Maybe it’s because I am a Mom myself. Maybe its because it’s such a emotionally charged event. Or perhaps it’s just because I am a giant softie, but photographing a birth is one of the most special things for me to be a part of. Being asked to be present for what is very likely one of the most exciting and highly anticipated moments in a parents life means a lot to me. I take it seriously; I cant sleep the night before; I usually cry at some point during the birth…its just how it goes for me! 🙂
The first birth I ever photographed holds an extra special place in my heart, and when I just saw his Mom post on Facebook that he turned 2, (wait, what?! where did time go?!) I knew I needed to go back through my archived photos and take a walk down memory lane.
When I arrived at the hospital at OHMYGOODNESSITSEARLY o’clock, I got to share in the excitement that was palpable in the room. I am not sure Mom loves looking back and reminiscing about having an IV placed but its part of the day! And the smiles of relief when it was finally properly placed and she got a break from being a pin cushion is a happy sight!
If you’ve never had a caesarean, I will tell you there is a STREAM of people that you are visited by prior to heading to the OR; 4 million nurses, the delivering Doctor(s), the anesthesiologist, a lab tech to draw blood…it feels endless. But before you know it…its just you and your support person, and its time.
Sometimes at a birth nerves are high. Some people prefer quiet and I am happy to just fade into a wall, but sometimes people want someone to talk to, either to pass the time or release the nervous energy. After Michelle was taken into the OR for prep, Marcus and I started chatting. I was able to learn a little more about what brought Michelle to the situation of having a planned c-section, and how her first labor had progressed (or more accurately NOT progressed) during the birth of their first child. Hearing the pride in his voice when recalling how strong she was during her first delivery, and the excitement over what was about to happen, gave me a glimpse into how strong the bond in this family was.
After what felt like forever the OR nurses came out to get Marcus, and we went in to join Michelle who was fully prepped to meet their little man! Marcus sat next to Michelle and they chatted quietly. Having been in her spot 3 times myself I remember how much better it felt once I was joined by my husband; waiting for the familiar face to sit beside you can be a hard few minutes ‘alone’.
The hospital staff was phenomenal at keeping Michelle and Marcus up to date about what they were doing, and how much longer it would be. Even the anesthesiologist said to me ‘ok its almost time and its going to happen fast, are you ready?’. OH I WAS READY!I’ve given birth to three beautiful children via c-section, and so while I never really saw what was happening behind the screen, I knew that once it got a little quiet, and the Doctors started leaning in a little closer to Michelle, that baby was about to make his entrance into the world.And in one of the most surreal moments I’ve been blessed to witness, suddenly this new little life was here, and we heard a cry.
The smile under Dads mask at hearing that cry went right up to his eyes…it was a moment to remember.Again if you’ve not ever had a c-section birth, you get a quick peek of the baby, and then the baby is scooted across the room for a little cleaning, and some vital sign evaluation, footprints etc. And while Dad escorted the new baby, I was SO happy to be there to take those photos so later Michelle could see those moments she wasn’t directly involved in.
The baby definitely enjoyed testing out his lungs during some of these moments…until Dad held his tiny hand…and then silence. Babies know their Moms and Dads the instant they are born, I just know it.It was finally time to make his way back to his Momma for a snuggle!Being a spectator and not the patient was so incredibly different. Seeing how much is going on constantly while you are in there was amazing. The team working together to take care of Michelle was busy keeping her comfortable while Marcus and I were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Baby…and it was such a beautiful moment to see Michelle have her son finally resting on her chest so she could fully take him in.After a few moments of snuggling Marcus, and the baby (and I 🙂 went to the recovery area for the rest of the ‘baby review’. Weight, measurements, first visit from the pediatrician all happened in there, and again I was SO happy to capture these things for Michelle while she was in her final stages of being cared for in the OR.
The pediatrician came by for the very first Doctors ‘appointment’ 🙂 Spoiler alert: she said he was PERFECT! (and he was!)And finally…some alone time with Dad. I left the room for a few moments so that these two could bond while they waited for Mom to be brought back into the recovery room with them. When I popped back in a few moments later, Michelle had made her way back to her room and she was already snuggled up holding her new baby. Being a part of this day for this family is something I will never forget. No matter how many births I am lucky enough to photograph I will always remember this first one!