Mari, with her ivory skin and dainty features reminds me of a porcelain doll. She is a strong little baby though – I noticed that from the moment her grandfather (the assisting OBG) helped her into this world and she so wholeheartedly told the everyone around her that she was there. This is her birth story. It’s real. It’s honest. It’s filled with love. And it’s beautiful.
My mom made a birth & newborn book for me when I was born. I love that book. Though there are no photo’s of my birth itself (I was born in a nunnery and even my father had to wait outside) there are some faded newborn pictures of my parents and me in it, some letters and cards of friends and family and my hospital wrist band. It contains small pieces of my birth story – my beginning.
I would have loved to see an image of my father sipping communion wine given to him by the nuns to celebrate my birth. Or my mother’s relief when she finally got to hold me after a rough labour. I have to fill in the blanks, but somewhere between the pages of the tatty old book lies the story and memories of life and love at my birth.
Give your child the gift of his or her birth story one day (the entire one!) Custom-designed birth story photo books can be ordered with all Love Alda Birth Packages. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your timeless ties to your babies birth. Birth is a gift. Celebrate it!
I was overcome before I had even open the gift my mother handed me that Friday morning in June. It was a book. I could see the cover through the white plastic bag (my mother does not share my fondness of making the wrapping a gift on its own). It was Dr Seuss’s “Oh the places you will go”.
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”
With one simple gift and not a single word spoken she had hit the ball out of the park. As I stood there with my its-feeling-sorry-for-myself-day hair – tea cup in my hand – I felt it. A connection with my mother so perfect and so unexpected that I froze – scared that any sudden movements or words would startle it away.
You see I am a middle child of the 70’s. Allowing myself to feel understood is like cheating – on myself. And yet on that particular morning my mom got it righter than right and cheating felt good!
“You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Whereveryou go, you will top all the rest…. Except when you don’t. Because, sometime, you won’t.”
I had hit the ‘except when you don’t’ with my youngest of three not even a year old and the pressures of being a working mother getting the better of me.
“On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far And face up to your problems whatever they are.”
I didn’t open or read book until a couple of days after. Knowing what the book was about was enough. Shortly after I started writing Memoirs of a Middle Child. It is a celebration of childhood, motherhood and everything in the middle.
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ per cent guaranteed).”
Memoirs of a Middle Child is the personal accounts of Alda Smith, middle child, mother of three and birth photographer. To subscribe to Memoirs of a Middle Child you need to subscribe to the Love Alda Newsletter.
Once there was a family of four. A beautiful mommy. A loving daddy and two blond boys. They were a happy family but still needed a little girl made of butterfly wings. And then she arrived. She was in a hurry to meet her new family and arrived a too early, but the family of four (now five) did not care. They loved her with all their hearts. This is Alice’s birth story and how she was nursed on the outside with love until she could go home. The moment when her big brother finally gets to hold her and meet her will melt your heart. And then there is cheeky Christopher – already pulling faces in the family photo like all good younger brothers should!
The birth of Rohan & Carmen Kitshoff’s son was beautiful.
Love takes on many forms: a supporting, loving husband trying to absorb his wife’s pain, a mother braving her fears, a family waiting in anticipation for a first-born. Love is tears of joy – an instant recognition between parent and child. Love is a celebration of life. It touches everyone in close proximity to it.
Malan your birth is a testimony to the love between your parents, as well as the love they share for you. May you grow up to recognise it, feel it and to pass it on to others.
There are so many beautiful details to Anke’s birth and I hope that one day she will be able to share in them when she watches this. Her mama’s delight at hearing she is a girl (her gender was a surprise to all including her grandparents) and her daddy’s stoic pride is something to behold. Then there is the fact that the same doctor (Dr. La Grange on the left) who helped Anke’s mama (one of twins) into this world, were there to assist Dr. Venter with the birth of Anke. And the moment Anke’s mama is reunited with her after being in post-op – her joy and awe is contagious!
Watch their videographic story here:
All Love Alda Birth clients receive a VIP client starter kit which includes beautiful tags for your birth bags and suitcases. I’m always super thrilled to see clients use these little gifts!
Louise is a trauma nurse and friend second to none. Her husband, Vic, is a paramedic. They see and work with people when they are at their most vulnerable. Help them. Hold their hands. They are very special people indeed and witnessing the moment they fell in love with their first-born, Zak, surrounded by medical friends and even family (Louise’s mom is a nurse too), was breathtaking.
Capturing Zak’s birth re-affirmed to me that life is indeed very beautiful and it is moments of connection and love like these that we want to remember and share forever. Thank you to Louise and Vic for allowing me to share their beautiful birth story.
As a mother of three and one of Cape Town’s foremost birth photographers, my goal is to provide you with breathtaking maternal, birth & newborn imagery to kindle & share memories of a life-changing time that goes by too quickly.
I am the Co-Founder and Chair of the South African Birth Photographers Association, which means I specialise in on-call (24/7 day or night) birth photography & that I work towards the highest standards & level of integrity.
With a heart for the birth environment & a deep respect for the privacy of my clients, I capture those first precious moments before, during and after birth at home or at the hospital in a discreet & caring manner. I aim to tell the whole birth story and not just part of it – no matter how long it takes.
It’s a social media jungle out there! Each new latest and greatest platform brings with it new possibilities, but also confusion – not to mention the waste of precious time which could have been spent chatting to your growing bump, planning your nursery, bonding with your newborn or playing with your kids!
As a working mom of three, I know how valuable your time as a parent is. I have therefore explored the vast social media landscapes out there to address your need a) for useful maternal, birth and newborn photography information and b) to create and share beautiful maternal memories by developing various streamlined vehicles to stay posted and connected without have to trawl for information. Each medium is unique and offers quality content, but I would like to encourage you to pick only one or two that suits your needs best and like / subscribe to those.
Here they are (simply click):
1. Love Alda Cape Town Maternal, Birth & Newborn Photographer Blog (to subscribe simply type in your email address in the Subscribe
window in the right hand bar of this page)
9. BIRTH Magazine by Love Alda (online seasonal magazine)
#capetownbirthphotographer #socialmedia #capetownmoms