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  1. The Birth Story of Beau Kiwi

    I’d read a lot of different birthing books and around half way through my pregnancy I was starting to think about a home birth. The idea of having my own space, not having to leave the house and just stay completely in my zone really appealed to me, not to mention the fact I could be eating Thai in my own bed with a glass of champagne whilst cuddling my newborn after the birth. I bought a birth pool in a box off Facebook and planned out a relaxed space, with blackout blinds, fairy lights, birth affirmations all in my dining room. I set it up a whole week before I actually used it.

    birthing pool

    On Monday 22nd at 2:30am I woke up to some light surges, I dozed through these with Patrick stroking my back and woke up around 7am and my daughter came in to cuddle up. It wasn’t long before they started to intensify so my mum came to get the children. We had started to watch Beauty and the Beast and this kept my mind busy so I carried on watching whilst bouncing on the ball and using the tens machine. I wouldn’t know how to labour without a tens machine such a good way to mask the pain whilst in early labour, Ive used one for all three of my babies. I had an initial visit from the midwife and decided on a VE (vaginal examination) and I was 3-4cm at around 11am things were progressing nicely. She left and I decided on a bath, I thought the water would help but it seemed to make me more uncomfortable this time and I wasn’t sure why. Tens machine back on I tried to rest as I was getting very tired. I was reframing each surge as it came, telling myself this is just pressure not pain which really helped. I think I must have fallen asleep as I suddenly woke to a much stronger surge. I lost my zone a little, Patrick talked me back into trance and back downstairs I could focus again and call the midwife as things seemed to be changing and becoming stronger.

    Birth partner

    My midwife arrived and quietly observed me just before 5pm I was 5cm and she said I could get in the pool. I felt a sudden panic of what if the pool doesn’t help like the bath earlier, as id found such comfort from it in previous births. I asked for some gas and air to be delivered to the house just incase. I got into the pool and instantly felt an enormous effect from the water it seemed to take away about half of the pain. I put on my two favourite hypnobirthing tracks, birth affirmations followed by a guided relaxation and played them on loop. I smiled through each surge and repeated the affirmations over and over. I was sat backwards at this stage and kept thinking about being upright and forward to let gravity help so I decided to move and lean over the pool. This made my surges so intense and I really needed Patrick to help me through every surge. We had a system I would have a surge and he would stroke me and reassure me and then would dab my face with a cold flannel and give me a sip of water as it eased away.

    Water birth

    The labour became the most intense of all three babies and I started to think I couldn’t carry on as it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as the surges were back to back with hardly any rest in between. I was transitioning, I remember at this stage my midwife said I was strong and I repeated this out loud. I could literally feel him moving down and down. I felt the need to bare down but it took a little while. The pressure seemed insane at this point but I knew I just had to carry on because the head is nearly there. Then I had done it, birthed his head, shortly followed by a slippery body and a whoosh of relief that your baby is here but that intense insane feeling is now all over. I scooped my boy up all soft and squishy with so much hair. I instantly said to Patrick ‘he looks just like you’ and kissed this amazing man who just laboured through every minute with me. I’ve never felt so close to another human in my life I will never be able to break that bond with him after that.


    So there he was Beau Kiwi our boy in the pool in the dining room, I hadn’t even asked for the gas and air and we bloody did it. He latched on straight away and we stayed in the warm water for a while, I wanted to have that golden hour with him quietly. I eventually got out and with the help of the midwife delivered a the placenta laid on the sofa on top of a shower curtain and all those towels they say you need for a home birth. Beau had skin to skin time with Daddy and was weighed at 9lb 7oz I’m still a bit in shock at how I could deliver a baby that big at home with nothing more than breathing and didn’t even need any stitches. The whole thing was captured by a lovely friend, photographer Jenny South who then went and made us the famous post birth tea and toast. We had a shower and went upstairs to get into our own bed just the three of us. Home birth scared me at first, but turned out to be truly magical and the safest place to deliver our beautiful boy. Probably the best experience of my life. Beau Kiwi Anderson - 22.07.2019 - 9lb 7oz

    Father holding newbornNewborn Baby being weighed

  2. Maternity portrait Devon

    I met Jenny from Jenny South Photography at the Mothercare expectant parent event in Plymouth I was 16 weeks with a tiny bump, she had set up an in store free bump shoot to advertise her lovely maternity shoots, she had a long flowing dress hanging up and I was dying to put it on right there and then. I decided I had to book in for a shoot. Jenny recommended around 30 weeks when bump is nice and big but your not to uncomfortable at the end.

    Unfortunately I broke my foot at 28 weeks and didn’t want to be wearing the giant boot for my shoot so I postponed until 31 weeks when I could stand unaided again. In the mean time I sent Jenny some images from Pinterest that I liked and planned the shoot with her, she has a very thorough system of planning everything, even down to what kind of underwear will be best for those clever natural shots.

    I really wanted a natural look to the photographs, but to look pretty to so I booked for my friend who is a hair dresser ‘Styled by Sammy’ and her sister to do my makeup. It was so lovely to be pampered.

    I arrived at Jenny’s eclectic studio in Plymouth, full of props and dresses and wonderful things. She had pulled out a selection of dresses and fabrics for me to try. Being in just nude underwear with a fully pregnant body you would think you’d be nervous but she put me completely at ease.


    We started with some simple white fabric draped around me and we then moved on to the beautiful flowing dresses. The lilac one my particular favourite with fitted top and shear and opened over the bump just beautiful. When Jenny said “How do you feel about a floral crown” I said hell yes I love a floral crown, could this afternoon get any better I want to dress up like this all the time!

    Maternity Spring photo shoot


    plymouth maternity shoot

    Jenny has a very special way working with clients, making you look dreamily into the distance, having a fan blowing on your hair to make you feel like Beyonce, its just wonderful. But at the same time if there was a position or something I wasn’t feeling she made me feel comfortable to say, ‘actually can we try something else’ which in the past with other photographers I haven’t felt I could say.

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    When I received the photographs I was so impressed, bit blown away really at how she had managed to capture my pregnancy in such a beautiful way. My previous two pregnancies I hadn’t fully embraced my body and with the first didn’t allow any photographs. With the second an uncomfortable clothed shoot. So I was so happy to finally have some photographs that I will cherish forever. I posted them on social media and felt beautiful all over again when people responded with such lovely comments. It really does give you such a boost, and when feeling heavy and uncomfortable a lot during pregnancy its exactly what you need.

    Devon Pregnancy      The DevonMama


    Lemon Maternity session   Pregnant Devon Mama

    I’m now booked in for a newborn shoot for when my little boy is born in July/August so I can’t wait to experience that with my partner to. Thank you Jenny you are a wonder and every pregnant lady should come and have an afternoon with you. If you are a previous client or thinking of booking onto one of my Devonmama courses you can receive a exclusive discount with Jenny South Photography.

    I also took along some of my Devonmama Birth Affirmation Cards to create some brilliant commercial shots, I got some really positive vibrant images to use on my website and social media.

    Birthing affirmations


    Birth affirmations

    Calm Birth     I am Strong