Colm’s Birth Story – Edmonton Birth Photographer & Cinematographer

Thank you so much for being here. I am so excited to share my first home birth video with you.

I was so excited when Alanna contacted me (at 6 weeks pregnant) to photograph the birth of her 4th baby at home. This was going to be her last baby so she was excited to have it documented. I could not be more excited to photograph my first home birth…now I just had to wait 7 more months to do it. (That was going to be tough!).

The text came in the early evening of March 12. Alanna said “I think tonights the night..” I was super excited and also quite tired…I had just photographed another birth the whole night before and my husband and I had a little chuckle that I got the “call” again! The life  of a birth photographer is quite awesome, exciting and sometimes tiring! But I love it and I wouldn’t trade it in for anything. With this being Alanna’s 4th baby, I was off to her house within the hour. When I arrived at her house the atmosphere was amazing. Both relaxed and buzzing with anticipation. Alanna’s whole family was there. Her mom, dad, her brother and his wife (who was also expecting their first baby) and her two sisters. I loved it, a true BIRTH day party celebration. Shortly after I arrived Alanna’s two midwives also arrived and we headed up to her room where she was planning to birth. We all sat around and chatted while Alanna progressed into active labour. Chatting, laughing and telling stories. It was wonderful. Her two sisters right beside her the whole time. Her sister Kate, who was also Alanna’s doula provided Alanna with the strength & support she needed to help her on her journey. What a bond she shares with her two sisters. It was truly inspiring to witness. These are just some of the reasons why I am so excited that Alanna & Brendan have allowed me to share Colm’s birth story with you. To show you what its like to have a beautiful home birth surrounded by the love and support of family.

Alanna & Brendan’s house was filled with an enormous amount of love that night. Colm was welcomed into their lives shortly after 1:20am on March 13, 2014. His 3 older brothers who sleeping down the hall were so excited to meet him the very next morning. What a gift to wake up to, a new baby brother. And what a blessing to have 4 beautiful boys. Thank you so much Alanna & Brendan for the incredible opportunity to document Colm’s birth. I will never forget that night, never. It was truly remarkable to be present in such a warm, loving environment with your family to watch Colm become a part of your lives. I hope your birth story inspires many others to create the birth they envision for themselves.

Much love and many MANY Thank You’s,

Vannessa

A perfect way to end this blog post is to include a beautiful message that Alanna wrote to Colm.

"Our sweet Colm, 

You chose to make your entrance on a perfect day. You must have known your Auntie
Sarah was popping by for a surprise quick visit (of which she ended up staying with
us into the next day!). Your Auntie Kate was soon by our side to sooth & comfort our
journey together. She was so wonderful for us and brought so much love &
tranquility- I am forever thankful to her. The experience of your birth was so calm
and peaceful- although you were so active, giving me little kicks up until the very
last moment before you entered our world! Your dad was a pillar of strength for us
when I needed him and gave me the strength to bring you into this world. There are
no words that can capture the amount of emotion and endless love felt when I picked
you up, held you and kissed you for the first time. You were so calm, so peaceful,
so much so that had a moment of panic to make sure you were breathing! This video is
my treasure, to forever remember the magic of your birth, because it truly was so
special. Your brothers woke up the next morning to the best gift ever and have
showered you with love every day since. Thank you for choosing us, we are honored
and love you so, our little dove."


Colm’s Birth Story from Vannessa Brown on Vimeo.

June 25, 2014 - 5:14 am

Liz Dearborn - My dear friend – this was a beautiful gift to your children and to all of us!! Cried tears of joy through the entire film! How blessed you are – to be surrounded by loving women – your sisters – your mom, and your family and children. My heart is full for you. This was love exemplified. Much love to you and family as always!

June 23, 2014 - 10:41 pm

Alanna - Your words are so kind & beautiful Vannessa, I can’t help but cry. I will get to witness your amazing work & spirit again whenever my sisters are ready for their babies :). Sending all out love to you for making this birth into this story. Thank you from the bottoms of my heart!

June 23, 2014 - 8:03 pm

Shawna Zylenko - Oh my gosh — bawling here. This is beautiful and you’ve captured the love, power, and grace of this birth in an amazing way. What a privilege to attend! PS I *love* Beginnings midwives

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Zachary’s Birth Story – Edmonton Birth Photographer & Cinematographer

Oh where to begin. I am so excited to share one of my favourite birth stories to date. So excited. 

Shelly & I clicked so well from our very first meeting, sharing our love for photography and so many other things. She was as sweet as they come and I was so excited to be a part of her journey into motherhood for the first time. I arrived at the hospital, in perfect time. Shelly was just approaching 7 cm and was very much in active labour. From the instant I walked in, the room was bursting with love. Bill & Shelly were incredible to document. Bill was there for Shelly in every way she needed. It was probably the most touching display of support between husband and wife I’ve ever witnessed at a birth! Shortly after I arrived, Shelly’s mom & sister also came to provide that extra support to Shelly. It was so beautiful. Tears in my eyes started to swell as I looked around the room and saw an amazing birth support team around Shelly’s bed. Shelly you were so strong and so calm and so beautiful. 

On January 16, 2014 at 6:47pm Shelly & Bill welcomed a sweet baby boy, Zachary, into their lives. Thank you so much, Shelly & Bill for inviting me into the room to document Zachary’s birth. It was an incredibly beautiful and special day. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to share his Birth story. Thank you. 

Much love,

Vannessa

Zachary’s Birth Story from Vannessa Brown on Vimeo.

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Kelsey & Brock – Edmonton Maternity Photographer

Kelsey & Brock are two incredibly sweet people, I am so happy that I met them and so honoured to be a part of their journey with them as they welcome their first baby into their lives. Kelsey, you are such a beautiful person, inside & out and you just beam with that pregnancy glow. These two will welcome their first baby into their lives in just a few short days? weeks? (all we know is that it will be very soon!!) and I get to be there to document it! I cannot wait! But for now here are a few (and it was so hard to narrow it down) of my favourite photos from their recent maternity session!

Lots of love,
Vannessa

 

kelsey & brock blog post 1
kelsey & brock blog post 2

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Izabelle Jade’s Birth Story – Edmonton Birth Photographer & Videographer

I will never forget the first time I met Brad & Stella! Within the first 10 seconds of meeting them I knew I had met two pretty awesome people. We sat together in a coffee shop and chatted for well over two hours, without I am sure taking even 2 seconds to catch our breaths. You know one of those conversations where you even forget that you had ordered a drink…yup it was one of those. I even had to get Starbucks to remake my drink because I left it on the counter so long that they took it away.  I was so excited that Brad & Stella chose me to document the birth of their first baby! The only downside I had after meeting them was that I had to go home and tell my hubby that I just booked a birth with the same due date as his birthday! ( Which just so happens to be the day after Christmas!).

I was happy when Miss Izabelle decided to wait out Christmas and come a little late, making her birth my first for 2014.  I arrived at the hospital and Brad & Stella were relaxing after a challenging morning. Stella had just received an epidural and was feeling much better! They were both able to relax, rest, eat popsicles and enjoy the little time they had left before they welcomed their daughter into this world. And little time it was! Stella reached 8cm and the OB came in and said that she could start pushing! Huh? That was a first! And then only 20 minutes of pushing, Brad & Stella welcomed a sweet baby girl into their lives! I think we were all a little shocked how fast things can go! (Mental note for my next births…don’t tell dad he can leave to go to the bathroom during pushing, even if the bathroom is in the same room!..because you just never know how fast those babies can come out!! – Don’t worry he made it back in time!). Brad & Stella welcomed beautiful Izabelle Jade into their lives on January 3, 2104 at 12:58pm. Spending the next few hours with this new family of three was incredible. I watched a new mother hold her baby in her arms for the first time, stroke her face and hold her close. A new dad hold his daughter’s tiny hand and kiss her forhead for the first time and a waiting room full of people who just couldn’t wait to meet this precious little girl! It was truly amazing.

Thank you Brad & Stella for the incredible honour to document Izabelle’s birth. It was such a joy to meet you and be a part of this journey with you. And thank you so very much for your permission to share Izabelle’s Birth Story. Thank you.

Lots of love,

Vannessa

 

Izabelle’s Birth Story from Vannessa Brown on Vimeo.

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Alianna – A Birth Story – Edmonton Birth Photographer

There are no words to adequately describe the beauty of Alianna’s birth. It was beautiful, calm, serene and such a touching experience to be a part of.

It was around lunch time on December 2, 2013 when Janelle’s text came in to let me know that early labour had started. I was so excited. This was going to be my first time photographing a birth at our beautiful birth centre and my first time being a part of a birth with a midwife. I could hardly wait. Both of  my babies were delivered by a midwife and both were incredible experiences. I arrived at the Lucina Centre at around 6:30pm and walked in just as Janelle was getting checked. After labouring all day, it was hard to hear that she was only 2cm dilated. Contractions were coming steadily and strong after labouring at home for over 12 hours. There was a really bad snow storm outside, one of the worst blizzards this winter so far, so both John and Janelle knew it was best to stay. John was an incredible support to Janelle, always right there beside her, providing her with the strength and support in the very way she needed it. Janelle & John’s midwife, Barb, arrived shortly after me. Her arrival was exactly what Janelle needed. Barb instantly put her at ease. With Barb there, I decided to make my way home trusting she would know when to call me back when Janelle entered into active labor (5-6cm). I was only a quick 15 minute drive away, so I headed home to rest and feed my baby girl.

To my surprise, just an hour and 45 minutes later, I received a text from Barb and Janelle was in active labour about to head into the tub. I quickly fed my daughter once again and headed out. At 11:22pm, Barb texts..”Janelle is feeling pushy”…Oh my goodness.. Active labour for only 30 minutes! I was then just 3 minutes away so I confident I was going to make it in time! I entered into a beautiful and tranquil birthing space. Janelle was on her hands and knees in the early part of pushing. She was so calm, focused and trusted her body to do what it was meant to do. At 12:04am, December 3, 2013 John and Janelle welcomed Alianna May into their lives and hearts. The best part (and you will see it in the slideshow is when they both discover they were having a baby girl!).

I drove home in the early morning hours on a wonderful birth high. I will probably say this in every blog post that I write about a birth…I truly love what I do. I came home to my husband that morning, who was sound asleep and my first words to him were “I could watch babies being born all day long.”

Thank you to Janelle and John for the humbling experience to be a part of Alianna’s birth and to document this precious time for you. I feel so blessed to have met you both.

Much love,

Vannessa

 

Alianna’s Birth Story – Edmonton Birth Photographer from Vannessa Brown on Vimeo.

January 9, 2014 - 7:17 am

Debra - this is one of the most amazing videos I have ever seen! … it brought me right back to the birth of my 2 children, who will soon be 18 & 21! the music, the photos, the labour, the love.. all beautiful. what a wonderful keepsake for the family!

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