With my baby's first birthday just around the corner, I've been thinking a lot about her birth. At the time, I thought having someone take photos of me in labor, or God forbid, while I was pushing, was weird and I'd never allow it. I mean, I cringe when I watch one of those TLC shows featuring an overzealous father-to-be with a camcorder in his wife's nether-regions and he's all smiles while she screams her head off. All I can think is how much I wish someone would accidentally smack him in the face with a metal bedpan and tell him to slow his roll.
But now when I look back through the pictures of her birthday, I feel a little sad. I wish I had more. I wish they were better. I wish so many of them weren't blurry or dark. I wish we hadn't waited until the absolute last second to get to the hospital and maybe everything wouldn't have felt so chaotic. I wish we hadn't forgotten to get the real camera out of the car in our haste. I wish we had something more than my iPhone. But more than all of that, I wish I didn't have to worry about the pictures. I wish someone had been there, someone who understood photography and about how delicate and impossibly fleeting those first precious moments are. Looking back, I could've spent that time drinking her up instead of asking random nurses if they could please take a photo for us.
I would want someone who would see the things we didn't see, like the half-packed suitcase thrown into the corner of the delivery room, my smeared mascara and those tiny purple-toed socks. I wish I could remember all the little details of laboring at home, like how we managed to use every single bath towel in the house and the glasses of pink Gatorade slushies that were on constant order in the kitchen. I wish I had a picture of Justin flipping through our Bradley Birth book for the signs of transition, and I wish there was a photo of the two of us working so hard to bring our baby out into this world, and a picture of the two of us when it was still just two of us.
Now I know birth photography isn't everyone's thing. Some people are squeamish about drippy babies and blood and IV needles. Some people think it's weird and off-limits and others are like Over-Zealous TLC Dad who want to be front and center...literally. But you know what? Having a baby was the most kick-ass thing I've ever done. I was like a tiger out there, man. I can't wait to do it again.
So I told you all that to tell you this: I'm officially expanding my little business to include birth photography. There. I said it. I feel nervous already. If you, or your best friend, or that lady in your birthing class, or your neighbor up the street, or whoever is ripening up like a flesh melon, find yourself interested in having a sassy photographer-lady hang around to document the best thing you'll ever do, call me. E-mail me. Leave a comment.
Let's rock this party.