Wondering whether you should take photos of your birth? The short answer is… yes, you should! If you’re against the idea or on the fence, you might think you’ll be too bashful, grossed out, or nonchalant to ever want to look at them. But wouldn’t it be nice to know you have the option, just in case you have a change of heart?
If photography is in your birth plan, make a point to designate someone responsible for charging the camera ahead of time and setting the time stamps correctly. They should know how to operate the camera (especially in low-lighted settings because flash might disturb your labor). They should be prepared with a list of moments you don’t want them to miss (whatever you think will be meaningful to you — the birth altar you spent an hour setting up, crowning, first latch, separation of the cord, any surprise events, get creative!).
Mamas, here are some ideas that can make the postpartum era feel comforting, warm, nurturing, and even beautiful. This is a time of great transformation, and when the rough surface is polished away, one for new beginnings. Give it space to live up to its potential as perhaps one of the most forgiving and therapeutic eras of your life.
This is the story of my second child’s birth. My first son MaiTai was born three and a half years ago in a hospital. (I’ll share details of that tale in a future post).
***BEFORE YOU READ: Again, this is a birth story. If you’re not accustomed to reading real birth stories, are uncomfortable with images of birth-related nudity, or have a very particular definition of what’s TMI, you might consider skipping this post.***
Julep latched for the first time twenty-four minutes after he was born on April 28th. I remember the feeling was… beautiful. It felt right.
Memories of MaiTai’s first latch attempts in the hospital three and a half years ago came flooding back. Was I really doing this again? How lucky am I! And what work we have ahead of us…
Other details of the moment are all a blur now. I nursed this bright-eyed, alert baby on and off during my time on the bed right after birthing him in a pool several feet away.
*All photos credited to Stephanie Shirley Photography.*
Our second-born son is finally in our arms!
Baby Julep (as usual, not his real name) was born into water at home on April 28th, at 7 lb, 6.5 oz. He was eagerly welcomed earthside by his big brother MaiTai with a special cord burning ceremony.
Some mamas want to share their baby’s estimated arrival date the instant they find out for themselves — graciously inviting their tribe and beyond into this part of their pregnancy journey. Hey, that’s cool!
Other mamas answer the “when are you due” question as if an answer is socially expected. They don’t apply much thought to the alternative. Ah, no big deal!
Then there are mamas who feel a bit sketchy on the matter. They’re the mamas like me who may have a birthing day in mind, but it’d take a military inquisition for them to reveal it to ‘just anyone.’
Now, here are a few compelling reasons for keeping your due date secret…
“The life of a mother is the life of a child: you are two blossoms on a single branch.”
– Karen Maezen Miller