The Magical Moment During Birth
When people find out that I'm a birth photographer there is usually a comment about it being cool, or wondering what that means exactly. I usually laugh and say that I'm not there for the "spread eagle glory shots" (unless that's what my client wants!) I'm there as a fly-on-the-wall. I'm there to capture all the emotion and take the picture pressure off of dad. The response I get is always good. Some people admit that they wouldn't have thought about hiring a professional. Parents who have had kids generally say they wish they had thought to hire someone because the pictures they took were all blurry, extremely unflattering or in the heat of the moment they completely forgot to take pictures at all! You can see the regret when they talk about not capturing those birth moments they CLEARLY remember, and as a birth photographer you KNOW they have no idea about all the beautiful memories they don't even realize they are missing because they don't have those physical reminders to look back on. It's bitter sweet to have conversations like that.
In Seattle we have a pretty open reception from birth professionals. Currently we aren't allowed in hospitals due to the shut down, which I'm hoping will change soon. So many of my clients were left hanging after their birth plans were upended due to the change in policy. I completely understand, and I support the policy when so many were sick and the hospitals were overwhelmed. Now that things are looking up I hope that we can get back to fully supporting birthing mothers and what they envision for their labor and delivery.
For me, the most magical moment during birth doesn't actually happen until after the baby has been born. It's that moment when both parents get a good look at their little one. That moment when they take in all the perfectness of a baby they created. The moment when mom is overcome with emotion after carrying her baby for 9 long months and finally has them in her arms. I strongly believe there is a tiny sacred moment where heaven and earth are infinitely close for that brief moment as baby takes their first breath. There is an electricity in the air that is indescribable, but everyone can feel it. The joy and euphoria are overflowing, and in the very next moment reality hits. The reality of what just happened, that all the hours of labor and strength resulted in bringing someone earthside. There is often times a huge sigh of relief and reality mixed in one. The reality that they are forever changed.