A new life

Literally then. 3 Weeks ago I was in California, for the birth of a baby. The real thing. Which was OK, people very close and dear to me got a little more explanation, the rest of the world kept thinking I was photographing a special bird and I let them.
Having 3 kids of my own I had only experienced birth from the other side so to speak. I was so chuffed and pleased that I could participate in such an intimate happening. Not everyday that someone asks you to be there for such a big event.
I wanted to be there so bad, made sure Mr Wonderful got me to California in time… And pushing the worry away. Was I going to faint by the sight of blood? Was I going to be able to watch it all?

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When baby had finally wormed his way out into the half light in the dim room, it was a huge emotional moment. I am sure it was like that for all the people involved. And of course in the first place for baby and his mother. It was a little boy, he came out fast once his head had made it, with flapping mini arms and legs.
He lept out like a salmon…

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I had wondered up front if I was going to be able to stay there and document, it is after all different watching it on tele. But I had worried for nothing. Such an amazing moment. Hours of waiting and being silent in a half darkened room. Grandma to be silent inside but o so focussed on the happening. We were in the hospital from around seven in the evening the day before, and baby was born at 12.03 PM, a good solid 15 hours of shushing, trying to stay awake because the mommy was such a trooper and did not make a single sound.

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I was surprised to see his little face all swollen, and it dawned on me what a rough journey babies have to be born. No child’s play… A chubby little cherubin, making his presence known with whimpering soft sounds. Healthy as could be, with 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes…

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One of nature’s miracles to see how the swollen face will soon turn into the image we have of newborn babies. We hardly ever get to see those precious first minutes of life, when all is still to be ironed out and relaxed after hours of trying to get born.

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After the initial checks and making sure the baby is healthy and well busy hands take him up and put him on mom’s chest where he can adapt to his new environment…

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Funny to notice all the grownups present all sigh with relief once the first cries are filling the room.

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Mom and baby meet and nothing else matters. Baby Lorenzo came into such a good nest, filled with love and laughter, I think he could not have been born in a better place and with better people.
I knew his mom since she was six, so I know she will make a fantastic mother for the little fella…

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Bit by bit he is getting his way into life, little name band, cap to keep his head warm…

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Mom is happy, Gran is happy, all of us are happy… Nothing nicer and better then a healthy beautiful newborn baby… After an hour in his mother’s arms it’s time for weighing and measuring…
Welcome to the world baby…

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The first mini pamper…

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What a day, what a birthday I should say… If anyone would ask me again if I want to be present I would whole hartily say YEAH!!!!

After his first hour in this new world for him he is already changing, he is getting the little face that will be dear so quickly to many of us.
Welcome baby Lorenzo…

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Fly as high as you can

And grab a window seat. I am home again after a fourteen day stay in California. More about that visit in a later post. I want to share some shots from my flight between Sacramento and Los Angeles. Flying over California the whole time, early in the morning, when the sun is not yet out completely.

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I had gotten up at five in the morning, which in my book is in the middle of the night. So I kind of sat swoozing on the plane, until all of a sudden I noticed a familiar view. I thought I recognized Half Dome. A rock cut in half billions of years ago by a gletsjer, and I saw the very recognizable face of El Capitan. The nose like piece of rock in Yosemite National Park. All of a sudden I felt very much alive.

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Whenever mountains pop up and I can glance at them from a distance I get all weary inside. The Sierra Nevada range is no exception. Should you want to know a little more about the Sierra go to this Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Nevada_(U.S.)

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It’s almost a shame to not look outside and bury oneself in a book, imagine flying over beauty like that and not see it. Lucky for me there are people who do not like a window seat, and I get very crossed when I don’t have one. I usually can work it to find a good seat, away from the wing. One learns. I am not that frequent of a flyer, but I do try to look ahead and plan whether I want to sit right or left, and how far back in the plane. Another advantage of sitting towards the back is that you get food and drinks sooner. All adding up…

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The morning gets out of bed bit by bit, and haze clears slowly. You don’t have much control over the shooting conditions, and cloud cover can mess up a trip. I prefer open skies with open views of below.

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Now and then we get signs of life, and notice that we are not the only plane in the vast skies.

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Soon enough we will see more sign of human presence, as the lands beneath us get chopped up in squares and dots, agriculture enters the picture.
We slowly start our decent to the Los Angeles airport, and I hope to see the Hollywood Sign. Little things like that lighten up my life.

And the reason I was in California was to shoot a live birth. A new human coming into the world. Standing next to the doctor and watch how a tiny human wurms his way into this life and my heart…
Later on!

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