How was your birthing experience?
I have recently become a bit obsessed with birth. I love listening to the 'Kiwi Birth Tales' podcast and I have watched many series of 'One born every minute'.
My own birth story 12 years ago was one of trauma, and ended in a forceps delivery. I felt like I had no part in his birth - that he was pulled from me ( he actually was). My poor husband who had to witness the whole thing was overcome once Elijah had finally been delivered, and he later told me he was terrified they were going to pull his head off.
Despite having done antenatal classes, I was woefully unprepared for birth. I had my head in the sand about what it was really going to be like and I spent the later part of my pregnancy thinking more about which fancy cloth nappies my baby was going to wear.
I didn't want to dig into the birth process and what that meant. I just hoped it would go well. It didn't!
I felt like a failure. I distinctly remember a friend texting me "well done you powerful woman. Look what you did." I was repelled by this lovely message, thinking to myself that I hadn't done anything and it was all done TO me.
I always wished I could re-write Elijah's birth story if I was granted the gift of a second child, but I didn't get that opportunity. I have come to accept that I did the best that I could, in the circumstances and I am very grateful that I delivered a healthy little baby.
A couple of years ago I was asked by a woman I met on instagram to photograph the birth of her second child. It was such a powerful and healing experience. Kezia was the definition of a warrior woman as she birthed in the water at home, and literally breathed her baby out. It is one of the highlights of my career and life, and I am so grateful that I was able to share this experience with Kezia and her family.
It is a career goal of mine to introduce regular birth photography when the on call nature of this work suits my family.
Being a part of this birth was a turning point for me. I saw a woman give birth in a way that was calm and powerful and I felt like she helped me to re-write a story that I couldn't.
I am in awe of the birth process no matter how it happens and what extra support or interventions a woman might need. With time and age, I have come to realise it is different for everyone and it is not all within our control.
Birth is a truly wonderful thing, and you my friend are a truly wonderful woman xx