My why is rooted in this very personal story.
It has also flourished into more. I continue to offer birth photography to women, partners, families- as a means to heal by, celebrate birth, validate the journey, stamp and preserve what transforms us. How many things in your lifetime can you say truly transformed you? Birth does this, whether you are willing, ready, scared, brave, planned out -or not. I am here to document and hand back to you this gift!
This was written in 2011.
My first two cesarean births were unplanned. I did not have a birth plan that specifically addressed my desires. I felt so blessed to have my babies and have them healthy, however their final journey into this world was sad to me. Words that come to mind when I think of the births are: vacant, scary, white, distant, alone, wondering. While I was in the recovery room I wondered what my baby looked like, smelled like, felt like. I wondered what the nurses and doctors were doing with my newborn child? I wondered why everything was taking so long? Yes, I got to see my baby’s little faces before they were taken away, but they change so fast. And you don’t understand this unless you see your baby, and then don’t again until 3 hours later and you can tell your baby already looks truly different. I was not able to see the umbilical cord cut, nor the first bath. I wasn’t able to hold my baby until hours later, this was anguishing.
In contrast, my third and then fourth cesarean were the most gratifying to me. I had a very demanding birth plan, but not one that was outside the means of the nursing staff. My last two babies never left my sight, they stayed with me while I recovered and then both baby and I traveled back to my room where family awaited. The first bath was done in my room where I could watch as were the other newborn exams.
The fourth cesarean is highlighted in my mind because I had immediate and continual contact with my baby as well as snapshots taken of the birth. I also was lucky enough to have my sister in the operating room with me as Charge Nurse that morning. Since she was going to be there, I asked her to take pictures. She was able to capture my tearful expressions as my baby was being brought into the world, my husband holding my hand, my husband feeling nauseous, the cutting of the cord by my husband, my babies first wild cries, little toes, and fingers in the warming bed. All these awesome sights that I couldn’t myself witness because of course I was on the operating table.
Pictures of me on the operating table holding my little pink cheeked bundle amidst a variety of thick, cold, and intrusive cords speaks so loudly to me. I look at these pictures and see how brave I am, how amazing my doctor is, how strong and vulnerable my husband is, how me and my baby are a glowing contrast to all around us. These pictures serve as my inspiration to offer other women the same opportunity to create lasting memories of a truly blessed event.