I received this beautiful email this morning. I know the images I take help my clients process their births, but when I get these emails, I really know my job choice is the right career path because the images I take are making a difference in women's lives.
These are her words:
I've been thinking about H.'s birth a lot lately, first when my 6 weeks postpartum check in appointments with various care providers stirred up a lot of questions and emotions, then again when I repeated his birth story for the umpteenth time when I recounted it to family members around the world, one by one. I realized that without you being there to document and bear witness of his birth, the whole event would have been a near-traumatic one for me. So, I owe you a big heart-felt THANK YOU! If you need another reason in your bag of answers when people ask why they should hire a birth photographer, here's my contribution: Because they may need the pictures to help process/heal/move on from their birth.
After having two emergency caesareans, I look back on my path on becoming a mother and found myself a little heart broken. I love my kids and am so grateful that they are both healthy and thriving. But I can't shake the tinge of sadness (yet) that I get when I read about stories of the triumphant mother rocked the flow and ebb of labour, or see pictures of delayed cord clamping (even though I had so wanted that, the OBs who performed the surgeries did not think it was feasible), or even feel the hormonal shift and physical relief at the moment when my kids made earth side. The artificial nature of the C-sec took all of that away, one minute the baby is inside, the next he's out, and I feel disconnected from his birth. I was there, but not much is asked of me. The skin-to-skin in the OR helped, but with my boy, it was so brief, since he had to be taken to the nursery. I find it mind-boggling to have birthed two babies but never pushed once or experienced natural labour. My sadness/disappointment did not stem from not having the perfect natural (i.e. vaginal) birth, rather, it's a product of the disconnect between feeling the emotional ride but not the physical experience of birth. I was so looking forward to experience labour, even if it had ended in section! I longed to know how it FEELS! There will be no "do-over" as we have decided not to have more children. And wanting to attempt a VBA2C is not a good reason to have more baby (though at times, my irrational brain says otherwise :) I'm grateful I got to have you at the birth of my son, taking those priceless pictures, allowing me to fill out the gaps in my experience. Your work is beautiful, and in my case, vital. I owe a little piece of my heart to you, because you have given me the tool to mend it back whole again.
If you are interested in reading more birth stories check out this