I shared this post over at the Nightingales Website and thought of adding it here!
A few years ago I was telling myself I didn't want any more children. Regardless I always planned that in case I did, I wanted to have a Home Birth and I wanted to have a Birth Photographer. One of the first births I saw photographed was by Leilani Rogers, and immediately I fell in LOVE with Birth Photography.
Every time I would see images, slideshows or a video, my heart would feel so many emotions. I would be reminded that I barely remembered the birth of my oldest son. We forget that so many things happen during childbirth and at times you are not aware of what is happening or you just don't remember because you were focused on working on bringing your baby to this earth.
If I were to tell you why I would hire a Birth Photographer, these would be my 5 top reasons...
1. I want people to see the beauty in my birth, to normalize birth, to bring awareness to the power of a woman that carries a baby and births (regardless of the way she births - vaginally, c-section, surrogate family, adoption, etc).
Birth Photography is not only about the moment the baby emerges (you know that crotch shot people think is called Birth Photography - it's not all about the va-jay-jay). Birth photography showcases the strength of a woman, the support of a partner, the power a couple has when working together, the outpour of love received and shared. My goal through my photography is to capture those moments. Those touches mom needs to feel, those smiles that make everything feel better, those looks that say: "everything will be alright". That's what birth photography is.
2. God! I would give anything to see my face when I saw my oldest for the first time.
Just typing this I feel emotional. I don't know what he looked like immediately after he was born. I don't know how I looked (even if I was a HOT MESS- that's ok). I will never be able to see what was my husband's reaction when he saw our little boy because I was so focused on birthing a little one and exhausted, that I didn't bother on looking at my husband. I definitely don't know how I reacted when I saw him for the first time. I remember saying his name numerous times and saying OH MY GOD, but it's just words that come to mind. Now I yearn to see that moment, but it was lost.
3. I want the world to know how important the partner is during labor and delivery...
I remember when I told my husband I wanted to have a Home Birth with my second. He looked at me crossed eyed, like: "what is this woman now trying to do?". We later met with our Midwife and she put him at ease and answered all of his questions. He had a similar reaction to having a birth photographer, but since he knew I was in love with Birth Photography he agreed (and of course he knew it would make me happy). When I go back and look at our Birth pictures for our second son, I see that my husband never left my side (although I almost strangled him when he tried to, oops). That support deserves to be documented. The love our partners have for us, their face of worry when we are in pain, their face of relief when they see us smile between contractions, IT IS SO IMPORTANT. But most of all to see them admire their little one and feel a type of love they've never felt before, THAT deserves to be documented.
4. Years later, I can come back and sit down with my child and show him how he was born.
I still feel sad when I look back on my memories of my oldest's birth. I received Demerol during labor to help me rest. I felt like I was drugged, that's how I felt. I only remember dozing off and waking up to strong contractions, I don't remember the nurses, where my husband sat, when he was standing, when he spoke to me or smiled at me, maybe even laughed at me hehe.... I REALLY DO NOT REMEMBER ANY OF THAT. He won't be able to see how he was born, how many people his "Mami" (mom) needed to support her during his birth, how much love he felt when he was just minutes old... I can only tell him, but will never be able to SHOW him.
5. Last but not least... I would hire a birth photographer because this is a special and unique time in my life that I will NEVER get to relive...
I always say that pregnancy and birth are just like a wedding, with the big difference that you never know the time or date it will happen. Birthing a little one is a new stage in your life as an individual, as partners, as a married couple, as a family. It's a new life you are bringing to this world, and oh my will you want to remember that day in detail! The day your life changed forever.
Document it with Birth Photography, believe me, IT IS WORTH IT!