When I think back to the births of my two sons, each of them are so very different. One was a hospital, water birth – the other an emergency c-section after a failed home birth. One was born at 39 weeks, the other was born at nearly 43 weeks. One of my experiences my contractions took over my body completely, the other I never got to feel active labor.
But one thing that is consistent between both births is the fact that I had an extremely supportive husband by my side every step of the way. No matter the birth plan (or change in birth plan), he was there encouraging me, holding my hand, telling me everything I needed to hear at the exact time I needed to hear it.
I became a professional photographer 6 years ago, so you think it would have dawned on me to hire a birth photographer when I became pregnant with my first son. It was a couple years before I became a birth photographer, so I guess I just never thought about it. I packed my Canon G9 point-and-shoot camera in my hospital bag and figured that either my husband or my doula would take a few photos of the experience. I never anticipated needing so much support that the camera would remain in my hospital bag until after my son was born.
I am grateful for this one photo I have of my birth experience. My husband took this photo about an hour after I gave birth to my oldest son. I had just had a natural, water birth in the hospital after over 3 hours of pushing. It isn’t a flattering photo. It isn’t a “technically” good photo. But it’s the first photo I have of me and my son and the only “birth” photo from that day. I took a few cell phone shots after my adrenaline had calmed down a bit, and an in-hospital photographer came to take photos the following day but this one photo is all I have from April 10, 2011.
Fast forward 2 years when I got pregnant with my second son. Not only did I want my birth team and experience to be completely different this time around, but we were also moving across the country, which made the entire pregnancy a little more stressful.
When we got to Austin, TX, I was 20 weeks pregnant. I found my midwife right away and was excitedly planning my home birth in my new home. I knew this time around, I wanted a birth photographer. Soon after moving to Austin, a local birth photographer took an amazing birth photo that went viral. It was a photo of a twin baby born en caul. It was such a rare occurrence and her photo was so beautifully done! I knew I had to book her as my birth photographer.
My second birth didn’t go as planned, but the entire time my husband was right by my side. He was my rock, my strength to do what I needed to do. There was absolutely no way he would have been able to take any photos of the experience and I am thankful I hired Leilani Rogers as my birth photographer. I have AMAZING photos from the long, hard labor and from the first time my older son met the baby, and my husband didn’t have to pick up the camera once.
Birth photography isn’t for everyone – I understand that. Some people don’t want photos of that day. But for anyone who wants photos from one of the most important days of your life – for anyone who wants photos to look back on and remember how strong and how powerful you were – I recommend hiring a birth photographer. We are skilled at knowing when to get the shots that you will cherish most. We know when to take a photo, and when to put the camera down. We will be your eyes and your memory for years to come.
My experiences from each of my births are so completely different – and yet both were 2 of the most important days of my life. I was strong each time, in different ways. And with my second son, I get to look back at my birth photos and see just how strong I was.
I am now booking births in 2016 – contact me today to schedule your birth session.