One Moment in Time with Four Acorns

6 July 2018

Welcome to one moment in time, a guest posts series, where bloggers share the stories behind special or significant photographs. I was so happy when Annette contacted me to say she had a post for One Moment in Time. I love her bilingual blog Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chĂȘne the photography is stunning and her adventurous family are inspirational.  Thank you so much for joining me!



“Honey, it’s another little boy!”

I will never forget the words Brian whispered in my ear as our fourth baby emerged from the water in the expert hands of midwife extraordinaire Philomena.

D was born at home in the middle of the night. After waiting 9 days past his due date, he came out in just 2.5 hours of labour. He was still wrapped in the caul (amniotic sack). This is apparently a sign of good luck – fishermen used to buy cauls off new mothers to protect their boats from sinking.

D’s arrival earthside was simply wonderful. Gentle, intimate, calm, full of laughter.

A family event, rather than a medical intervention.
A physical feat, of course, but also the most empowering experience ever. Fully trusting my body, I discovered within myself a powerful force that I didn’t know was there.

This is how I became a mother of four, and our family, complete.

With this homebirth, my childbirth journey came full circle, and the wounds of the first time were healed at last. (My first labour was a textbook cascade of interventions, which resulted in a traumatic emergency c-section.)

None of this would have been possible without the steadfast support of independent midwife Philomena Canning. From the day I contacted her, she enquired, asked and battled alongside me so I would be “allowed” a homebirth. In Ireland, having had a caesarean automatically precludes you from giving birth at home.

In the end, my two successful hospital VBACs (vaginal birth after caesarean), one in Denmark and the other in Dublin, were enough to convince an obstetrician to sign off on a homebirth with Philomena.

During this fourth pregnancy I came across the inspirational website Birth Without Fear, which often featured fabulous birth photography. A little bit of online searching for something similar in Ireland yielded no results. Until Philomena mentioned attending a birth which, for the first time in her decade-long career, was captured by a professional photographer.

On contacting Claire Wilson, of Newborn.ie, it turned out she lived only 40 minutes away, and that she was available around my due date.

I cherish the photos Claire took that night, all 158 of them! To this day, watching the beautiful slideshow that she put together after D’s arrival brings tears of joy to my eyes.

D has just turned 5, and his gentle birth at home, in the quiet of a full moon night, will forever remain one of the most magical moments of my life.

Annette is French, married to an Irish man, and they live in Wicklow, on the east coast of Ireland, with their four bilingual children. She blogs in English and French at Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chĂȘne to inspire families to unplug, go outside and reconnect with nature and with each other. 


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