5 Must Have Photos to Take at Your Birth!
I’ll be real for a moment. I am a birth photographer… and I did not have a professional birth photographer at my first two births. To be honest, I didn’t get it yet. I didn’t understand how birth would change me, how it would inspire me and how it would define me as a person in the future.
I had TOUGH labors guys. I mean the kind where your baby is looking the wrong way, the pitocin drip is flashing warnings that the dose is too high, back labor that feels like someone wrapped barb wire around your spinal cord and attached you to a semi … that semi hit pedal to the metal and drove away, ripping that spinal cord right of you.
OP moms know that isn’t even an exaggeration. Hahaha.
I’ve had epidurals, I have had birth plans change and change again. I have had the mentality of “I don’t need a birth plan, I am just going to have a baby and see what happens.”
I didn’t see what was so special about a birth photographer at first. Until I became one. I saw what it did for other women, how they celebrated their births so closely. They were incredibly connected with their stories and they were incredibly connected to their babies. I didn’t have that. And I wanted it.
My husband took a couple of pictures (they are TERRIBLE) while I labored. It mostly was just to have a momento of my last hours of pregnancy. He also manned the camera along with my mother in law for the moments right after delivery (and those pics were alright, not too shabby once I edited them up a bit). But I felt like I missed something. I wanted to remember more of my story. I wanted to feel powerful like my friends had in their births. I wanted to be able to SEE me kicking butt and taking names.
My third and last baby I arranged a birth photographer. With an early induction, it was kind of a last minute thing. Jessica Worland drove in from Bloomington and put together a gallery and film that stopped my heart for just a moment.
Evie was a tough delivery. I already mentioned she was a TOUGH labor. But she was just determined to run the show. At the last minutes of my pregnancy, my baby started to not recover between contractions. Her heart rate was not looking so great and my midwife had to say words I never thought I would have to hear: Brittney, I need to meet your baby now!
I believe she arrived within the next two contractions. And she was not conscious at delivery. She was very low tone, floppy. My midwife passed her to me for the briefest of moments, enough for me to feel her heart thumping into the palm of my hand. And after only a few seconds, she had to take her back out of my hands. My daughter needed resuscitation. After several minutes of intense waiting, Evie was breathing on her own and alert. I never saw her first minutes of life with my own eyes because of the wall of blue gowns and hospital scrubs. I only have these photos.
My birth didn’t go the way I had planned. I wasn’t going to be induced. Welp. I wasn’t going to have an epidural. Welllp. I was going to have this perfect skin to skin moment and cry tears of elation as I just accomplished all the things on my birth plan after months of preparation and doing everything RIGHT. Welllllllllllp.
That’s not how things worked out. And to be frank, it took many months of my daughter’s first year of life to come to terms with that. I STRUGGLED accepting I will never have the beautiful birth story my heart ached for. My baby days are long behind me. But what I do have are these photos and this film of the things I didn’t see.
1. I didn’t see how happy and carefree I was in early labor.
2. I didn’t see how fierce I was as hour after hour of contractions passed.
3. I didn’t see how absolutely remarkable that moment of birth was.
4. I didn’t see how perfect that ending truly was… with a healthy baby who still managed to pull through with a great first latch.
5. I didn’t see my husband… who went through all of it with me, by my side, his fear mirroring my own. I didn’t see his moment of “she’s here”.
These are the moments I want every mother to have. They’re the core of what I do and the photos from my OWN birth have brought immeasurable healing. You don’t need a professional birth photographer to capture these moments. But it helps. It helps a lot. <3 Because this an event you don’t get a do-over in. This is a day in your life you want to hold on to, even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts. And especially when it’s everything you wanted.