Recently, I was running behind one morning because an online birth photography gallery transfixed me.
I was surfing the web while drying my hair (probably not a good idea) when I came across an article on Buzzfeed about birth photography.
It included the 2020 winning photos from the International Association of Professional Birth Photographer’s annual competition. And … Oh my word. You must take a look. The photos are stunning.
While the article provides a warning of “graphic images” at the top, the fact that the photos are intimate and revealing is not a surprise to anyone who has given birth. Looking through them, it made me desperately wish I’d had a photographer to capture those moments when I had my son six years ago.
Of course, I knew there would be pictures when he was born. The day my water broke (three weeks before my due date) was an icy December day. I can’t remember if the company I was working for was closed because of the weather, or if I was home because I had a cold and wasn’t feeling great.
At any rate, I was working from my couch and hadn’t bothered to get out of my pajamas or put on makeup. But when I realized that my water broke and my due date was suddenly here, things quickly changed.
I called my then-husband and my mom—but instead of packing a hospital bag, I spent my last few minutes at home putting on makeup so I wouldn’t be disappointed when I saw the pictures.
I know, I know—makeup really doesn’t matter in that situation. After 16 hours of labor, I’m not sure how much makeup was left anyway. And now that I’m a mom with an always-on-the-go kindergartner, makeup is an afterthought. What can I say? It seemed important at the time.
And those photos of him on my chest as I sobbed with joy and relief are among my very most treasured possessions. I do wish I had more images from the labor and delivery, from someone whose only job was to capture those moments. I wouldn’t display the photos—not that birth is anything to hide—they’d just be very personal.
But that photo gallery. Those pictures are raw and passionate, and they perfectly depict new life and the miracle it is. The babies in the amniotic sacs! Their first breath of air! Then there’s one of a little girl in her newborn sibling’s bassinet. “Denial,” it’s called. Perfect.
I highly recommend you take some time to browse through these images so, you too, can remember what a miracle and joy it was to bring your little one into this world. But be forewarned: You might be a little late to work.
(Be sure to check out the IAPBP’s website for all entries.)
Alexis Patterson is the managing editor at DFWChild and mom of a smart, funny, busy kindergartner. While Alexis thought she’d be better at tea parties and playing school, she has adapted nicely to her son’s preferred interests of laser tag and Nerf guns. When she isn’t working or snuggling her sweet boy, Alexis enjoys shopping, traveling and not cooking. Email her at email@example.com.
Check out more of Alexis’ writing here:
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Image courtesy of iStock.