My introduction with Adriana and Alessandro takes place against a spectacular background. We meet on the 38th floor in the Roche tower in Basel where they both work. There we talk about their ideas and wishes regarding birth photography and look at photos of some of the previous births I documented and they point out their style preferences. This is always a good moment to discuss practical affairs such as the moment when parents need to contact me during the process and how I will be present during labor, so that everyone is well-prepared when the baby announces itself.

So exited to meet a new little girl very soon

This happens on November 2 at 19:34 when Adriana texts me that she is experiencing a lot of irregular contractions. After telephonic consultation with the Unispital Basel around 20:30, they are told to pack their stuff and report to the delivery ward. I have been waiting for her message for some days and I’m very excited that it’s finally happening. As I’m having dinner with friends in the Markthalle, I decide to go home and change as I can imagine Adriana probably wouldn’t be very happy with a birth photographer smelling like a Thai restaurant next to her bed! Somehow I manage to take a wrong turn on the way to Unispital, though I must have driven this route a million times, but I still manage to arrive at 21:30, only ten minutes after Adriana and Alessandro.

Dancing during childbirth

Adriana is lively and cheerful, just like I remember her from our first meeting. Seeing how energetic she is makes me think that this birth adventure might take some time. Contractions are following rapidly, but Adriana continues chatting with me and other people in the room in between managing the contractions. Meanwhile, the midwife checks and tells us that Adriana is four centimeters dilated. Contractions are visibly getting heavier as Adriana is getting quieter but she does show her Brazilian roots when she gets out of bed and starts moving, almost dancing through the room. Alessandro remains calm and strong and holds Adriana at precisely the moments she needs him, especially around 22:00, when her energy begins to fade.

A lot of babies will be born because of full moon

Adriana wants a water birth, and the staff begins filling the birthing pool. It takes a while and the midwife leaves the room a few times to check on other women in labor as the ward is extremely busy. It is a full moon after all! Adriana climbs into the bath and suddenly things start to move very quickly, and she insists that the midwife stay in the room. The midwife asks Adriana to focus on the contractions and guides her through the breathing and pushing. I notice two gynecologists enter the room and feel that the moment is arriving. Adriana gasps that she’s almost out of energy and that the two next push attempts will be her last. She is almost right, with the second push the baby’s head crowns and after one more push, Laila is born. At 23:03, Adriana is cradling her daughter in a magical first moment together.

Already so much love for this baby

Adriana seems to have forgotten all pain and holds her daughter close. Alessandro has an enormous smile on his face, and while Adriana gets out of the bath to retrieve the placenta, which comes quickly, Laila rests on her father’s chest. Adriana is being cared for and Alessandro dresses his daughter for the first time. After dressing, Laila goes back to her mother and after some cuddles she carefully latches and sucks for the first time. A fitting moment for me to leave this loving new family.