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***Disclaimer: This photography blog covers a birth. If you think you might be sensitive to this kind of imagery, you don’t have to look at this images below (we won’t be offended if you don’t look). We think it is easily some of the most beautiful imagery we’ve ever had the honour of photographing, but we recognize not everybody is going to agree. We have obtained consent of the family to display these images on our blog. ***End of Disclaimer
If you’re still reading, then you’re still here. 🙂
There are a million things I want to say about this birth but I’ll start with the parents, who are fascinating human beings. There are a million things I could say about them. To stay relevant, they have been together since a teacher, back in the days of school, sat a very young Oleg (dad) beside a very young Pauline (mom). It’s hard to believe how random and seemingly inconsequential events shape history. Although the couple is still young, they have maintained their relationship over long distances, have loved each other in various countries, are currently spear-heading an extremely ambitious and brilliant entrepreneurial path that seems like it’s destined to become a household name (Yomes will be the next internet hub that everybody frequents). They recently arrived in Halifax and amid juggling work in different times zones, despite intense entrepreneurial efforts, despite adjustment to the new culture and although Oleg is introducing an ethical business group to Halifax (called StartUp Grind), the two have decided also to have a baby. It explodes my head to think of all that they’re doing.
Pauline, since discovering that she was pregnant, devoured all the literature she could find about birth and parenting. For 9 months she practiced something called “hypno-birthing”–a method of programming her body into a state of relaxation and pain tolerance best suited for birth. Her goal was to deliver her baby without any pain-numbing medicine and with the least amount of medical interference. She succeeded. Not even acetaminophen after the birth.
If you get the sense that these two are militant, unflinching, unemotional soldiers of ‘the productive life’, it’s only because I’m having difficulty describing these two in all their complexity. Pauline, for example, hired a doula (Katherine, who was fantastic) as an emotional support. And Oleg, as you’ll see in the images below, is very tender-hearted too. The two of them are very down-to-earth, calm and they are comfortable with what they value in life. Jade, their new daughter, is lucky to be born with such high functioning parents.
The birth itself cast a spell on Rae and myself. It happened in the middle of the night. We got to the hospital with a belly full of McDonalds (*sigh*…what else would be open at 3am?) and we were feeling groggy and a bit goofy. Our mood changed dramatically. As Pauline’s contractions became increasingly severe, the pain she was in seemed to take up the entire room. We felt pressed up against the walls and helpless to offer anything useful. Photography has never seemed so passive to me. The intensity of the birth seemed to increase steadily, as if an alarm were getting louder and louder in my ear. The nurses weren’t freaking out so I assumed that this was business-as-usual in the birthing world. Despite the nurses though, the event seemed to scream “CRISIS!” until finally the baby’s head breached and the earnest nurses relaxed in celebratory cheers, mom and dad both smiled, then laughed, then cried. Jade was welcomed into the world by parents who exuded and beamed love for her. Jade was the only person not crying.