Hindsight is 20/20. When I had my (2) children, I never even considered a birth photographer. I'm sure they existed, but in the area we lived in it was unheard of. Plus, at the time, I was pretty non crunchy about birth and just wanted to cook the kiddos and be done with it- no birth plans or thoughts about natural anything.
Now that it's been almost 5 years since I had my youngest, my views on a lot of things have evolved. I really really do with I had had documentation, especially for my first. If we ever decided to add another one to the line up you bet I'll have a photographer!
For my first child, I wasn't expecting to be in labor. I wasn't all the way prepared to welcome her home, it was the night of my baby shower and two weeks early, and my "Braxton hicks" got worse.. and worse.. and worse all night. I labored at home on a leaky air mattress until around 7 am when I decided it had to be real and it was time to go to the hospital. When we arrived I was already dilated to 7cm. They did a spinal block, which effectively brought everything to a screeching HALT for 3 hours. Around 2pm, when I could definitely feel everything again, it was go time. 30 or so minutes later she made her entrance into the world, sunny side up, at 7 lbs 7 oz. It took a few days to really sink in that I was officially a mom and had a little minion dependent on me.
I have ZERO photos of me pregnant, and only a handful of her as a newborn. I have a few from 1 year on, though, but what I would give to jump back in time and document the little things with a half decent camera.
With my second, I half expected another early arrival. Nope. My due date came.. and went. At 10 days over, my doctor suggested I be induced or schedule a C Section, although there wasn't any real danger of waiting any longer. I was ready to be not pregnant again, and remembering my hectic labor and painful episiotomy I opted for the C Sec.
I was so lucky. It was a breeze, I regained feeling quicker than normal, I was able to get up fairly soon. I was super mom. I recall doing laundry and chores four days postpartum. (Knowing what I know now, I'd like to tell myself to SLOW DOWN and enjoy snuggling with a newborn, lol). We breastfed and everything went great. Thankfully, my mother-in-law, mom, and a slew of family and friends were around to take some photos this time. By now, in 2011, cellphones with cameras were in everyones pocket and I was facebook savy, making documentation a little easier. It's nothing like the birth photography I admire or try to provide to my clients, but it did make a HUGE difference, having something vs having nothing.
GUYS. No matter how many children you have, each one only happens once, and it's ALWAYS going to be different and unpredictable. Having a birth photographer will help you relax and focus on the more important task- having a baby! :) My personal experience has made me realize how AMAZING and awesome documenting birth can be.
Have you had your birth photographed, or do you plan to? I'd love to hear your birth stories!