“Breath,.....Relax.” Talking to yourself during labor is Totally normal. I was just trying to catch my breath between contractions. My husband, Ben, quickly gave me a few ice chips and rushed to change out the wet rag I was using to stay cool. Another contraction began to rise and Ben hurried back to my side helping to massage my back and support me as I leaned on the side of the hospital bed. I spent the entire labor of my 4th child standing, not particularly comfortable. This birth in particular had many moments of distinction and beauty, but the moment I cherish most is that Ben was by my side. Doing all he could to show me support and love. The most difficult part of this birth for me came after, when I realized that I had no photos of this moment, no snapshots of the beautiful teamwork I had with Ben as we brought Gideon into the world! I wish I’d had a Birth Photographer!
Crazy how hindsight turns to 20/20 isn't’ it?! But, I am hoping by sharing my personal regret, that I can help expectant and hopeful mothers to avoid them for themselves. Here are 4 reasons why I wish I’d had a birth photographer.
A Moment Celebrated.
A Moment Captured.
A Moment Loved.
A Moment Preserved.
A Moment Celebrated
Birth is a big moment! You just spent 9 months creating, caring and anticipating the arrival of this sweet baby. You can’t tell me that this isn’t a moment of celebration! This is after all your baby’s Birth Day! Just like at graduations, weddings, or any other big moment in time, this moment will never come again. I would take pictures at all those events listed above, birth should be no exception. “It’s just not the same,” “It’s more of a private moment” are things I hear a lot in rebuttal to this. But in response I say, you don’t have to show anyone those photos if you don’t want to. These are special moments for you, your spouse, your child, and you are welcome to keep them that way. But at the very least, have the option to share them if you want. I sure wish I had that option.
A Moment Captured
Capturing a moment in its purity is important. As a mother I’ll tell you that the majority of my social media posts with my family don’t actually have me in them. When you look at your birth pictures you want to see it as if you were there again. You want to get all the feels! But take it from me there are things that can take away from the “captured” feeling when someone has to step out of the scene to take the picture. You’re mom won’t be where she was, your spouse won’t be by your side like they were. For my first 3 births my mom was stepping away to snap a few photos for me and I don’t have one photo with my mother where she was during my actual labor----by my side helping her daughter. This is difficult for me today, I wish I had one to remind me how strong my mother made me feel as I brought a new life into the world. Capturing a photo with the purity of what went on that day and who was with you is important, trust me.
A Moment Loved
I know everyone has been there…..looking back at a photo with a tinge of unpleasant feelings because that photo didn’t capture your “good side”. Admit it! We’ve all done it. I personally don’t want to look back at my birth photos and just see how tired, and drained, and sluggish I felt. I want to look like the fierce warrior mama I am who just birthed a beautiful new baby with the support of my family and friends. Well that’s the job of photographers people. They get paid to make people look as good as situationally possible. The great news is I don’t have to do anything different than what I would normally do. I just do my thing, the birth photographer does theirs, and at the end of the day I look back and see that beautiful strength, love and all the emotions from that day. I wanna look back and love my birth photos, don’t you?
A Moment Preserved
In the moments of birth everything is vivid, fresh, and raw. On that day it feels like I will never forget the amazing emotions in that moment. But we’re human, and over time I forget. Maybe not everything….but little things. Things like what his hair looked like as he laid on my chest, or how beautiful her tiny face was looking at me for the first time, or how cute their little lips were as they tested out those beautiful lungs. I’m not okay with forgetting those moments. I want to keep every little thing as fresh as I can. But I’m telling you, that is near impossible without a photograph or a video. The details fade, but when you have a picture or video to remind you of them, they will always come back as fresh as if you were there again. This is probably my biggest reason why I wish I’d had a Birth photographer. To preserve this moment for me and my child to share over a wonderful lifetime together.
You live and you learn
Now, I know that these moments may not be big enough reasons for you to change your mind about getting a birth photographer, but they sure are for me. At least now, you can make your own informed decision. And if you, like me, end up looking back on your births with some sadness to the loss you feel now, all I can say is….. you live and you learn…..but don’t take my word for it.