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Gentle Twin C-Section with Double Delayed Cord Clamping at Panorama Mediclinic {Anine & Karli} | Cape Town Birth Photographer

9:02 pm. The responsibility sank into my bones within seconds like a dead weight. Almost 10 years of photographing births and I was facing a first I had never envisioned with only one minute to mentally adjust. I was about to capture the birth of not just one child, but children, whom neither of their parents were {consciously} present to witness for themselves. Mom needed to be fully anesthetized and dad was unable to be in the room. Yes you read that right, if ever birth story images are precious to parents…. they are ever more so to these. Thank you to this beautiful family for deciding the daughters’ birth should be shared with the world. They do so with great vulnerability, so as always your affirming words are appreciated.

I came hours earlier thinking we had time while mom laboured. I was even sent home and got dinner started. Then suddenly, as birth goes, things changed and I got the call to rush back. I walked into the operating theater at 9:01 pm, graciously allowed in by some of the gentlest staff, who after years of working with me, understood how important this would be for the parents to have.

At 9:05 pm, Anine was born. And now I was seeing something that my mind wasn’t registering. They weren’t handing her over to pediatric staff to make way for twin B, as is generally standard in all the multiple births I have witnessed. Instead, they gently laid her on her mother’s abdomen and let her umbilical cord continue to pulse.

9:06 pm, Karli joined her earthside. And again to my surprise, she was also laid on her mother and next to her sister.

The room was peaceful and respectful, full of their tiny cries.

They laid together right on top of the very womb they were just created in. Both of their chords pulsing. It was unbelievably serene for an operating room. It felt as if everyone in the room was acknowledging their birth in lou of their parents. It still makes me teary to think about.

The emotions in this story are palpable. Dad waits in the hallway with his wife on one side in recovery and his daughters on the other in NICU. Grandmothers embrace and shatter your heart. Mom saw her babies for the first time in a cell phone photo, only meeting them the following morning. Those images and footage I captured through a window battling glass reflections.

I went home and wept for them. I felt I had stepped onto sacred ground with them. Their story is one of my career honors to have documented. May your heart soar seeing their film and some of their images. May you be empowered to find care providers who will offer gentle c-section births.

My thanks as well to Dr. Van Wyk and the staff at Mediclinic Panorama for their professional care.


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  • Lalannie

    This is beautiful. I cry everytime I see the photos.
    You gift is phenomenal. Keep on the excellent work you produce with gentleness and love!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy

    This just made me ball my eyes out. What a beautifully captured birth story! I am 7 weeks pregnant with twins. After 5 years of fertility treatments, I fell pregnant naturally with a double blessing. These photos and especially the video is so special. Marysol you have a rare talent. Absolutely amazing. Congratulations to the proud parents.ReplyCancel

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