DISCLAIMER** This post is safe for work.
I have wanted to photograph a birth since I started my business 5 years ago. I’ve had 3 women book with me and then back out once labor got intense. Flat out, would not let me in the room. It was both understandable and disappointing. Not only had I arranged childcare, work commitments ect, but I also was missing out on a once in a lifetime experience. Shut out 3 times in a row, I decided just to forget about it.
Kara called me in October to ask me about Birth Photography. We chatted and I told her my story. I had a midwife assisted home birth with my daughter and I was DYING to photograph a birth, but for whatever reason I was never let into the room. Kara is a doula so she assured me, I would be allowed in the room.
Kara was Due December 21st. We waited patiently, I’d message her and ask how she was feeling. Her due date came and went, then Christmas came and went. I almost forgot that there was an actual baby that was about to be born at any minute! On the 29th I got a text at 6:30am “Having contractions, just a heads up”. I slept in that day and didn’t get the text until 9:30am. I almost passed out, thought I missed the birth. We kept in touch and I showed up to her place at about 11am. What I saw shocked me. Kara was laughing. LAUGHING! She played cards with her kids, she fed one and put her to bed. She then got her dressed after her nap, made some phone calls, made her son lunch all the while going through labor. Her midwife even said to me “I don’t believe this is actually happening”.
We all watched Harry Potter and X-Men together. We listened to music. We talked and laughed and had a great time. Kara was smiling through all of it. When Kara’s water broke at 3:45pm she knew that the baby was going to be born any second. My stomach got super queasy. I was so nervous. I’ve never been present for any births other than my own and I had major anxiety for about 15 minutes.
Kara planned for a water birth and came very close to actually having one. Due to the possibility of mec in the fluids, she got out of the pool to prepare to got to the hospital, but instead baby came within minutes of her water breaking and he was born just outside the tub.
Baby boy Brantley was born at 4:03pm, December 29th. 9lbs 1oz. He is perfection. Pink, awake, happy. He latched no problem, enjoyed his moms cuddles and warmed right up to dad. Kara had such an amazing a beautiful, unusual experience. I’ve never seen a more happy and relaxed mom. Her midwife even mentioned she’d never seen a birth like this.
I am now addicted. I want to do more births. I think I may have found my calling. I have opted to keep the photos of Brantley being born private to both respect Kara and her family. They are neither graphic or disturbing-quite the opposite-they are beautiful. But it is a private moment that belongs to them. If in the future she is willing to share, I’ll be happy to post.