At 40+6 weeks, Liz was reassured by her midwife team that all was going well, everyone was still safe and sound, and even though the adults on the outside were getting a little antsy, the star of the show was happily waiting for the BIG day.
41+4 weeks, Liz sent word that the consistent contractions of the past days were finally becoming 'real enough' to call it. Again, we all readied ourselves for the show.
5am, 41+5 weeks, I finally arrived at Liz and Marc's, snapping photos up the stairs, down the hall and into the snug little world of soothing music, soft cave lights, a purring, sleepy Jasper the cat , and watched Lizzy fold into Marc's arms for another contraction that would bring their baby into this world. I have to say, it was all I could do to keep a lid on my own excitement to ensure the peaceful status quo of this little cave, and to do the job I was here for, which was to capture the end, and beginning of this awesome journey.
With Mel's arrival shortly after, we all witnessed a magical sunrise and waited in wonderment of what was to come.
Liz knew her birth plan back to front. She swayed and breathed through pain after pain with Marc, Mel and Jasper by her side.
After a long and tiring day, including a quick trip to the hospital for more magic midwife reassurance confirming that Lizzy was still in control and baby was still happy, Mel and I left this little family to rest and regroup at home before the next part of the journey.
And then the show begins....
Familiar cave lights and soothing music welcomed me into the calm yet powerful atmosphere of Westmead Hospital Delivery Suite #5.
Marc cradled an exhausted Lizzy through the waves, and we watched in awe as she continued to keep her focus. Literally sleeping between contractions, Liz dug deep for the strength necessary to breath this little baby on its journey. Midwives came and went as shifts changed, and everyone studied the birth plan that Marc and Lizzy had put so much effort and research into.
Concentrating on3D ultrasound photos of her baby while pacing the room, floating and resting in the birth pool, balancing on the ball – those abs of steel and core muscles still doing their thaang – Liz showed us all the warrior that she is !!
Finally, as the sun set outside, the time for Baby Cayanan to enter this world had arrived.
Out of the exhaustion of the past few hours/days, hormones kicked in for Lizzy to finally push their little person earthside...
IT'S A BOY ...yelled Dad...WE HAVE A SON !!!
And we were met with lots of dark hair, little rosebud lips and eyes just like Dad... and Mum.
After a slightly rocky start requiring a little intervention from the amazing birthing team at Westmead Hospital, Lewis found his big, deep voice and let the world know he had arrived !
So... at the end of a long, long April day, almost 14 days past his 'due date' Lewis Marc James wandered into the world to begin his life filled with many cuddles, much love and the 1st of many, many selfies along with a 'few' portraits by his photographer Mum.
Once again I had to hide a few tears behind my camera, because no matter how many times I do this, I am overwhelmed by the absolute joy I feel when I am in a birthing space...I am forever grateful that I am able to witness and capture moments as precious as this.