You Photograph WHAT?!?! Births?!?!

This has got to be the most frequent question I get as a birth photographer.  At first, I remember feeling a little shy about it.  Like I had to justify my passion for documenting births.  Now I find it a little comical.  AND! I feel special.  Who doesn’t want to feel a little unique in this cluttered world?

I’ll be the first to admit, when we were expecting our first baby (now 21 years old), I would have said the same things I hear from mommies today:  

  • I don’t want you to see my v-jay!  
  • That’s gross!  
  • That’s the LAST thing I want to remember about having a baby!  
  • It’s TOO expensive…I’ll just have my {insert significant other} take photos with their phone.
  • Whyyyyyyy would YOU want to see THAT?!

So here goes.  My two cents after having had four babies and a grand baby this past December.  

So you might be a little shy about me seeing your lady parts, but c’mon.  We all have the same parts and when it comes right down to it, all any of us in the room care about is seeing your beautiful baby’s head crowing and making her way into the world for you to finally meet her.  You’ve waited NINE whole months!  

Gross?!  Yes.  As a first time mom I would have said it’s kind of eeeewy-goooey to have a baby.  But after my first baby, I realized how absolutely amazing our bodies are.  For nine whole months, our bodies carry and nourish our tiny human.  And at the end of those nine months, the body and mind become an indescribable warrior to deliver our beautiful babies.  A mixture of hormones, love, pain and determination gets us through what might seem as unsurvivable pain.  And just as you think you can’t take any more, the body takes over and does what it needs to do.  THIS is what our bodies were made for.  We survive.  And we do it all sooooo magically.

You might think that seeing your baby enter the world is the LAST thing you want to see.  BUT!  Keep in mind your point of view is totally different during birth.  You FEEL the pain.  You are busy working hard during each contraction.  But it is so different to actually see it in photos.  Why?!  Because our minds are powerful and before you know it, your brain will find a way to make it all a haze.  Believe me.  You will want to bring all these memories back to life eventually.  I promise!  Once your belly is gone and you start to miss feeling your baby kicking inside you, you WILL want to find any way to remember all those precious moments of her birth.  

The cost?  It’s too expensive?  Maybe.  But hear me out.  We are all wiling to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on wedding photos.  Why?  Because our weddings are moments that will NEVER repeat themselves and we want to remember them FOREVER.  Right?  Right!  Sooooo…the better question should be:  Why NOT hire a birth photographer?!?!  Your baby will only enter the world once.  She will only have one first cry.  She will only meet you for the first time once.  And whether this is your first or fifth baby, no birth is the same.  None of these moments will EVER repeat themselves.  

AND! When you put the cost into perspective, here’s how it breaks down:  When you hire a wedding photographer, you give her a date, time and schedule.  Period.  You are set.  A birth photographer, is like any other on-call birth worker.  I put your due date on my calendar and I remain on call two weeks before and two weeks after that date.  I will show up on a moment’s notice…day or night…christmas eve or not…kids’ birthdays or not…I. Will. Be. There.  Plus, when you do go into labor, I will be there from start to finish.  That can be two hours or thirty hours.  None of us have a set schedule when it comes to having a baby.  We all just go with the flow, so to speak.  I love to just hang out.  Quietly.  Patiently waiting for all your beautiful moments to happen for me to capture them for you - in a manner you’ll cherish forever!

My being present for your birth is something I feel very honored to be a part of.  Every single birth is different for me. Each one just as amazing as the first I see it as a wonderful, magical, overwhelmingly powerful event in every woman’s life.  Being able to document your baby’s first breath or the first time she meets you is monumental to me.  And I certainly don’t take any birth lightly.  

I’ve had four babies myself.  I can honestly say I truly regretwith all my heart not having any photographs {especially because all my babies were preemies} of their births.  I have very, very vague memories.  I don’t even think I remember the first hours after their births.  And the pictures I DO have…well, I’m not quite sure what, exactly, my husband was photographing.  He was too excited to pay attention.  And I was too worried about having him hold my hand to even allow him to take photos.  

Tiny feet.  Tiny faces.  Tiny hands.  Brand new belly buttons.  I LOVE it all.  Not one bit of it is gross to me.  It’s awe-inspiring, amazing, magical and….ugh!  just flat out THE best experience.  Being allowed to witness your baby’s birth is humbling to me and I am eternally grateful, regardless of how many births I’ve documented.

Let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear opinions from first time mommies and experienced mommies!