Women I've Shot

Birth: This is Talitha’s Story
The Birth of Noah, 21 January 2019

I got the call from Talitha at about 1:30am. I grabbed my gear and drove the hour to her house through the quiet dark highways.

The house was so quiet and dimly lit. I put down my things and slowly went upstairs to the loft bedroom where Peter, Talitha and their midwife Ayla were.

I quietly greeted and sat for a while to acclimatise and feel the space out. I tiptoed down stairs a little while later and brought up my tripod and camera and a spare memory card and battery and started, very occasionally, to take a few pictures to capture the scene.

Talitha was at quite an advanced stage of labour when I arrived and within an hour things had become increasingly intense for her. She moved around very little until at one point she kneeled, on a yoga mat, at the end of their plastic and sheet covered bed and she began to moan and push through active labour. Her husband Peter quietly but firmly held her in her space and Ayla stood back behind her, her hands in blue gloves, waiting calmly.

She began to push, she was surprisingly quiet, I almost didn’t realise it was that time. I moved around as fast and quietly as I could to the other side of the bed. A better vantage point. I caught the moment as all three caught Noah as he made his way out of the womb and into the world. Peter and Talitha gently pulled him up into their arms. A warm aura clung to them in those moments. The look on Talitha’s face was peaceful yet intense. I wondered how her body must feel after having a baby leave her moments ago.

They slowly got up, Talitha holding Noah and Peter holding Talitha and they made their way onto the bed where, relieved and thrilled, they stared at their baby and kissed each other.

Those moments were sublime but also became increasingly difficult as we all waited for the birth of her placenta which usually comes out within 30minutes of the birth of the baby. Eventually Ayla clamped the umbilical cord and handed Peter the scissors.

They touched his toes and his tummy and his face and between smiles Talitha cramped and cringed in pain with the contractions of the placenta, which, after more than 35min, had not yet come out. Ayla spoke about ambulances…she put a drip into Talitha’s arm and I took the baby so that Peter could stand on the bed with the drip held up and Talitha could focus on pushing. It was agonising to watch and at the same time a precious moment to hold in my arms such a brand new little human.

Thankfully her placenta eventually made its way out after injections and drips and pushing. I handed Noah back to his parents and peace slowly settled into the room. It was about 3:30am now and I made my way downstairs where I rested and waited for dawn, for the house to wake up.

Little Summer, their daughter, woke up, her hair sweetly dishevelled. Talitha’s mother and Summer made their way upstairs behind me. I wanted to capture this special meeting for them.

Early morning light flooded the loft and Summer tentatively met her little brother for the first time.

After capturing a few moments I said my goodbyes, packed away my gear and quietly left into a beautiful, fresh early morning.