A Second Cesarean Birth at Good Samaritan
And cesarean births can brim with just as much emotion and anticipation as any other type of birth story. The waiting, the longing, the fear, the strength…it’s all there.
I had the immense honor of photographing both of this family’s birth stories. With her oldest, a cesarean birth became the best and safest option after days of labor at home. The decision to transfer wasn’t made lightly, and after the surgery, we all realized that it truly was a needed surgery. With her second, we arrived at Good Samaritan on a cold and snowy morning, where we all waited to meet this precious new baby. As sometime happens, surgery got delayed for a couple of hours, which only gave us more time to process what was about to unfold (although I think we all were ready to go back by the time we got the go ahead!)
I love this birth for many reasons - but there is something so remarkable about the the breadth of human emotion these images contain. You can see so much in her face as we waited to go back into the OR - a process that so many parents can relate to…the letting go of one phase of life/parenthood so that you can begin another. And then when she meets her baby - such peace and relief and love.
I’ll say it a thousand times: cesarean families, you are so very brave, and so very strong. Your stories are captivating, and I’m so glad I get to capture some of them.
Also: many of you ask me how I’m able to document cesarean births. Because across the country and the world, the Operating Room is not always welcoming to photographers. The answer is ADVOCATE. When birthing people begin to state what they want and need during their birth stories, change is possible. But it requires countless people standing up and reminding hospitals that polices CAN and DO change.
Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that husbands/partners weren’t even allowed back into labor rooms! A trained and professional birth photographer knows how to move about in the OR in ways that are safe and appropriate. We’re able to capture moments that the birthing person often can’t see…moments that many parents WANT to remember. Of course, there are always situations where it’s not possible to have additional support back in the OR. Emergencies do happen, and we always want mom and baby to be safe. But for the majority of cesarean births - photography by a professional birth photographer should be an option. These images help so many people process and understand their stories.
We must continue to advocate for ourselves, for our friends, and for our children.