Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birth photography...

... is something that I've always loved the idea of. As an OB nurse and now student nurse-midwife, I always find my mind taking these mental snapshots during labor, birth, and those first few days of each new family. I find myself saddened by the intimate moments lost, the sweet "firsts" that are missed, and the beauty of a partner's touch or a newborn's soft skin slipping by unnoticed. "Where is your camera?!" I scream, noiselessly, to the new parents, or the grandparents, or anyone else nearby. "Don't you realize how precious these moments are? You'll never get them back..."

Part of this melancholy stems back to Mini #2. As I was preparing to host the luncheon for her baptismal party, I was throwing together a photo album/scrapbook of her first days. (Of course, this happened to be only a day or two before the party... but that's another story.) It was only then that I realized - I only had a few pictures that were taken during labor and delivery. But... what about... I don't remember... How come....

Suddenly, it wasn't about the photo album (Heaven knows we had plenty of pictures for that), but the fact that I wanted to remember more. Now, granted, I feel like I remember our labor very, very vividly; my water "sprung a leak at home", I knew it was definitely my water (because, first of all, as an OB nurse, you just know amniotic fluid... and second of all, I had somehow accidentally managed to procure an amnioswab...), went in to the hospital and was deemed to not be ruptured - but still given IV antibiotics "just in case" since I was GBS +... continued to labor, eventually beginning to have "real" contractions and delivering within a matter of about four hours. I remember reading No Country For Old Men early on, I remember the Warm One laying out on the cot next to me and snoring away through much of my labor, I remember my boss coming in about two hours into labor to visit for a few minutes; I remember realizing in amazement that I was using a focal point (a focal point! something I have always discussed in Childbirth Classes, but never actually thought of using myself...) on the chest of drawers, and I remember visualizing my cervix melting away as I waited, and waited, and waited, in the shower. Anyway --- the point of this post wasn't to share my birth story (that's another day) but to mourn the lack of pictures.

But, now the Warm One came in and ruined my train of thought. I'll leave you, instead, with an invitation to visit these friendly blogs that I've come across - gorgeous examples of a touching, sweet birth story, told in pictures: (click through the 16 images) (my favorite - make sure you view the full-screen version, with your sound on...)



  1. I absolutely agree with you! I am now to the point that if I'm working as a birth assistant, and no family members are manning the camera, I grab it and snap away during the final moments of labor and the birth. I always tell them they can always choose to edit out or delete anything they don't like, but they can never capture these moments again! As the SNM, I was constantly urging a family member to get out the camera!! I understand that they are often too caught up in the moment to remember it, but they usually will grab it and start snapping after I nudge them. I have very, very few pics of my labors and births and I regret that.
    I've seen so many amazing pics that others have gotten. Priceless!

  2. i will eventually do birth photography.. i yelled at jeremy fornot taking any pictures with tristan,i dont even remember what he looked like!