I love beautiful photography. I will say that while nothing is extremely graphic in these photos, they do capture real, raw birth moments. So click away and enjoy these remarkable images....because birth is beautiful.
Image of the Year Competition for Birth Photography:
I remember my own last days of pregnancy. Each time, I was SO very excited to kiss those sweet faces. At the same time, I was feeling really sad about our last days together - just the two of us - where I didn't have to share my baby with the world yet. But I was so DONE...and so READY. Such conflicting emotions, and it's so very normal!
Here's a beautifully written article about this very thing: http://www.mothering.com/articles/the-last-days-of-pregnancy-a-place-of-in-between/
I've recently become very passionate about supporting families who have scheduled cesareans. Over time, through my experiences as a doula and talking with women who've birthed this way, I've learned that ALL births are truly magical, beautiful and worthy of celebration. I love working at cesarean births, cheering mom and dad on as they welcome their precious little one into the world. Mamas who endure labor OR surgery deserve to feel like proud warriors for bringing a child earthside. The added anxiety that surgery can bring to some makes it a perfect place for me to come in, sit with parents and reassure them of what's to come. Before the birth, I meet families at the hospital, make sure dad is informed and not feeling left out, help communicate birth preferences to hospital staff (yes, cesarean moms have choices, too!) and hold hands or rub backs to reassure everyone that they aren't in this alone. During a birth, I've been able to take photos, encourage mom and dad as the birth unfolds and help hold newborns up to mom's chest for immediate breastfeeding if she's a little shaky after birth. If preterm babies or multiples are involved, and babies need to be separated from mom for any reason, I'm able to provide constant updates and photos. The extra postpartum support in the hours that follow the delivery also make cesareans very worthy of having a doula present.
If you want the added support that a doula can provide to you during your cesarean, I'd love to meet with you and talk about your options. I would love to help you create a beautiful birth experience.
In the meantime, here's a real birth story about one mom who planned one kind of birth experience and ended up with another. I like this story, because it reminds you that not all breech babies require a cesarean delivery, that it's normal to grieve your original expectations and that a doula was involved in the process (and helped!)