There's something about Carmen

I took these when I was living in Australia. I think Carmen and Archie were the first Mother and baby I photographed. I'm not sure if it's just me, but there's something about these images that really gets me. And I think it's Carmen.  

Perhaps it's because I witnessed what a gentle and strong Mother she was. Carmen had Archie at home in a birthing pool. It was a really long and intense labour - if she was in hospital, they would have intervened - there's no doubt - but she listened to her body and her instinct and gave birth to Archie naturally. 

Her husband worked the mines - what the Aussie's called FIFO (fly in fly out). Many partners choose this way of life, because it pays so well, so they work 12 hour days, then eat, then go to bed, then get up, work, eat, bed.

There are different work variables, some work one week on, then have one week at home - others work two on two off etc. Carmen's husband was there for two weeks after Archie was born, but then he worked for nine weeks, so that they could go on holiday to see Carmen's sister, who had recently moved much further away with her three children. 

Archie needed to wear these boots for 23 hours a day (shown in the photo) - to help correct his club foot.  And it just really struck me how she was doing this all on her own. 

Just her and her baby. And the never ending washing, feeding, rocking, shushing... you don't see much daylight in those early days. And it can get really lonely. But you do it. And you love this little person so much, it hurts, it stings... it weighs you down. But this small person is your warmth, your light and your life.