Being present in the birth space is extra special for me, though I do additionally continue to capture imagery in other photographic genres. I recently contracted to provide doula services to a young first-time mom and I asked her if she would like me to photograph her birth. I was delighted when she said yes, but I emphasized that my primary role would be to provide her support and comfort measures.
But WOW, this birth was fantastic both from a doula perspective and a photography perspective. The birth plan included mom’s wishes for an unmedicated natural birth but due to a variety of issues she was whisked off to the operating room for a c-section. I observed the tremendous support provided by this young mom’s family (partner, mother, and cousin) as I witnessed her bring her baby girl earthside.
I am often at a loss for words to express what being in another’s birth space means to me. I watched this young first-time mom slowly transition into her new role of “mama”. My wish would be that all mamas receive the same amount of support and care. The L&D and operating room staffs were tremendous and did not push this mama to consider any interventions that were not absolutely necessary. My client seamlessly moved into self-advocacy and trusted that all decisions being made were not only in her baby’s best interest but in her own best interest, as well. The birth outcomes for African American moms and their infants are under severe scrutiny as the rate of maternity deaths for black moms is 3-4 times that of white moms.
I couldn’t be more proud of being a part of this young mom’s birth team.
There are so many different kinds of birthing experiences that I long to document. Being an adoptive mom, I would love to document an adoption. I would love to document a surrogacy birth. I would love to document a same sex birth. I’d love to document a home birth. Birth is birth any of its many iterations is magical and beautiful. Let’s bring it on! I want to document birth in all its manifestations.