Ana's Natural Hospital Birth in Slovenia
We love sharing birth stories at Birth Becomes Her...and we get especially excited when we get to share birth stories from areas of the world where birth photography is just beginning to boom and grow. Kaja Bozicek sent us this beautiful birth story, and we couldn't wait to share her work, along with these stunning images.
Facebook page: Porodna fotografija
Instagram: Foto Bozicek
Ana was due on the 14th of July, but since she gave birth to her first child 3 weeks before the due date, I was on call from middle of June. At first I was pretty anxious, since this would be the first birth I would witness and take photos of. Every night I went to bed thinking it might be a short night, leaving my phone on, but after a few days I was more relaxed and started to think it wouldn’t happen so fast yet. I was writing to Ana every now and then to see how she’s doing. There was a time in the end when I got scared for a second, thinking she and her partner Davor would change their mind and not want me to be there anymore, but luckily that didn’t happen.
We met in May, to get to know each other and chat a little bit about their expectations. They were both super sweet, with a cutest two and a half years old girl, and at the end of our meeting, I was even more excited about doing this birth story and have felt a great privilege to be chosen to do so. By the beginning of July, the thrill and enthusiasm was building up until Sunday, the 12th, when Ana told me, that things are getting pretty serious and that now I should really be ready. I made a last minute night drive to my photo colleagues Urška & Domen and borrowed their 35mm lens, thank you both so much for that! :) I got home late and was so excited I couldn’t fall asleep until 1am. I got the call I was waiting for at 4am, got ready in 15 minutes and drove off 132 km north-west to maternity hospital in Jesenice, which is now getting famous for their devotion to natural births and very kind staff that. They make sure that the wishes of the birthing women about how they would like to bring their babies earthside are coming true.
Apparently when you’re in labour fast driving and contractions don’t go well together. :) I had no idea… well next time I will be sure not to break any rules and drive slower. I ended up waiting for almost an hour, but better waiting a bit than missing something. :)
We were being greeted by a nice midwife, and later a doctor who examined Ana and told her that we can go for a short walk down and up the stairs, and come back to settle in the birth room. When we returned I left them alone, got something to eat and read and waited in a small lounge. At that time I was getting pretty sleepy, so I was keeping myself awake with surfing on the web and texting to my friends. I got called in for the first time at around 11am. Ana was sitting on the birthing stool, her partner behind her, massaging and supporting her. She was breathing through the contractions and at that time was pretty calm. I made a few photos and left them alone again. I came back after one hour, and at that time it was getting more intense; I could see that she’s in greater pain and that the contractions are more frequent. Again I made a few photos and left. After one hour Davor called me to come quick, because now she was in active labour. I ran and when I entered the room Ana was lying on the bed, on her side, but went to her knees shortly after. This was the time, when I made the most photos, so I think words are pretty unnecessary… I was deeply moved by her strength, empowered to face my own fear of pain as a woman that might someday be in her position. I shed some tears even before the baby was born, it was just so beautifully emotional…Davor was the most loving and caring partner, and both midwives so gentle and patient, encouraging her throughout the labour. Since Ana had a bad experience with her first birth, she now had chosen a natural birth and came prepared with a birth plan, and got an experience she wanted and deserved. After a while on her knees, she moved up to the bed again, where she stayed to the end. Even though it was exactly 12 hours from the moment the phone rang, to when I left the hospital, the time went so fast, and the moment when Tisa was born, it was all worth it.