Before I knew your name

“Before I knew your name,
Before I saw your chin and your nose,
Before I counted your fingers and toes,
I asked heaven for someone as wonderful as you,
And ever prayer and wish came true.
I dreamed of you…
Before I knew your name.”

Pregnant Mother Blessings

“Blessings upon you
my baby unborn.
Safely inside me
asleep and so warm.
Sleep must come easy
to those who are unborn,
as the Maker so silently
fashions your form.
Sleep while you can now
so watery and warm,
for outside this world
is a crashing storm.
Soon you will discover
the taste of your tears,
so sleep now my loved one,
my baby, my dear.”

Birth Affirmations

“We experience birth so differently from the intimate spaces of our bodies and minds, it feels disingenuous to strike comparisons and place value judgements. Any woman who experiences the vulnerability of carrying a child in her body (or heart) and bringing it earthside is heroic in my estimation. This idea that there is a special medal dangling on the tree for going without meds makes us undervalue ourselves and depreciate the ordeals we have endured. Loss mums, adoptive mums, caesarean birth mothers…We all open. We all tear, somewhere (body, heart, soul). We all both wildly embrace and struggle to embrace these experiences. It all takes courage and that courage is always worth celebrating.” — Rachel Lorena Brown

  • My mind is clear and open.
  • My face radiates beautiful kindness.
  • My head is held high and proud.
  • My eyes reflect the beauty of the world around me.
  • My shoulders are strong and stable.
  • My arms are open to giving and receiving love.
  • My hands are capable and skilled.
  • My heart is courageous and loving.
  • The roundness of my belly connects me to our Mother Earth.
  • My hips are free and fearless.
  • My legs support and carry me through my life.
  • My feet are always moving me forward towards my goals.
  • My body is beautiful for what it can do.
  • My body belongs to me. I love and respect myself, exactly as I am.
  • I take care of me, so that those I love will have me forever.
  • I take care of my body and my body takes care of me.
  • I respect the wisdom of my body.
  • I see myself with loving eyes, and I love everything I see.
  • I love my body. My partner loves my body.
  • I am comfortable and confident in my own skin.
  • My body is my home.
  • My body is wise and my intuition is strong.
  • I am powerful. I am capable.
  • I love my body because it’s mine.
  • I love my body because it’s the house of a goddess.
  • I love my body because nobody else can tell me how to feel.
  • I love my body because it’s my best friend.
  • I feel healthy as I give my body the food, rest and activity it needs
  • My body has overcome many physical feats and shows its beauty.
  • My body is my constant companion and works hard to accomplish what I want and need.
  • I am grateful for this body! It allows me to experience the world around me and gives me sensation beyond measure.
  • My body is not for others’ approval or satisfaction, but for myself, to make me happy.
  • My body is love. My body accepts love. My body gives love.
  • My body is a temple for me to decorate as I please, and I’m the only one that has to accept my body.
  • My large feet keep me planted firmly on the ground. My thick thighs provide plenty of lap space to sit on. My soft arms create a cushiony pillow for small heads.
  • My body cannot be owned. It is not my possession, rather, my body IS myself. I do not look upon it as “other.” As I include my body into my sense of self, empathy for its story is the only thing left to feel, and I accept my wholeness.
  • My body is a miracle.
  • I am always the perfect age.
  • Never regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
  • I am allowed to feel all emotions ranging from love and lust to anger and hurt.
  • My body knows how to grieve because my body knows how to have hope.
  • My body is me, and I am exactly as I should be.
  • My body is spectacular.
  • My body is strong and capable.
  • My body is a gift and I cherish its abilities, great and small.
  • My body and spirit are a perfect team and are always working together.
  • My body is supportive of who I am becoming.
  • My body is perfect for who I am today, and will support me in my life’s journey.
  • Today, I honor my body.
  • I love myself, and I treat myself with respect.
  • I am in tune with my body and I respond to its healthy desires.
  • My body thanks me for my healthy choices.
  • The health of my body is my joyful responsibility.
  • My body tells my story.
  • My body is a testament to the life I have lived.
  • I listen only to my own inner wisdom, and let it guide my every thought and action.
  • May I accept things as they are. May I be free from suffering and the cause of suffering. May all beings be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.

A boy or a Girl?

“At first you moved,
only a little.
I could always find you,
right in the middle.
As time went on,
you really started to grow.
It wasn’t a whole lot,
in fact, it was rather slow.
Before I knew it,
you were all over the place.
It kind of felt like
you were running a race.
People would ask me
if you were a boy or a girl.
I would sit and wonder,
if you would have curls.
There are so many things
I really want to know.
But you are hidden inside,
so the answers don’t show.
How much will you weigh?
How tall will you be?
What colour is your hair?
Will you even like me?
I hope and pray
you feel like you belong.
I never want you to feel
like you are alone.
Your Dad and I
planned you from the start.
You, my dear child,
were made straight from our hearts.
In about a week or so,
I’ll meet you, for the first time.
For you are the product
of your Dad’s love and mine.
There will be no one like you,
not any place in the world.
It really doesn’t matter
if you are a boy or a girl.
We are both so happy
that you even exist.
The gender doesn’t matter.
you’ll be hard to resist.
I hope I make you proud,
that I am your mother every day.
Because, you have filled my dreams
in more ways than words can say.
It won’t be long before
I can look you in the eyes.
I can feel the excitement growing,
I know I’m going to cry.
Don’t worry my angel,
those tears will be of joy.
It won’t matter to me
if you are a girl or a boy.”

Perth Newborn Photographer

I cannot believe it has been so long since I updated my blog with a post! Thank you for all the love Perth!! Here are a few samples of my new FINE ART pieces which are an optional extra into my clients sessions.

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Atticus – Cake smash Photographer

What a handsome boy Atticus is growing up to be. He loved his cake smash so much, was eating face first and in stitches of laughter!

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Ella and Ruby in the yellow lupins

Meet the most adorable little Redheads you have ever seen!
The Yellow Lupins were the perfect location for their portrait session!

Christmas mini sessions – Nicholas, Lorelei, Atticus

Christmas mini sessions will be on offer in October this year so be sure to get your booking in EARLY as I will only be doing a limited amount if sessions.
‘White Wonderland’ and ‘Santa’s Library’ were the themes this year 🙂

Here is just a few of Nicholas, Lorelei and Atticus…. oh and Santa 😉

Christmas mini sessions – indie and makai

Christmas mini sessions will be on offer in October this year so be sure to get your booking in EARLY as I will only be doing a limited amount if sessions.
‘White Wonderland’ and ‘Santa’s Library’ were the themes this year 🙂

Indie and Makai

The Birth of Freya told by her Mother | Home Birth Photographer Perth

The Birth of Freya told by her Mother Amy.

I woke up at 3am on Sunday morning and noticed that I was having relatively strong Braxton Hicks contractions which were slightly painful. Couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up and we started the day (took the kids to swimming and almost passed out watching my daughter’s lesson because it was too hot!). The tightenings had largely stopped by then. We went to a birthday party at the zoo and I joked that I had visited the zoo two days before giving birth to my son. When we got home I slept for 3 hours, and when I woke, I went to the toilet and realised that I had quite a bit of blood streaked mucous in my undies, and then a large amount came out when I wiped. I also kept feeling an overwhelming desire to cook and clean the house, so I organised the medical cupboard, and went to Coles and spent $400 on a random assortment of groceries such as different types of tea, and mineral water, and other items that I never buy.

I then woke suddenly on Monday morning at 2am after a vivid dream. I walked outside to pee (we were renovating our bathroom and had a portable bathroom in the garden) and noticed more mucous with dark red blood. Couldn’t sleep, but went back to bed and rested for a while. I felt fine, but during the course of the morning had more blood and mucous. I sent Nick to work and decided to drive my daughter to school (didn’t particularly want to encourage labour due to the state of our bathroom!), and then I took my son to the park. I texted Heidi, the student midwife following me during my pregnancy, and my photographer Mel, just to give them an update. I then called my midwife Heather because I knew that she was going on leave for a few days and I wanted her to know that she might miss the birth (she is retiring soon and this was possibly her last home birth). A short time later I received a text from Heather to advise that my GBS screen (which I did on the Thursday before) had come back positive. She said that Olga, her backup, would give me a call to discuss this further. I understood that for the antibiotics to be effective, I needed two courses3-4 hrs apart during active labour, and it was highly unlikely that I would be in active labour for very long at all.

By the afternoon I still felt fine (was getting the odd tightening, but they were painless) so I walked to school with my son, and then the kids rode their scooters home.  A couple of the mums joked that they probably wouldn’t see me the following morning and I laughed off their comments.

When I got home Olga called and we discussed the GBS results and agreed to communicate regularly though the evening, should I go into labour. At around 5pm the tightenings started to become more regular. I had put a curry in the slow cooker during the day, and had baked muffins and also prepared two pizzas for dinner. Ate some pizza with the kids, and vaguely monitored the tightenings. They weren’t painful at all, but were coming more frequently. Was texting a close friend throughout this, and we were laughing about the fact that I had eaten an entire pineapple earlier, and this must have caused the tightenings. When Nick arrived home from work they were still hanging around (although they weren’t any stronger and felt as though they might not eventuate into anything) so I asked him to blow up the birth pool as a precaution. The kids helped him pump it up, and then we put them to bed without suggesting that anything would happen tonight. I decided that I might go for a walk around the block, so I set off in my pj’s and bare feet, and observed the tightenings, which were coming every 4 mins or so (without any real discomfort). I felt a bit anxious that if I was going into labour, I needed to give Olga an hour to get here, and that was playing on my mind. Half an hour or so later I thought that the tightenings were regular enough to call Olga and put her on standby. I told her that I still felt like everything might fizzle, and would call her if anything changed. Another hour later, not much had changed, but the contractions were still hanging around, so I started to think that maybe I was going into labour. Nick called Olga, as well as Heidi my student, and our photographer, Mel. Mel arrived first, and started taking a few photographs. I was feeling really anxious that Olga would turn up and my cervix would be jammed shut, and that I had called everyone out for nothing. The tightenings started to become less frequent, and by the time that Olga and Heidi arrived, they were almost non-existent. Olga did an internal, and then asked Heidi to do one too. Heidi said that she thought I was maybe 1-2cm, and that the cervix was still posterior, but very soft. I think I was expecting this, but it was still very difficult to hear, and I felt terrible because I had called everyone out for nothing. Bub was still only sitting at the entrance of my pelvis too, so hadn’t descended in the slightest. I told everyone to go home, but Olga said she was going to stay with a friend nearby, and Heidi only lives a few blocks from me. I apologised profusely to Mel, but she said she was glad to have taken some photographs of my belly etc before I went into labour. Olga told me to lie down and sleep, given that I had been up since 2am. I complied, but as soon as I heard their cars drive away I burst into tears. After a bit of a cry, I tried to focus on sleeping, when all of a sudden I was hit by an almighty contraction which sent me writhing off the bed. It seemed to last for ages. I crawled to the bathroom and sat down on the toilet, and noticed that I’d had a huge show. A few minutes later I had another contraction, and then another. I started to shiver uncontrollably and my teeth were chattering. I stumbled out into the kitchen and Nick wrapped his arms around me while I shivered and cried. After maybe twenty to thirty minutes of intense contractions, I instructed Nick to call Olga and Heidi, and they returned to the house. Olga whispered to me that I was definitely going to meet my baby tonight, and I think I burst into tears again. She suggested that I hop into the pool, and I asked her to do another internal, which now indicated that I was 5cm. I climbed into the pool and the contractions seemed to melt away. They were so easy and so far apart that I vaguely worried that I had again stalled the labour. A second midwife, Laura, arrived and I heard Olga updating her quietly. I heard her say that I was contracting well, and wondered if I really was. I could sense Nick and Heidi sitting close by. Heidi was going to be the main caregiver during the birth, which was great because she had been with me since the beginning. My waters still hadn’t gone. Mel appeared a short time later, and I could hear the occasional click of the camera shutter, but was otherwise on a entirely different planet. After what seemed like 10 contractions, I had a contraction that caused me to grunt involuntarily (I had been breathing through them prior to this), and I heard Laura tell me that she thought we’d be meeting my baby before midnight. I started to cry again.

When the next contraction flowed through, I got an urge to push, so I did, and felt Freya’s head move down a bit, but not quite as much as I expected. I asked Olga to check me, and when she did, told me that I was indeed fully dilated and that my membranes were still intact. Someone slipped a mirror into the pool and after a few more contractions they said they could see My baby’s head appearing.

It was then that something changed. With the next contraction I pushed again, and felt my membranes go. If I hadn’t been in the water they would have exploded! And with that, I was hit by an overwhelming pain in my pelvis. I felt myself poo, and apologised, and then tried to explain that I thought something wasn’t quite right and that I needed to get out of the pool. I was hit with another contraction, and then another, and had to fight the urge not to push. It just didn’t feel right. The contractions started to slow, and Heidi and Nick helped me out of the water, and I tried to walk around in an attempt to help my baby to change position. Instead, she actually started to move upwards. With each contraction, the odd pain in my pelvis would return, and I started crying out that I couldn’t do it.

Thoughts of calling an ambulance started to cross my mind. I had a moment of desperation, and wondered why, after pushing my giant son out so easily, this ‘little’ baby wasn’t budging. It was then that Laura whispered into my ear that she’d like to try something that might help the baby reposition itself. The baby’s heart rate remained stable throughout this, which was reassuring. I felt someone wrapping a sheet around my belly, and was instructed to lean into it like a sling, which I did. Immediately I felt relief, and a gush of fluid trickled down my legs. Nick whispered that he had me (Laura had passed the sheet to him), and so I went with it, and started pushing with the next contraction. I felt my baby’s head come down and start to crown. With the second contraction I pushed her head out easily, and then controlled any urges to push as she rotated. With one last push, she was out, and Heidi passed her to me through my legs. I held her to my chest and just squatted there for what seemed like forever.

Everyone kept asking what she was, but I didn’t feel the urge to check. One of the midwives suddenly remarked on how clever the baby was, and I realised that she had attached herself to my boob and was sucking happily away. I had let down as she was born, and this had dripped on to her face. Her cord pulsed for quite some time after the birth, so we were wrapped in towels and I sat on the floor feeding her until the cord stopped pulsating, and Nick cut it. The breastfeeding helped the placenta to release, and I pushed it out after only 22 minutes. I still had my baby wrapped to my chest and feeding happily, but once the placenta was out I encouraged her to pull off and we checked between her legs to learn that we had a baby girl, and we named her Freya.

*****images may be of graphic content to some viewers*****

Birth Photographer Perth | Parker

Parker Michael Romanelli

23rd October 2012 @ 4:20pm

weighing 4180g or 9 pound 3 ounce

head circum 35.5cm

I was there to welcome Parker into this world along with his beautiful parents Hayley and Mike.

Hayley was so strong, brave and determined, she was absolutely amazing. Her birth was empowering and powerful, just simply breathtaking!

Here is just a snippet of the 320+ images that I have for Hayley in her final gallery.(You have no idea how incredibly hard it was to cull her gallery down to the 106 images that I used for her birth montage!)

There are some phenomenon photographs with a full series of crowning images where the cord was wrapped around Parker’s neck, along with some gorgeous breastfeeding images,

though I believe these to be for the parents viewing only.

When you watch the birth montage be sure to keep an eye out for an image where Hayley is holding up a bottle of ultrasound gel – prior to her labour she had asked God to help her and Mike decide on a name. ‘Parker’ being Hayley’s surname was also on the list of first names but they were unsure which name was ‘the’ name. When she saw this bottle and noticed that it was made by the company ‘Parker’ that was her sign from God that she had ask for!

I am in tears watching this slideshow but I am even more emotional when I look at the entire birth gallery as a whole, there are some extremely powerful images here and ones that evoke raw emotion from my own births. After three children myself this is one thing that I wish I had – birth photographs like I capture for my clients, if I can urge people to even consider capturing their birth then they would see how wonderful it truly is.

Birth = AMAZING

xx

Mel

note: this is not a HD version so cannot be viewed in full screen mode. Also due to cropping and vimeo compression some images may appear in poorer quality than they actually are.


The amazing birth of Parker Michael Romanelli at St John of God hospital Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia. On Tuesday 23rd October 2012 by Melissa Sheed Photography.

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