A question that is commonly asked by clients who are considering hiring a birth photographer is this: “What if I have a c-section?” I can speak to the question both as a mom who has had one and as someone who offers birth photography. My answer will always be that c-section birth photography is important!
Allow me to take you back to January 25, 2013, the day my daughter Elena was born. I was just under 39 weeks. I went in for acupuncture to help with some of the pregnancy aches and pains I had been experiencing. About halfway through the process, I realized with alarm I had not felt her move in some time. Thank goodness I managed to get her moving, but it was still not her normal pattern.
I went straight to the hospital, expecting them to monitor her for a while, then send me home. In fact, I almost told my husband not to bother with staying with me, because that is how sure I was I would not be there more than a couple hours. At the last minute, I told him to go ahead and stay with me until they confirmed all was well, then the plan was for him to take Liam, who was newly 2 at the time, home.
After no more than 10-15 minutes on the monitors, I knew I would not be going home that night, as her heart rate kept skyrocketing above 260 (she ended up having SVT). The next thing I learned is that I would be having a c-section, and soon. I was feeling so many emotions in that moment – surprise that I would have a baby in such a short time, anxiety about the operation, and then the strongest emotion I felt was anxiety about whether she would be ok, even though they assured me she would.
Everything happened so fast. It was a true whirlwind experience. I had no time to think about photos – all I could think of was our baby’s well-being. My mind kept taking me to those awful “what if” thoughts. Even if I had thought about photos, we had no idea we were having a baby that day, and so I did not have a camera with me.
I am so glad I had hired a birth photographer months prior to document this experience. When I received my slide show of photos several weeks later, I found myself sobbing. While they were sewing me back together, our photographer was capturing all those precious firsts. I had missed so much, and my photographer documented it all. I will be forever grateful to her that we have this gift to keep with us forever. Those pictures are worth so much more than 1,000 words to me.
So should you hire a birth photographer if you think you might have a c-section? Absolutely. Undoubtedly. Don’t even think twice about it. You’ll never regret it.
Since that evening my daughter was born, I’ve had the honor of photographing several c-section births myself. It’s such an incredible experience, and I’m so happy each and every client who hires me has made the choice to preserve some of the best moments of their lives.
Here are a few that I’d love to share with you, so you can see just how beautiful c-section births are.
- Missouri Baptist Hospital Birth – This is a c-section birth story at Missouri Baptist hospital that began with labor.
- Belleville Memorial Hospital Birth – Here you will find another unplanned c-section birth photography story at Belleville Memorial Hospital.
- Ethan’s C-Section Arrival at St. Luke’s – Ethan’s birth was scheduled months in advance. While this meant there was no labor to photograph, it did allow me to show up to capture his St. Luke’s Hospital c-section right around the same time as Ethan’s parents to tell the full story from start to finish.
- Olive Caroline’s Birth Part 2 – This post highlights Olive’s c-section birth story at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.
I hope this has answered any hesitations you may have about hiring a birth photographer for a c-section, even if it’s not one you have planned. If you’re expecting a baby and you are located in the St. Louis, MO or Edwardsville, IL areas, I would love to chat with you about your due date. CLICK HERE to contact me and learn more!