This was such a special birth story, and it’s hard to do it justice with words (which I guess is why I prefer to stick with images). But I’ll tell you a little bit about Mikaere’s arrival into the world.
I’ve known Emma for several years now, as a part of the Sydney Babywearers community. When she asked me to photograph her birth I was over the moon but slightly in shock – I didn’t know yet she was pregnant and this was to be baby number six for her! When I tell people that, their jaws drop. Many of the mums I know feel like we’re drowning with our 2-3 kids. But Emma does everything with a mixture of grace and honesty.
What we’d also come to learn was that this baby would be the first boy for Emma after five girls! Emma’s oldest daughter, Maya was at the birth along with her husband Willie and doula/friend Davinia. Needless to say, Mikaere was welcomed with lots of love!
This birth also showed me that no matter how many times you’ve done it, birth can still be full of surprises. Emma had a planned induction date due to a few medical concerns, so imagine my surprise a week ahead of schedule when she messaged me from the hospital! Bub managed to stay put until induction, but put poor mum through several days of prodromal labor and a lot of emotions!
The morning of the induction was calm – Emma was so relieved to be getting him out! And I guess when you’ve done this so many times it starts to feel like old hat 😉
It didn’t take too long for things to kick into high gear and in just a few hours and a handful of pushes, Mikaere was here!
Above is Dad giving his new son a hongi – which I learned is the traditional Maori greeting for a new baby. Not going to lie, this part made me pretty teary.
Dad also placed his pounamu (a jade amulet) on baby’s head and said a traditional prayer to welcome Mikaere into his family.
Mikaere’s birth was also special as he’s a “rainbow baby” – or a baby born after a loss. Emma had a special rainbow wrap to bundle him up in.
A beautiful vision after a storm, indeed!