Fate | Birth photography


In September Yvonne sent me an email saying that baby number 2 was on the way! Awesome! 3 years ago I captured the birth of their first baby, Féline. It’s always so special when you’re then asked to be at the birth of the next baby too. For Féline’s birth I did a full birth reportage, and a newborn shoot, but Yvonne writes that she ‘wants something else this time’. She wants a maternity shoot, and a First Fresh Hours shoot. Although I love it, and would love to do it, I have very recently decided to stop taking on birth reportages. Liv wakes so frequently at night, and becomes hysterical if I’m not there, and I’m not comfortable with that, which has led to this decision.

I type this in an email and send it to Yvonne, giving her a few options. I write this email at the end of September, and she’s due on the 24th of March, so a lot could change in the meantime. I also give her some contacts for other photographers, because she should have the photos, no matter what! They think about it, and decide to let fate decide, since they don’t want anybody else at the birth. I just hope that the birth will happen during the day, because it would be such a pity if there were no photos at all! For the maternity shoot, we’re hoping for snow!

Unfortunately I turn out to be away on holiday during the 2 days of snow we get in Zeeland, and after that there is no more snow. But, this doesn’t stop us, and we do a wonderful shoot, and also take a photo for on the birth announcement card. Féline cannot wait until her brother arrives! Yvonne and Paul are also looking forward to his arrival, since it’s not been an easy pregnancy, they tell me during the maternity shoot. There were problems seen in the 20-week scan, which resulted in them landing in a medical rollercoaster, where all kinds of conditions were mentioned. Paul and Yvonne decided that they would not terminate the pregnancy, no matter what the results of the testing would say. Fortunately the results were good, and now they can enjoy the final weeks of the pregnancy without any worries!


Around Yvonne’s due date, I am in Italy for a few days, and I hope that the birth won’t happen in this time. Yvonne is pragmatic: “If you’re with us, you’re with us, and otherwise we’ll get lovely photos afterwards.” Fate will decide. I’m excited to photograph a birth again, so we agree that I will photograph the whole birth, if it happens at a time in which I am free to be there. Wow… there’s a lot depending on fate at this point! 🙂

The due date comes and goes, and my trip to Italy comes and goes. No baby. Féline was a big baby when she was born, and it seems like this baby is not making any moves to come on its own. So they decide to induce Yvonne.

The 2nd of April is the day! Yvonne thinks it will all take time. It’s beautiful weather, and Denny and I wanted to go out, but just to be safe, we stay at home. At 10am they rupture Yvonne’s membranes, and we stay in touch via What’sApp. She is still sure that baby won’t be here any time soon. The mother’s suspicions are usually quite accurate, so I’m beginning to think fate won’t let me be at this birth after all. At 11:24 I receive a message saying that they’ve started the IV medication to start contractions, but nothing exciting is happening yet. At 13:30 I receive: contractions are slowly starting up, but they’re short. It sounds ‘good’. We’ve made a start! Yvonne tells me she’s chatting up a storm between contractions, so we still have time. At 14:16 she tells me she’s at 3cm dilation, but there’s still time. I just hope this won’t go on into the night, and that I’ll be able to be there.

I decide to wait 2 more hours before making a decision about driving there. If something changes in the meantime, I’ll hear it. We’re sitting in the garden, and I check the clock. It’s 15:45. One and a half hours since the last message. I think I’ll just ask how things are going when I get a message from Paul: “suddenly 10cm”


Everything is ready and at 15:48 I am in the car. At 16:00 I get another message from Paul: “he’s just arrived”…

…. and so fate decides that it will be a First Fresh Hours shoot after all. The shoot Yvonne originally asked for in her first email. I’m not sure whether I think it’s beautiful, or whether I’m disappointed.  🙂

Until I walk into the room. Yvonne is admiring Casper, who is lying on her chest. “He was just suddenly here. I didn’t even realise it was going so quickly.” You can see from looking at Casper that he arrived at high speed: he’s a little bit blue, and his face is a bit swollen. I start doing what I came to do: take photos! And I’m not disappointed – I’m having fun!

I record all the first moments of Casper’s life. It’s so wonderful to be here. Especially when his proud big sister comes in (who was born in the same room!), and I’m here to take photos. Fate is a wonderful thing.

Dear Yvonne, Paul and Féline, enjoy each other!




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On Wednesday May the 3rd I see them again for the newborn life style session. Look at Casper! He already changed so much! Such a cutie and his big sister is so proud!