The birth of baby Kiwi, Abel Brian.

Who is Baby Kiwi?

Kiwi is the nickname my daughter, Tilly, and son-in-law, Jared, gave to their unborn baby. My daughter is a dual citizen of Canda and the US who married a Kiwi and lives in New Zealand; hence the nickname. Photographing the birth of Kiwi was so very special to me. Supporing my daugther through labor, watching her become a mother, watching Jared, become a father. Every moment was precious to me. I hope you enjoy the visual story of Abel’s birth.

Women laboring in dark during homebirth.

Tilly planned to have a homebirth for her first baby. In New Zealand, midwives care for pregnant women unless the pregnancy is high risk and homebirth is common. I was excited for Tilly because she was my first baby born at home.

Promodal labor can be long and hard on women.

Labor Begins

Tilly experienced three days of prodromal labor. She was having contractions every 7-10 minutes, many of them requiring her to stop and focus on them. We knew the baby was posterior, and he was likely trying to get into a better position. Tilly got poor sleep Friday night, less sleep Saturday night, even less Sunday night. By Monday afternoon, things began to pick up.

We were talking and laughing about four o’clock on Monday afternoon when she suddenly said, “Either I just peed, or my water broke”. It was her water and we were both excited at the prospect of labor really starting. By 8 pm her contractions were taking all of her focus and I suggested Jared call the midwife.

Women laboring alone during homebirth.

Labor Picks Up

Tilly labored beautifully. She was one of those women who just followed her body’s lead. She was in her zone, changing position and moving on pure instinct. It was beautiful to watch. By the time the midwife arrived, she was six centimeters and everything looked great. I didn’t take very many pictures at this point in her labor because I was actively supporting her (it’s impossible to be 100% photographer and 100% support person). A few hours later she was feeling pushy. When the midwife checked she was 8 centimeters.

Labor Stalls

And that is when things stalled. Hours later she was still at eight with a swollen, puffy cervix. Then she was back to a 6 or 7 due to the swelling. At this point, with now three nights of little to no sleep, they made the decision to transfer to the hospital. The hope was, with something for the pain and some rest (and hopefully sleep), she would be able to fully dilate.

Transfer to the hospital after a stalled labor.

At the hospital Tilly was able to settle in with gas and air (nitrious oxide) to help her relax.

Woman using gas and air during labor in New Zealand.
Tilly getting rest during a long labor.

Tilly chose to get an epidural hoping that some sleep would help her continue to dilate.

Husband supports wife during hospital birth.

After days of labor and nights of little-to-no sleep both Tilly and Jared were both exhausted.

Sleeping after being given an edpidural during labor.
Jared during the birth of baby Kiwi
After days of stalled labor the decision to have a c-section is made.

After 20 hours of no positive change in Tilly’s cervix the decision is made to have a c-section.

Nervous husband waits for his wifes c-section.
First photo of Abel...baby Kiwi!

Abel Brian was delivered healthy and crying at a whopping 8 pounds 15 ounces! When the midwife came out to tell me he was born she said, “He’s big. And has BLONDE hair!”

Tilly resting afte her c-section.
Baby kiwi is born!
Newborn exam done by midwife at hospital.
Newborn baby at hospital in New Zealand.
Jared dresses and diapers Abel for the first time.

Jared was able to dress and diaper Abel for the first time.

Dad dressing newborn for the first time.
New daddy kissing her newborn baby in hospital.
Blonde newborn baby.
Dad holding newborn in hospital.

Congratulations, Tilly and Jared! Abel is gorgeous and perfect.

If you missed Tilly’s maternity photos, be sure and check them out now.