This birth story begins a little ways back… It was Christmas time in 2013 when Chantal and I worked together at a birth. She was the Midwife and I was doing my first birth as a Doula. In our down time we chatted and I learned that she was pregnant! It was a great surprise as she just recently found out, and I was one of the first ones to know about it. She asked me right away if I would be present at her birth. Of course, I said YES!
Fast forward to May, I found out that Chantal’s cancer had come back, and it’s so aggressive that her life was in jeopardy and the cancer could spread to the placenta. I felt terribly sad, as I had no idea what to do or how to help. She mentioned to me that she is seeking alternative cancer treatments, as the Chemo was not an option at the time, and aborting her Peanut would not even cross her mind. After some praying and coming up with ideas, I figured I could offer my photography services to raise money for her, as I know alternative treatments can cost a lots of money. The fundraiser went so well, we had to set up a Youcaring account for donations. With the word being spread around by another Edmonton Photographer, Global news (watch their news segment here) and Radio-Canada, (watch their news segment here), we raised more than enough for her to cover the expenses. The burden of financial debt was removed, and finally Chantal could concentrate on being pregnant and preparing for the arrival of her precious Peanut.
On September 8th, exactly 10 days overdue, I received a text from Chantal saying that she was ready to be induced, as baby was still not making an appearance (and within days she would be drinking a Verbena cocktail). Lo and behold, the next day at 2:35 pm, I got another text: “Early active labour, will call you later, probably around 1.5 hour”. Well, the next text arrived just 30 minutes later. “Please come sooner than later-picking up big time 2 min apart”. So I picked up my bag and went to meet this sweet l’il boy.
The Lucina Birth Center was calm and welcoming as usual, but this time it was a different excitement at the room. Filled with friends and family, relaxing and affirming music, wonderful scents and crystals for energy, Chantal labored beautifully. During labour, she was receiving CranioSacral Therapy from Rhonda and acupuncture from Nadia at Women’s Balance Health. After a very short and sweet transition, Luka was born into the warm waters at 6:04 pm. The excitement was over the top, when we finally saw this beautiful healthy little man, who we all prayed for for so long. It was magnificent, everyone cried and laughed at the same time.
Permit the images to speak for themselves:
In the next picture, you will see Jenny from Passage Midwifery doing some placenta imprints. It was very cool to see how many prints she could produce from it. As well, Chantal received a Moxa treatment from Nadia that helped her with the swelling and for her uterus to get back to normal. While this was happening, Rhonda was giving CranioSacral Therapy to Luka. After the treatment, he had a better latch than before.
And if you haven’t had enough, take a look at the full birth story video:
Thank you so much, my friend, for sharing your birth with me, and to allow me in your circle and experience the joy with you.
Helga Himer Photography is a Sudbury birthphotographer specializing in maternity, birth, newborn, baby, child and family photography. To book your Sudbury family session, email Helga at firstname.lastname@example.org