The Final Member {Balmer Family & Birth} Part 1

I don’t even know where to start with this blog. I almost need for you to peer into my heart for a wee second just to understand how special this occasion is, not only for this family… but for me too as a close friend.
The Balmer Family has become quite well known throughout my blogging days. I’ve been capturing their family as it’s grown, since Max (now 5) was 8 months old. There are no shortage of photos of this beautiful family as Luke, Kate and now Jake have come into this world to make it a brighter, happier and more hilarious place.

I love capturing life as it happens!!! Like, I can’t underline that statement more!!!!!
From the scenery of this world, to the weather patterns that change it and enhance it, to the changing of seasons, to the people we get to experience all this with. From Family celebrations, to adventures with friends… and every little thing in between!
When Becca started having children at the age of 22. I have to admit, I thought she was absolutely mad.  Doug and I were just off on our overseas adventures and my friend was settling down to have… babies. – Quite clearly the laaaast thing from my mind. But Becca has always been a girl that knows what she wants (half of what I love about her). She wanted to be a mother, so there’s no time like the present to begin! Max was born 10 months after their wedding, and Luke, Kate and Jake have followed within 5 years.

When you walk into the home and atmosphere of the Balmer’s… you feeeeel the family life… Mother Balmer may not know how to cook very well… and baking comes right from a box. But when her 5 year old comes home from his first week of school and can spell 5 new words, her heels are clicking with joy under the table where he’s doing his homework. When her 3 year old says grace at dinner time and he’s thanking God for all the people in the room right there – “Thank you God for Aunty H being beautiful and Mummy being beautiful and Kate being beautiful and Max being beautiful and Daddy being beautiful…”… her heart bursts with glee in just a smile. When her 20 month old puts her tutu on for the first time and comes back from dance class after one class and can show you what she’s learnt! She’s practically climbing the walls as a proud parent..

Becca and Nathan’s family wasn’t complete at 5. And not long after Kate’s first birthday (below) they announced they were expecting their 6th and final addition to their family.

Tauranga Family
In December I captured my friend so beautiful in her pregnancy. We went back to the spot they got married 6 years prior and captured the last time she’d ever grow a child.

Tauranga Maternity Shoot
And a couple of weeks ago, I moved in with the Balmers for 10 days… waiting for baby Jake to enter this world. On Valentines Day, the day of looove… he was ready to meet everyone.

Not having had any kids myself yet, I was getting the right lo down on child birth in every description possible. Yet I still didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I didn’t even feel qualified to shoot weddings until Doug and I were married, so capturing a birth with not having experienced it… EEEEEK! I just knew that I was SO EXCITED to share this event with my friend, and when Becca rolled into my room and plumped herself down on my bed on that Friday afternoon as I pottered away at work… I got even more excited as the words casually left her mouth, “I think I might have a baby today”.
Contractions started at 6am that morning, and by 2pm, washing loads and conversation in the laundry room would pause suddenly as Jake play the tune of his eventuating arrival.

Birth Photography, Tauranga
And although she knew what having me there meant… I still got the look of “And. so. it. begins”. hehe.

Jake-1-5
30 minutes before heading to the hospital, I had the thought of a before and after shot. How great that my friend trusts me so much as she climbed into her maxi dress between contractions. (You’ll see the result at the end of Part 2). As she times her contractions, they’re becoming closer together and it’s time to head to the hospital. Omi GOOOSH, I’m so flipping excited at this point, as the soon to be mother of 4 endures the pain that each contraction delivers with nothing but pure grace on her face.

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
I can’t get over how gorgeous she is just hours before having a baby. Her main things were though – Hospital bag, powerade and straighten hair (very important)! Tick, tick and tick.

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
Grandma’s necklace of grandchildren. She’s still adding to it!

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
This image is a fave with me. Especially as right after her contraction, her humour comes into play and points out the very real possibility “Imagine if my water broke right here and spills all over your camera gear” … Yuuup, moved my camera bag from under that table after that one lol.

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
The handy apps you can download for your phone now. Contraction Timer.

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
This girl makes me smile so much! Even as her water breaks, she’s got a cheese for me!

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
A selfie 10 minutes before Jake’s arrival… There is alwaaays time for a selfie!! ;-)

Tauranga Birth Photography

Jake-46

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
At this point, everything sped up. Nathan is on one side of her lightly holding her knee, her Mum is on the other side holding her hand. And there I am at my friends feet, hopping from foot to foot, heart beating like the speed of light screaming in my head “Do I take a photo, do I not? Do I take a photo, do I not???? Here he comes, Omi gosh… there’s his little head! Omi gosh … He’s here…DID I TAKE A PHOTO? I CAN’T REEEEMEMBER!!! Oh my gooosh, he’s HEEERE!”

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
Welcome Jake. Welcome.

Child Birth, The Balmers, Tauranga
Jake’s only taken his first few breaths… Follow me through to Part 2 for more of his first moments in life.

Tauranga Birth Photography