Late September 2017 I receive a message through Facebook from Liandra. She contacts me because she’s exactly 21 weeks pregnant and wants to secure her spot for early February 2018. And ofcourse I oblige…. happily 😉

Open album

With every applicant-mom I always ask to meet them before I say yes to covering their birth. First and foremost because you want to meet mom (and dads too) before theri big day arrives. You dont’ want to have to think about having a casual get-to-know-eachother chit chat in between your contractions, right? Also, a meet up is also an excellent time to anwer questions every (new) parent has because birth photography is not as common as it is to us photographers. Having said that, another very important reason for meeting parents before mom goes into active labor is to see if there is a ‘click’ between me and -most importantly- mom. When there is no click, it’s better not to accept the assignment because it will always show in the pictures. I am proud to say that I’ve never had this happen to me so far, fingers crossed!

In the first week of October I meet with Liandra and her husband Bryan. We go over their wishes. Liandra tells me that Bryan considered to take the pictures himself but that’s kind of hard when you also have to be there to help your wife through labor pains. You can’t be in two places at the same time… The couple also considered to ask a family member but none of the moms or aunts could handle the sight of blood… so they had to look for an alternative. It had te be someone they feel comfortable with, can handle the situation professionally and be able to take the right pictures at the right time.

We have really in depth conversation about how I will aproach their birth. Things like respecting their privacy and never post anything online without their consent. After more than an hour we say good bye. They will let all the information sink in and contact me with their decision. Within hours they give me a call: I’m a go!

We stay in close contact in the months leading up to February.

Months go by, winter comes and goes and the new year is off to a good start as we near the end of January. It’s the evening of the 30th of January. I was in bed for an hour or so when I receive a phone call from Liandra. She sounds very clear and she informs me that the contractions have started. They are getting ready to go to the hospital so she asks me if I can come and meet them there.

I quickly jump in the shower, get dressed and get on my way. Just as I turn into the parking lot, my phoen rings again. This time it’s dad Bryan, he wants to know how much longer before I join them. I get a move on and meet them both in one of the 4 delivery rooms at the Sint Elisabeth Hospitaal on Curacao. Althought the contractions are pretty strong and they come at a few minutes apart, Liandra is really relaxed. She will pause her sentences during a contraction but will pick up the conversation as soon as the contraction dies down. She even finds the time to touch up her eyebrows and make up. Well, after all, it is a photo shoot and you still want to look good on camera.

The contractions started around 11:30 PM and within an hour and a half they were already at the hospital. That meant that we probably would be there for many hours to come…

At around 2 AM the contractions start to intensify, they are stronger and more painful. Almost 30 minutes later Liandra gets a green light. She’s allowed to push. Slowly but surely the baby’s head is crowning and a few minutes before 3 AM a beautiful little baby boy is born. He’s as healthy as they come, weighing 3380 grams and 51 centimeters long. Mom, dad and baby are doing fine, especially when big sister and grandparents come into the room to admire their newest family member!

Pabien Liandra and Bryan with your beuatiful son Xyano!