Jenna texted me at 4:30am on February 23rd, 2014 saying she was in active labor, but not to rush over and to take my time. I made my way to her parents lovely home in Kailua and arrived around 5:30am.
I had never met Jenna in person at this point, but was eager to film my very first birth, and especially excited that it was a home water birth.
As I arrived, I was greeted by her mom and dad, who were in the kitchen cutting up fresh fruit from their yard and making coffee for the early morning wakeup. Also there was my photographer friend Malia.
I sat down my gear bag and introduced myself to Jenna, who was laboring in the room adjacent to the room with her birthing tub, and stepped away to give her privacy as she labored. I spent the next 20 minutes in the kitchen having lovely conversation with her parents as Jenna labored in the other room.
The doula mentioned she was 6-7 meters dilated and that we had a bit of time before she would be ready to push. So, back to the coffee pot and conversation with her mom I went.
We weren't more than 20 feet away from the birthing room, standing in the kitchen chatting over our morning coffee when we heard Matagi yell "mom, dad, hurry" from the other room and the whole house went running to the birthing room.
The photographer Malia saw me sitting next to my gear and yelled "Noelle, get in here". At this point, I thought Jenna was still laboring in the bedroom. I hadn't even realized Jenna was in the tub pushing.
I set down my coffee and ran to get my gear (which rookie mistake, was still in my bag, card not formatted, battery not installed) and had a panic attack as my battery gave me an error sign and MY CAMERA WOULD NOT TURN ON!
By the time I got in the birthing room and was able to get my camera to turn on, Sonny has made his graceful entrance into the world. I hadn't even turned my camera on, let alone check my camera settings before Sonny made a swift and graceful entrance into this world.
Matagi jumped in the birthing pool and caught Sonny.
It was pitch black in the room, as sun hadn't even come up yet, but I managed to capture some sweet moments after he was placed on mama's chest. He was so alert and just wanted to stare at his mom and dad. So sweet.
And while this film isn't technically perfect, I love how it captures Sonny staring at his mom and dad and taking in the first moments earth side.
Welcome to the world Sonny Jaesop Toilolo. Born at 6:28 am on February 23, 2014, weighing 8lbs, 15 oz. And thank you Jenna and Matagi and family. It was an honor and a privilege to document your home water birth.
Capture your babies precious first moments by contacting us for more information about our Birth Films and Fresh 48 Films at www.sweetrainmedia.com/birthfilms