A Photographer’s First Natural Water Birth

It was a cold, December afternoon when the miracle of yet another beautiful soul coming to the world had happened.

The birth of Raphael was a debut both for Betânia and Fred as parents and for me as a photographer. I am completely honoured to have been a part of such an incredibly emotional, miraculous celebration of life.

It was around four in the morning, when Fred in his usual calm and positive manner, had called us to say that Raphael had decided to come into the world. With all our gear prepared we rushed to the clinic, and we must confess that we seemed more nervous than the couple who was very in control, and mentally and physically prepared to what was about to happen.

The new parents decided to have Raphael delivered in water, and they also made sure that the ambient was labour-friendly with calmly lit candles, soothing aromas and relaxing music in the background. Betânia had all the help and assistance she needed throughout the journey. It wasn´t an easy one, but the new mom was powerful, courageous and laboured beautifully, with such peace and grace that one could admire the strength and power nature gives to a woman that is about to meet her child for the first time.

Fred was always by Betânia’s side being very supportive and making sure his wife had all the comfort she needed. It was wonderful to watch the two in such a perfect union and harmony- once again love prevailed over pain and suffering.

It was 14:16 when Raphael decided to finally abandon the comfort zone and meet the world and his happy parents for the very first time, and it was without an inch of doubt one of the most remarkable moments I have ever lived and had the pleasure to photograph.

After the first exchange of glances between Raphael and his parents, the doula let the baby stay on Betânia’s chest for some skin to skin, mother and child beautiful bonding…These were utterly miraculous, unique and candid moments that I have been so fortunate to live and document. Our sincerest congratulations go out to amazing Betânia and Fred, who brought sweet Raphael into the world in such a gentle and loving way. It was my greatest honour to have been part of their incredible journey.

Birth Story and photos submitted by Maria Niezgoda Azanha.

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