A heartbroken mum has revealed intimate photographs of her battling through a traumatic labour while knowing her son would be stillborn.
Mum-of-to Sarah Jade, 33, gave birth to son Aksel Jude at 33 weeks after he passed away in the womb following severe complications with his brain development.
Photographer Lacey Barratt captured her devastating journey from start to finish – from her emotional labour to a poignant second photoshoot the following day and finally Aksel’s funeral.
And Sarah, from Melbourne, said the heart-wrenching gallery of images – which encapsulate her raw emotion and the tragedy of pregnancy loss – have helped her and husband Tim, 34, begin to heal and are a way to honour their son’s memory.
‘I wanted a beautiful birth,’ Sarah, who is also mum to three-year-old Arthur, said. ‘But when we knew what the outcome of the birth would be, I still wanted to capture those moments.
‘It was traumatic. The worst part was that I was pushing so hard, and Aksel was halfway out but then went back in, and I had to push all over again.
‘I just burst out in tears at that moment. It was like my body wanted to push but my heart wanted to keep him inside of me.
‘Getting to hold him after he was out was such an amazing feeling. It really helped us all to be able to see him and hold him.
‘I just wanted to soak in those moments with Aksel and embrace him forever.
‘I have never experienced that amount of different emotions at one time. I thought I was going to explode.
‘I’ll never regret having those photographs taken. It is something for us to hold onto forever.
‘Our whole family saw Aksel and said goodbye. Letting go was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to go through.
‘Our three-year-old Arthur came in to say goodbye. We had talked about him having a little baby brother for so long, so we needed him to see Aksel.
‘I said ‘here is your brother’. Arthur looked for a moment and then turned to me and said ‘but he’s not talking mummy. Why is he sleeping?’
‘He still has that pure childhood innocence that meant he couldn’t fully understand the gravity of the situation.
‘Aksel will be in our hearts forever.'
To donate to Sarah’s fundraising page click here