Birth Photography | Cara vd Walt

Birth Photography_Gauteng_Natural Delivery

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” – Bob Marley

Birth almost never go according to plan. Leanne had a totally different plan for her daughters birth but unlike my previous post her birth didn’t change from a planned natural delivery to a C-section. It changed in the way she planned her natural delivery to go. This mom was strong and courages! Her story reflects truth of not only the pretty parts of birth but also the very, very hard parts.

“We were very lucky because I fell pregnant only a month after I stopped with contraceptive. I had a very good pregnancy as I didn’t have any morning sickness. I did however suffer from hip and back pain.

So with an awesome pregnancy almost over, we “patiently” waited for Cara. I am saying “patiently” because Ristian and I are control freaks. So this “can’t plan for anything” was a huge adjustment for us but taught us that you can’t control everything and it’s difficult to plan ahead (it was good that we got used to it, especially with a new baby on the way 😊)

I wanted to give birth naturally,

not just because it’s the best for Cara, but I wanted to experience everything. I wanted to know what it felt like to push. I also liked the idea that God, and not a doctor, will decide when the right time is for her to come. In short, Cara chose her own birthday.

That being said, I didn’t think that it will give birth naturally. I thought in the back of my mind that the gynaecologist will say that Cara is too big or that she is bridge. You hear of so many stories where women want to give birth naturally but then something goes wrong and they have to get an emergency C-Section. We didn’t go for antenatal classes, because I thought it might end up being a C-Section anyway and then you don’t need to know how to push etc.

I have a low pain threshold, so I was very scared to go through the whole process. I therefore said that if I give birth naturally I must get an epidural!! Come hell or high water… But, again, you can’t plan ahead and the picture you have of what’s about to happen is far from what’s expected.

I therefore want to tell my story. The whole story, not just to pretty parts.

On Saturday the 9th of September 2017, I woke up at 5:00 with what felt like period pain. I was about 39 weeks pregnant. I went to the bathroom and when I came back I woke Ristian up and said to him that I think I might be having contractions. As we didn’t go for antenatal classes, we didn’t know what to expect. We only watched a lot of videos online of what might happen. So when we realised that the time has finally come, we couldn’t remember anything 😊. We had to Google the timing of the contractions. Ristian used his stopwatch and we started timing.

I am not sure when, but I did lose my mucus plug sometime during the morning. And it’s exactly what the name says… its very slimy.

We had plans with friends later the day and decided not to cancel as we didn’t know how quickly I will progress. They came over for a quick boerewors braai and by 14:00 I said to Ristian that my contractions are closer together and starting to get really sore. He said that he will see our friends out and that I should take a shower in the meantime and pack my last stuff for the hospital. Cara’s hospital bag was packed a month before ☺

It’s difficult to explain how a contraction feels, but if I have to say, it feels like very very bad period pains. I started to feel the pain in my lower back as well.

By 17:00 I could not stand while a had a contraction and had difficulty talking through one.

We greeted our animal kids and we were off to Olivedale Hospital. On the way there I started to get very emotional as I was scared of what’s about to happen. I prayed so much and knew God was with us to whole time.

We arrived and I were booked in immediately. I had to do a urine sample and undergo all the checks etc. They took my temperature, blood pressure and they had to see how far dilated I am. I was very nervous for this test because the stories I heard were shocking!! Before the midwife did the test, I told her that I am scared and she should be gentle on me. She instructed me to take a deep breath and open my legs so that my knees are flat on the bed (you almost look like a chicken flatty) and I must be honest, it was sore and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t as bad as expected. The contractions were much worse…

At around 18:00 I was only 1cm dilated.

Ristian looked at me and I said to him that this is going to be a long night. He made himself comfortable on the lazy chair next to me. They gave me my supper and then Ristian went to eat something and the midwife came in and started to explain everything to me and what I can expect.

She explained how to use the pain medication. I was very relieved that I could get some pain relief with every contraction. They gave me Entonox. This is a 50/50 mix of two gases – nitrous oxide and oxygen and is breathed in through a mask or mouthpiece.

She also showed me how to use the exercise ball. This however felt very uncomfortable and it didn’t do anything for me.

They also gave me a Pethidine injection for the pain.

The midwife informed me that my gynaecologist was not on call that weekend. I was a bit upset as I really wanted my gynea there because he was very supportive and had a relaxed atmosphere. But she assured me that the gynea on call was brilliant and she is awesome with natural birth.

It then began to sink in that I’m actually going to give birth naturally. I told the hospital staff numerous times that I really want an epidural, but they kept on saying that I wasn’t dilated far enough.

The contractions at this stage were almost unbearable.

I kept on using the Entonox just to get some relief. I must admit, I started to feel dizzy from the pain medication, but I just kept on using it.

At 23:00 the midwife checked again to see how far dilated I was and I was at 4cm. They said they are going to break my water and things might move quickly.

It wasn’t sore when they broke my water, just an uncomfortable pinch. They used a tool that looked like a knitting needle. Once they broke my water, there was water everywhere. After this, they moved me to the labor ward.

I kept on asking for the epidural and the staff finally said that I can get an epidural.

They called the anaesthesiologist and he was on his way.They checked again, and I dilated to 9cm in 30 minutes! The pain was unbearable at this stage and I kept on using the Entonox. The midwife said that because I dilated so quickly, I can’t get an epidural anymore…

They therefore cancelled the epidural and I was furious.

I think it’s just because I was in so much pain and I didn’t think I could pull through without it. I then had to wrap my head around the fact that I’m actually going to give birth without an epidural.

I started to feel very dizzy from the pain meds and my whole body was pins and needles. It felt like nothing worked anymore and the mask was almost permanently on my face. When the midwife checked on me, my eyes were seeing double. She told Ristian to keep the mask away from me and I’m not allowed to use it anymore ☹

In the meantime, Ristian contacted Sam and said she should come as soon as possible because I progressed very quickly. Luckily, she made it in time 😊

The gynae on call arrived and I knew that its going to happen now. She seemed very calm and collected and had a calming effect on me.

The midwife then explained how to push. She said that with every contraction, I need to pull up my legs and imagine I am diving into a swimming pool. I need to hold my breath and push hard for 10 seconds. They will do the counting. After 10 seconds and I can take a breath (as if I am coming up for air in the swimming pool) and then I need to dive in again and hold my breath for the next 10 seconds and push.

At first I did it wrong.

I didn’t hold my breath and breathed as they do in the movies 😊. I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t actually listen to what the midwife said. I eventually got it right, but I was very tired and my legs felt like jelly. I couldn’t hold it up anymore, so Ristian and a nurse had to help me. In between Ristian kept on giving me water and Powerade and he also wiped my face. I was eventually so hot and sweaty, that he took a wet towel to cool me off. He was very supportive.

I pushed for almost an hour and Cara was still not out. I saw the look the gynae and midwife exchanged, and I realised that its now or never. Cara’s heartbeat started to change and she needed to come out as soon as possible. The gynae then also said to me that I really need to give it my all. Sam told me afterwards that Cara’s meconium (black poo) was in my amniotic fluid. Meaning that Cara started to stress as well.

They then gave me an injection in order to cut me (episiotomy) and also used a vacuum suction on Cara’s head to help her out.

I then gave one final push and felt extreme pain and then it was gone immediately.

Cara, my world, my beautiful baby daughter was on my chest. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe everything is over and she is okay. We made it!! I felt instant relieve!!

Ristian was next to me with a huge smile on his face. Our daughter is born 😊. He gave me a kiss and I knew we were safe. He was with me every step of the way and I will always be grateful for that. With Ristian next to me, Cara in my arms,

I felt LOVE!! Love and peace and joy!!

After I held Cara in my arms for a while, they asked Ristian to cut the umbilical cord and the nurse took Cara to weigh her followed by all the checks. Ristian stayed with Cara the whole time. They then injected me with something that helps the placenta to come out easily. I can remember telling them that I can’t push anymore, and they laughed. They said everything is over, I can just relax. They will pull out the placenta after which that they stitched me up (this wasn’t sore at all).

When they were done with me and Cara, I could finally breastfeed her. This was an amazing feeling! She latched immediately, and it was awesome watching my daughter while she gets in all the liquid gold.

We had wonderful family time talking about the whole experience while Cara slept in my arms. Sam continued to take awesome photos.

They then took Cara to the nursery so that I could get some rest. Ristian took all our bags to my hospital room. The midwife asked me to stand up and I should be careful because a lot of blood will spill out of me. I’m glad she warned me, but I still wasn’t prepared because when I stood up, A LOT of blood spilled on the floor.

I felt so embarrassed but also grateful that no one else was in the room with us. After she cleaned me up, she said I should walk to my room.

Half way there I felt very dizzy and I can remember I saw Ristian close by and then it went black. I fainted in the middle of the corridor on the way to my room. I woke up almost immediately and they helped me to my room. The midwife brought me tea and salt & vinegar popcorn 😊, I appreciated that a lot. I was exhausted. I could get some sleep for about 2 hours when they brought Cara for her next feed. It was such a special time because it was just us. Mother and daughter. I can’t describe the love you instantly feel for that precious little bundle in your arms. Your flesh and blood. It’s actually overwhelming 😊

The gynaecologist and midwife were awesome, and it was amazing how everything worked out perfectly 😊.

I never knew I had it in me and I praise God that He gave me the strength and that He showed me what I am capable of.

I thank Him that He was with us every second. I also realised that God will never put a mountain in front of you if He knows you cannot climb it. And sometimes God will put a Goliath in your life, for you to find the David within you.

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Cara was born at 1:52 am, weighing 3.38kg and 53cm long.

I didn’t know how everything will go with Sam and if the hospital staff will allow her to take pictures while I give birth. Luckily the hospital didn’t have a problem at all and I felt so comfortable with Sam. On the one hand she was so discreet and on the other she stepped in when needed. She encouraged me along the way and afterwards she told me that she kept on praying for me and Cara because she could see I was struggling. That meant the world to me 😊 and now I can look back at awesome photos and a very special video of the birth of Cara.”

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Newborn Photography | Ammi

Newborn Photography_Gauteng Newborn Photography_Sam Schroder Photography_Birth Photography

“She’s the exclamation mark in the happiest sentence that I could ever possibly write.”

This post is long overdue as most of them are 😉 but I still love “bragging” with my clients beautiful moments. This newborn session was no different. Filled with beautiful moments and exclamation marks!

This tiny one was born at only 36 weeks. Luckily with no complications and only spent a few days in ICU. She is baby sister to a big, big brother and a little big brother whom both loved cuddling with her. Although I have to admit, little big brother a little less enthusiastic at first 😉

A newborn session filled with “cuteness overload”

Described by google as follows 😉

Cuteness overload is the state in which a character experiences the immense rush of emotion after seeing (or hearing) something very, very cute, often rendering him/her partly or wholly incapacitated. The sudden charge of feelings could create so effective an incapacitation that the character may have to be woken up by another character calling his/her name or by other means.

I 100% agree with google and some of these moments still leaves me “partly incapacitated”, what about you?

xXx
Sam

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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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C-Section Birth Photography | Sharlette Rose

C-Section Birth Photography

“Where there is great love there are always miracles.” –   Willa Cather

There aren’t many mothers who will say that a c-section was what they had first envisioned when they thought about giving birth. This was also not Sharlene’s birth plan but by the time we were finalising birth photography we both knew it would be C-section Birth Photography.

A c-section is a medical necessity in the best of situations; in the worst cases, it can be due to the outdated practices of a doctor or his/her desire for convenience.

Some c-section mamas have weeks to mentally prepare for a change in their plans, but many only have days, hours, or minutes. Suddenly, everything she envisioned when meeting her child has changed. Her birth plan has been thrown out the window. Surgery lies before her. She doesn’t know how long she’ll have to wait after birth before she holds her baby in her arms.

We humans don’t tend to do well in situations of sudden change. And yet c-section mamas find a way to let go of their pride and connect with an inner-strength that allows them to enter the OR and give birth to their child.

And then the actual surgery happens. The actual cutting and suturing. Full recovery often takes months. And while most of us would like to curl up with a bowl of ice cream and a stack of movies after a major surgery, c-section mamas do just the opposite. They nurture and love and bond with their needy, beautiful babies. Their “great love” making “miracles” happen.

Emotionally and physically, these women are SO strong. And this strength isn’t just necessary on delivery day; this strength must endure in the weeks and months and years ahead – as their bodies and souls heal, crafting new dreams with their little ones in their arms.

I share with you these beautiful pictures of a person becoming a dad, a courageous mother, nuturing and loving their little princess, living miracles everyday because of their “GREAT LOVE”

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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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

 

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