When I had my first baby the last thing that was on my mind was photos. Which is a bit strange, because I LOVE photos! But when you’re in labour for the first time and unsure of what is happening, there’s kind of a few other things on your mind.
Right after Sophie was born, the midwife who helped deliver Sophie asked John for our camera and took some happy snaps. Something I am eternally grateful for. Those first precious moments captured forever.
In my crazy giving birth fog the second time around I once again wasn’t thinking about photos. Unfortunately we didn’t have a quick thinking photographer, I mean midwife, to capture the cutting of the cord etc. Hubby did get some nice ones of Ben and I after all the commotion had settled down!
So when I was pregnant with baby #3 and a friend mentioned that a photographer friend of hers was looking to expand into *birth photography and after some willing participants, I jumped at the chance!
John took a little convincing…
John’s memory of the birth of our first 2 babies was that for the majority of the time in the birthing suite, we were alone. Except when I was being checked on or yelling for pethidine, it was just the 2 of us, one contraction at a time.
I convinced him to at least meet the photographer and we’d go from there. He knew that I’d pretty much made up my mind and after meeting the lovely Viv, he said yes!
I ended up being induced for baby #3 which was completely unfamiliar territory me. I didn’t like knowing that I knew exactly what was about to happen!
Viv arrived somewhere around 5cm I think! By that time my best friend was the gas and I was telling John to go and get a vasectomy! The next 30 minutes are somewhat of a blur… 6cm and begging for an epidural, willing them to hurry up with the pethidine and 20 minutes later I had a beautiful baby boy in my arms.
Suddenly our baby boy wasn’t breathing and started turning blue. He was whisked away and was only a couple of metres behind me but I couldn’t see him. Then that sound, the sound of that newborn cry. The greatest relief anyone who has just given birth will experience.
Viv beautifully captured all of this for us. The joy, the heart wrenching anticipation. And while I don’t really think about those few awful minutes anymore, looking at the photos reminds me of how precious every little life is. And for me having these photos done weren’t about pictures of what was going on ‘down there’, but rather the joy of what all that hard work produces, and those first precious minutes with our beautiful baby.
I asked Viv to share her thoughts on birth photography:
Birth. words that come to my mind include wrinkly, red, squishy, squawking, hard work, helpless, loved, precious, joy, relief, love, family, emotional… there is something real and raw and unfeigned about the opportunity to be involved with parents as they bring a new life into the world, a world of possibilities, of love, of laughter. The privilege of being involved in that process is just so amazing the through gives me goose bumps. I just love being able to capture this all for families in a lasting way.
To me, birth photography is not so much about the mechanics of the process; rather I aim to capture the emotions, the interactions with partners and birthing teams and the joy a parents greet and get to know their new family member, marvel over their snub nose, count the toes and the fingers, the total story around his/her arrival.
The birth process will be one of the most emotional but also one of the most fleeting times in someone’s life, but without tangible reminders, our memories invariably fade and crumble. I love that the images I capture will allow families to keep those memories vital and intact.
I will always be forever grateful for the beautiful photos of Harry’s birth. If you’re considering birth photography I can honestly say that you won’t regret it. Make sure you get on well with your photographer and I guarantee you’ll be so thankful that you did it. We were so fortunate that Viv was amazing. I forgot she was there (in a good way!) and she was very respectful.
If you live in Newcastle and considering birth photography, Viv from Light Magic Images was truly amazing.
*Please note this is not a sponsored post.