated guess which will be born first) It’s exactly how it happened, little Lulu were born screaming, strong and fierce. “Renowned worrier” that’s the meaning of this little fighters name. Perfect don’t you think? Fleur was born a little quieter, more delicate, exactly as her name describes a “flower”. Louisa gets her name from her Great Grand Mother Louisa or Lulu and Fleur is a beautiful name that both Anecia and Gerhard liked. Only later did they discover that both these names have a connection to flower. Identical twins with the same name!

What are the odds of these girls given these names purely by chance, I think not! It makes me think of Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” as well as Isaiah 43:1 “…I have called you by name, you are mine”

Be blessed little flowers! I look forward to witness how you grow and bloom into the persons you were born to be!

xXx
Sam

(Have a look at some more of their beautiful birth story HERE)

 

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