So as I mentioned...last month, I think? I've decided that I want to be a birth photographer. People these days take pictures of the books they read, when they change their oil, and lunch twice a week to share with instagram, and I think that if those things deserve to be documented then so does birth, haha! I am so incredibly fascinated with the human body and the whole pregnancy/birthing process AND I love love love taking pictures, so when I got the lightbulb moment that I could experience both at once in this unique way, I got very excited.
A few months ago, I somehow got two local women to agree to let me photograph their births. Strangers that I had never met. Both due in January. And wouldn't you know it, they went into labor on the same day! Thank heavens they were giving birth in the same hospital, but yowza. I was running from room to room all day...19 hours, in fact. I don't think I would have had to stay there for as long if it had just been one of them, but since there were two I was scared to guess their progression incorrectly, go home, and miss it! (I got there when they were both 4cms dilated).
And I loved every. single. minute. of those 19 hours. Yes, it was awkward at first...as a former CNA, it felt very strange to be in the hospital and not helping. As a photographer, I am used to ONLY taking pictures of people happy and smiling. It can feel very invasive to take pictures of people in pain or crying, and my job on Monday was to do exactly the opposite!
BUT after I got in and got warmed up, I swear it was the best thing I've ever done. As a CNA (or any healthcare worker, I guess), I only caught a glimpse of the family's story as I jumped from room to room. However, sitting silently in the corner of an L&D room for hours, I got to really see the family's interactions and feel the full cycle of emotion right along with them. It was also much less pressure than any other photoshoot I've ever done, because all I had to do was capture! No posing, no forced smiles, and 19 hours worth of pure human emotion ranging from frustration to joy - THAT is a photographers dream. So I loved it and I hope hope hope I can do this again someday.
Without further adieu, here is the story of how Max and Dyana became parents and met baby Arianna for the first time.
In between contractions:
The moment they were told that because her water had been broken for so long, she was beginning to get an infection and after 24 hours of painstaking labor, she needed a C-section.
Brother sending her off before the surgery:
Oddly enough, I was the first one in the room after her surgery. Mama was next:
Grandma's first time seeing the baby:
First time mama held her baby after surgery:
It was truly an honor to be there.