A letter to you...
My name is Mariana Ratão.
I am a woman, a daughter, a companion, and a friend.
I am a videographer, a storyteller and a doula.
I was born in 1989. And I was only 2 kilos and 529 grams.
My mother tells me that I was so tiny, that the only piece of clothing that didn't look like three babies could fit in, was a small blue baby cardigan, that basically looked like it was made for a doll, knitted by my beautiful grandmother.
At that time, my parents bought a camcorder. And soon after, there were piles and piles of VHS tapes, full of the cutest moments: baby baths, feeding time and sing along songs. I have video tapes of school parties and school plays, Christmas at my grandparents' house and my uncles disguised as Santa. Nowadays, I keep these images with care, as if they were authentic treasures.
But there's a very special moment in my childhood that I don't have documented... My birth! And it's interesting to think about how we record all those important moments in life, but we often leave out the most important day of our children's lives - the day they were born.
It was the moment I learned about my sister's pregnancy, back in 2012, that this dream of capturing and telling birth stories came to life.
As I watched her baby bump grow, I thought "What a beautiful moment this is. And what a wonderful moment it will be when my nephew comes into this world". It was then that the seeds of These Golden Hours began to germinate.
I am a videographer and video editor with 9 years of experience. In all these years, my purpose has been (and continues to be) to deliver something magical to my clients, make them dream, allow them to dive in a whirlpool of emotions and go back to those precious moments in their lives. But it was the moment I entered the world of doulas, and during my training as a doula that it became clear to me that this is my path and my purpose.
Not only through my training, but mainly through my clients words, I realized the transformative and impactful power of capturing these early and ephemeral moments in people's lives. Sometimes my work preserves a memory, other times it helps reveal a new consciousness about people and their families.
Since it's not just about delivering a movie that matters (not at any cost at least), as a doula I have the necessary tools to understand the physiology of childbirth, and for that reason, to be consciously present , in harmony and admiration for the essence of the moment, and in absolute respect for the woman's intimacy, the baby, and the family.
The re-birth of the laboring woman and the birth of their child are undoubtedly moments that deserve to be kept and re-visited. Not only for the mother who may have a different perception of what happened due to the wonderful hormone cocktail that her body produces, but also for the father and the child, who may one day, watch the tale of his birth.
And that is the story I want to tell. The story that is born with each and every woman, man, mother, father, each son and each daughter.
The history that has been replaying since the beginning of times, but that is so unique and so special for each one of us.
The beginning of our story as Human Beings in this complex world, but at the same time so wonderful.
I am deeply grateful to you for trusting me to capture your Golden Hours.
Yours truly, Mariana Ratão