Let me tell you a little tale.
I am going to be real. I am going to be vulnerable.
This line right here, below my belly button and above my pubic bone is where my babies come from, all 5 of them and this is why I am so passionate about your birth story.
I was young when I had my first, it is only now that I realise just how young. I was young and filled with fear. Fear of birth, fear of Motherhood, fear of the unknown and hey I'll admit it fearful I would poop in labour.
I laboured in the tiny 'prep' room, a windowless room with a bed, bench, shower and toilet. Two mothers came in to the birthing suite across the hall, laboured and went to their rooms all while I was still fearfully trying to get my baby out. I remember looking to my now husband and saying "I can't do that" as I heard a Mother all to clearly bring her baby earthside.
Hours passed. 10cm and I pushed. Pushed and pushed some more. Next thing I know I was being prepped for surgery, spinal, forceps and force. It was a blur flashing before my eyes all while willing him to just come out. He wouldn't. Why? I still to this day do not have an answer but it set the tone for how the rest of my births went.
18 months later I waddled back in to that same hospital and back in to that all to familiar prep room. I was again filled with fear but this time it was a new fear, I would "fail' again. 1 minute contractions, one minute apart. I hadn't been educated on VBAC, I didn't trust my body and I didn't believe in myself. I was far from empowered. Off to theatre I go again.
The next morning I was asked something that has clearly stuck with me today. " What happened? Did you chicken out?". Well yes I did. I actually did.
By the time baby number 3 is on the way it was deemed a caesarian was the safest way for me to deliver.
As time moves on I heal a little more, with each birth I witness I process a little deeper. Heck, Ive has 5 caesarians thats pretty bad ass and rule breakery. I do question and wonder how my story would have played out if I knew then what I know today. Like you are allergic to morphine don't wait until c-section number 5 realise that and recovery freakin sucks, take it slow and your body will thank you afterwards and c-setions is so far from the easy way out and use your voice even when it shakes to get the questions you need to know the answers to.
I have 5 healthy, loving, kind, hilarious, strong-willed, energetic children. I wear my scar with pride.
And this is where you come in.
When I photograph your birth I am more than just a fly on the wall. I am an energy filled being in your birth space, that sends as much love, support and positive vibes your way so that you have a better birth story than me. Please don't see this as caesarian shaming, it is me wishing my story was told a different way.
I hold your hand when your partner needs a break, I get you a drink and I tell you you can do this. I am in your corner, I am on your team. I draw on my experience with my births to be the person I needed in the room the day I was most vulnerable.
Being a birth photographer runs so much deeper than standing in the room and pressing the shutter. I give you my all when I am in the room with you because I believe in you the moments you forget.
Once your birth is over, I go home to my babes and I beam with pride for you and your strength no matter how your story played out, I edit your images and deliver them to you. Then I watch you flood with empowerment and awe of what your body achieved. These images created a legacy for generations to come and I got to be a part of that. How incredible. You are incredible.