“On a cold dark autumn morning in October 2023, a heartwarming story unfolded..”

On a cold dark autumn morning on October 10th 2023, a heartwarming story unfolded in a small neighbourhood the Leidsebuurt in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Lou, a beautiful baby girl, was born at home in a cozy birthing pool. Her parents, originally from France, chose to experience a Dutch-style home birth.

I myself arrived at 6 am as their maternity nurse and photographer. The lights were turned off in the house and instead filled with burning candles. The midwife Bente from Luna Midwife’s and the 5 month pregnant doula Pauline had been present all night to assist the couple during their progress and together we witnessed the incredible birth journey. The mother had been in labor for a while, showing incredible strength and determination.

The birthing pool was ready, a warm and inviting oasis in the living room, offering comfort and a smooth environment. It allowed the mother to face labor's challenges and connect with the power of life. The father stood by her side, offering unwavering support, and they shared words of love and encouragement.

The clock was ticking, and mom was in the midst of a 30-hour marathon of labor. We all knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but she tackled each contraction with determination, and let out the occasional “Putain!”

As the clock approached 9 AM, the room was bathed in a soft, golden morning light, and there was a palpable sense of excitement. The water in the birthing pool needed to be re-filed gently with hot water as the mother found the inner strength to bring her precious child into the world.

With each contraction, the room resonated with her primal, yet serene, sounds of labor. It was a symphony of life unfolding, a testament to the beauty of the human body’s capacity for creation. Her breath and focus transcended the physical realm, connecting her to a primal instinct, a force that had been guiding mothers through generations.

At 9:50 am, the moment of birth had come. The room held its breath as the mother, bathed in the morning sun rays glow, cradled her baby, whom they named Lou, and brought this new life into the world. The room was filled with pure, unadulterated joy and tears of happiness.

Lou emerged into the water, surrounded by the warmth of her mother’s love, and the love of all those present. 

As I captured this breathtaking moment through my lens, I couldn’t help but feel deeply moved. The world had just gained a beautiful, innocent soul named Lou. 

Midwife: Bente Meijerink - Verloskundige praktijk Luna

Doula: Pauline Mainguet

Kraamzorg: Morena de Ruijt - Kraamzorginhaarlem.nl

Mom: Océane

Dad: Leo

Baby: Lou