Chanelle’s Story: Having a Baby in the Caribbean
On I Carried a Watermelon, we love to highlight the stories of fellow photographers on their journey to motherhood, like with the now famous Nicola’s Story. My good friend and fellow photographer, Chanelle Segerius-Bruce, recently made a big change in her life by moving to Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean with her husband and dog. Little did she know that there was another passenger on board.
Picture this: you have recently sold your property and are in the midst of packing up your entire lives in order to ship yourself, your belongings and even your little dog halfway across the world to The Caribbean… and then four days before you are about to leave you find out you are pregnant. This is exactly what happened to us. Not only were we boxing up everything we owned, but this was September, our busiest month for shooting weddings in the UK. We photographed a 10-hour London wedding at The Berkeley the night before we where due to fly out from Heathrow. That week I was designing albums, working on images and generally running the business on top of everything else. Stressful times indeed.
The good news is that we where over the moon with our news. There never can be the perfect time to have a baby. I will be perfectly honest with you and admit that there was a time I wondered if I would ever be ready.
Then I turned 30.
Suddenly everyone around me was having a baby or falling pregnant. I was getting more and more bookings for newborn shoots, mainly through my Facebook network of South African girls that I went to school with who had also moved over to London and were now keen to photograph the little bundle of joy that had entered into their lives. At least I have seen a good few fresh babies now; they can be a little funny looking at first! It gets you thinking. It makes you wonder if this might be the time to start considering having your own family. I am not a big “baby person”, but what I wanted more than anything else was to have that relationship with a little person that I shared with my mom and with my dad. That bond, those memories.
We made it over in one piece to The Turks and Caicos, eventually. Let’s just say my BA/Heathrow experience with all of our excess luggage was like multiplying the stress of the past month of packing and cramming it into one day, then adding 100% on top of that. We almost got kicked off the flight because of checking in 3 minutes too late. The only reason this happened was due to some excess baggage issues for which we had pre-paid. Nightmare. Once we had paid even more money at the desk we where told that we had five minutes to clear customs and get onto the flight.
A panic attack ensued. I am not one to suffer from these but my trusty pregnancy books assure me that this is one of the (many) side effects of having a bun in the oven that I was to have the pleasure of looking forward to. I think it all just become too much for me: my throat closed up, I couldn’t breathe. The lady at security took one look at my dry heaving and must have taken pity on me when I explained my condition. She ushered us straight to the front of the line and fast tracked us through.
We just made it.
I spent the rest of the flight reading The Girlfriend’s Guide To Pregnancy, which was given to me by one of the very few friends I had told at this point. It’s a fun, light hearted read and I would highly recommend it to newly pregnant ladies who are not looking to delve into anything too serious at first.
[NOTE: The pictures attached were taken by Jonathan Canlas during the FIND Workshop aka Film Is Not Dead in Ibiza... where we conceived! There seems to be a trend with sunny holidays and making babies on this blog, isn't there?]
Thank you, Chanelle! We’re looking forward to hearing more about going through pregnancy on a Caribbean island.