Motherhood

Ottawa birth photography at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre

Water birth with Ottawa birth photography at the Ottawa birth and wellness centre

Natural water birth at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre

This is the story of my second birth (with our daughter, Rosie!) and of our experience with an Ottawa birth photographer at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre! It was a dream birth and I am so eternally grateful to Nicole Fee Photography for being with us that night to photograph our birth. Literally my dream come true. I know people have a lot of questions about birth photography, so I’m also including more about my experience being photographed during birth throughout this post!

When I sat down and thought about my birth plan, three things stood out in my mind as being important:
1) location…I knew I wanted to give birth at the Birth Centre here in Ottawa.
2) support…I love midwifery care, so it was super important to me to find a team of midwives to support me through pregnancy and labour.
3) birth photography…(COVID restrictions permitting) it was always my goal to have a birth photographer with us at this birth…specifically to have my best friend, Nicole Fee Photography, with us as our birth photographer.

Knowing this, I set out to find a team of midwives who had privileges at the Ottawa Birth Centre…and this is how I came across the absolutely incredible team of midwives at the Midwifery Collective of Ottawa. I reached out to them within hours of realizing I was pregnant (availability with midwives can be hard to come by, so best to reach out early if you’re interested in midwifery care!) and was lucky enough to receive care from Melissa and Brigid throughout my pregnancy. I could go on and on about how wonderful these ladies are, and about how much I loved my experience with the Midwifery Collective, but I know what you’re really here for…the birth photos!…so let’s get to it!

Ottawa birth photography of front entrance to Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre

My water broke spontaneously during thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws (and a mouth full of mushroom risotto)! And I’m talking water breaking like in the movies in a sudden and powerful burst!! You’d better believe that I’ve never been more surprised by anything in my whole life…This kick started my labour and around 3 hours later (at 5cm dilated) we were headed to the Birth Centre to have our baby!

Labouring mother holds husband through a contraction and photographed by Ottawa birth photographer
Melissa Dorsay from Midwifery Collective of Ottawa in Ottawa birth photography

I like to describe the Birth Centre as a mini spa for labouring women (haha)…yep, that’s a working fireplace in the patient room! Their bluetooth speakers, queen sized bed, and birthing tub were some of the other resources I loved using in these rooms to cope with labour.

Fireplace in birth centre for Ottawa birth photography
Labouring mother stands and holds partner during Ottawa birth photography

I was surprised at how much I hated being on my back/lying down during a contraction. The best position for me was on my knees or standing up with Shaun for support. I had no pain between contractions and could easily carry out conversations until the next one came along a few minutes later (aren’t our bodies amazing)!!

Midwife listens to baby with fetal doppler during contraction for Ottawa birth photography at Birth Centre
Ottawa midwife listens to baby during contraction for Ottawa birth photography
Ottawa birth photography as midwife listens to baby on fetal doppler after contraction

I (selfishly) wanted our baby to be born on 10/10, and I think my body knew it too…when the clock hit 00:00:00 on the morning of the 10th, things all of a sudden got real and that’s when I hit transition (the final and toughest stage of labour)…Rosie was born less than an hour later!

Ottawa birth photography at Birth and Wellness Centre
Husband helps wife through a labour contraction in Ottawa birth photography
Mother sits quietly on bed during a contraction for Ottawa birth photography

I know there’s a lot of unknowns when it comes to birth, and the idea of having this moment photographed scares a lot of people…sure, I was nervous at the thought of being so vulnerable on camera, but a great birth photographer knows to be sensitive about which moments to document and when to let the moment pass. Nicole and I had also discussed in advance what I did/did not want photographed, and you’ll see that there’s absolutely no nudity in any of the photos she took (I know this is a big concern for many expectant mothers).

Husband and wife hold hands during contraction for Ottawa birth photography
Pregnant woman in transition breath through contraction in Ottawa birth photography at Birth and Wellness Centre

I didn’t want to get in the birth tub until I absolutely needed it for relief. This was just after 12am on 10/10 when contractions were becoming super intense. The water was such a welcomed relief and it felt like exactly where I needed to be in that moment.

Labouring in birth tub at Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre for Ottawa birth photography
Husband rubs labouring woman's shoulders in birth tub for Ottawa birth photography
Husband supports labouring wife in birth tub for Ottawa birth photography at Birth Centre
Woman labours in birth tub at Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre for natural birth and Ottawa birth photography
Water birth with Ottawa birth photography at the Ottawa birth and wellness centre
Ottawa birth photography of woman labouring in birthing tub
Ottawa birth photography of husband and wife holding hands
Ottawa birth photography of mother pushing baby out in a birth tub at Ottawa birth centre
Ottawa birth photography at Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre with midwives
Ottawa birth photography of baby born in birth tub
Ottawa birth photography of mom lifting baby out of the water following a water birth
Ottawa birth photography of emotional mom right after birth
Ottawa birth photography of parents holding baby for the first time after birth
Ottawa birth photography of mom holding baby in a birth tub following water birth at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre
Ottawa birth photography of happy husband and wife after birth
Ottawa birth photography in birth tub

We decided to leave our baby’s gender as a surprise this time, and this next photo is the moment when we learned that our baby is a girl!!! I had always imagined my life with two daughters, so this was a super emotional moment for me…

Ottawa birth photography at Birth Centre
Ottawa birth photography of dad holding baby
Ottawa birth photography
Ottawa birth photography
Ottawa birth photography

I have never been more appreciative of the power of photography in all my life! I’m forever grateful to my birth photographer, Nicole Fee Photography, and to my team of midwives at the Midwifery Collective of Ottawa for your support and expertise at Rosie’s birth ❤️

I would love for more women to experience this too! If you considering hiring an Ottawa birth photographer (or if you have any questions about the process or experience), Nicole and I would love to hear from you! You can check out more of our work below, or get in touch to chat more :)

👉🏻  Eddie’s Birth Photography at the Queensway Carleton
👉🏻  Nicole Fee Photography Blog

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