A mother of four, photographer, nature lover. Someone trying to make sense of it all, through photos and stories. 

I try to be free in all senses of the word, so I made the leap and now work with what I love doing; taking pictures, storing this life in moments, both for myself and for clients. My heart is in photographing birth and motherhood, but I take on just about any photography job. 
(See my birth photos at www.birth.no and the rest of my work portfolio at www.mariavatne.no.)

I live on a farm in Norway with my man Nik and my children Ronja, Freja, Falk and Ulv, plus a bunch of animals. We grow our own food as far as the seasons allow it, we don't go to kindergarten, the three youngest ones will be homeschooled.

We govern our own lives, we strive for independence, we want to be in this life wild and free and full of love.

In the hospital, part two.

I've made a post like this before, when we came home from the hospital a bit over a year ago, after having been there for three weeks, our first three weeks together. We have come a long way since then, and now, we have done it, we have faced and overcome a big obstacle. His surgery.

We were admitted on Tuesday, to get settled in and talk with the doctors. We talked about anaesthesia, about risks, about the things they would do in his mouth to close his palate. About pain and blood and medication. I needed all the details, to play it in my mind and be as prepared as possible. The main person was happily ignorant of it all - he acted like he owned the place, playing and running and charming everyone. It was strange; his last day and night before his correction, his last hours with an open palate. Going to bed that night, I felt at ease, ready. I felt calm. 

The morning after was heavy, the hours waiting for the operation passed so slowly, and Ulv had to fast, so I was constantly nervous about him feeling hungry and me not being allowed to feed him. It went so well. This guy just takes it all in his stride. 

And then, the nurses came to pick us up. I was going into the operation theatre with him, so I wore a white overall which reminded me of a beekeepers suit. Wolfie sat on his daddy's shoulders through the corridors, so happy and excited and open. The lump in my throat grew, I had to remind myself to be brave, to not lose face in front of Wolfie, to pretend. And I did, all the way until he slept his strange artificial sleep, and then my dams broke and I cried, all the way back to the room. Tears and snot and fear and waiting. And trust. I felt the trust, I hadn't expected that. I knew he was in the best of hands. Someone wrote on one of my instagram photos, You place your heart in the hands of others, and I thought that was so beautiful and so descriptive. It's exactly what it felt like. You have my child now. And these people took care of him so well, and they did magic, they created a palate for him. It's surreal!

After what was a hard time waiting - but not as hard as I thought it would be - they came to pick us up. The surgeon herself, standing in my room, saying it was over, and that it had been smoother and easier than she had expected, that it had gone so well. Me hugging her and rushing over to wait outside the intensive care unit, to be let in. And there he was, still asleep, blood dripping from his mouth, tubes here and there (even one in his nose, like when he was a baby). 

Five hours later, he was running in the corridor, laughing and being a clown, making the nurses question why he was really there. And that was how it continued: He was crazy strong and active and happy. A small mouth surgery isn't enough to stop this guy!

Here are some photos from our days there.

And then we came home, on Saturday, and it felt so good to be back, and to take in the fact that wow, we did it. It's done!

Now we have to take time to heal. Thank you for all the love you have sent to us! It means a lot.

Love from one happy and relieved mama.



The operation.