the birth of Grace Sierra • a natural birth film

On Wednesday morning I woke up to a text that Jodie's water had broken. She was now in active labour, and my bags were packed. I arrived with the sun, and quietly entered her sweet little cottage. She was in the middle of a contraction, breathing through it calmly. On her fridge were her hynobirthing mantras and bible verse promises. Leah, her friend and doula, rubbed her back and Greg kindly made me a cup of tea. 

For the next hour we floated around the living room and kitchen as Jodie breathed her baby down. Greg adjusted her TENS and she bounced on her gym ball, breathing in, breathing out. Breathing in and out. I soaked it all in. 

Before long, the baby had visibly dropped and the contractions were steadily becoming stronger. Jodie was ready to make the half-hour trip to the Family Birth Centre at King Edward Memorial Hospital. 

 Photo by Laura Koens

Photo by Laura Koens

She was focused and composed. It was completely mesmerising to watch. She meditated, praying between contractions. The room was humming with the excitement as each contraction inched us all further towards meeting this blessed baby. Soft words of encouragement were spoken as the baby's heartbeat echoed through the room. I'd never heard such a glorious sound.

 Photo by Laura Koens

Photo by Laura Koens

I had never seen such a beautiful image of a woman. I couldn't take my eyes off her all morning. Fierce and calm. Strong and sweet. Powerful and ethereal. She was all woman, and I was so incredibly proud to know her, to be by her side, and to learn from her. 

At some stage I remember Jodie saying "I can't believe it's all over so soon"....and all I could think was how this is just the beginning. That first breath of Grace Sierra, forever etched into my memory and onto film. Those first precious moments, that very instance that she met her mother, her lifeblood, face to face. 

Jodie and Greg thanked me for this film, but I feel I can hardly accept the gratitude. Surely I am the one who had the most to gain? I was welcomed into the most sacred place, the most personal and intimate of spaces, where the love of two people has literally brought into being a new love. I was welcomed into a place where their truest joys and most real fears collide, urging them to dig deeper and feel more than they ever knew they could. And they're thanking me? No, for these moments I am forever grateful.

You were amazing.
I can't believe I did it.
You did it.

 Photo by Laura Koens

Photo by Laura Koens

 Photo by Laura Koens

Photo by Laura Koens

 Photo by Laura Koens

Photo by Laura Koens


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