I'll never forget the first time I was asked to photograph a cesarean birth. I was so nervous when the day came. I got to the hospital to meet mom and dad. The nurses gave me a suit, hat, shoe covers, and a mask. I was sweating. "What if I mess up?" "What if I don't get my settings right and miss the birth?" "What if I pass out?" "OH MY GOSH! WHAT IF I PASS OUT?" (I didn't...)
I stepped into an OR and within minutes, baby was here. It was magical. I cried. I could not believe how beautiful the whole experience was.
I have since been allowed into the OR 10 times for 14 of my cesarean birth clients and every. single. one. is beautiful in its own way. I decided to create a blog in honor of Cesarean Awareness month. I compiled a list of 25 of my favorite cesarean birth images from over the years and interviewed some mothers on their thoughts about their experiences. I hope you're able to see just how amazing and beautiful the journey is.
What is something you wish you would have known prior to having your cesarean?
"That it is natural. I heard it described as a last option, when everything else failed, and was something you worried about... but just not now, only when it happened. But after having an emergent c-section, a VBAC, and an elective c-section - I see that it is just another tool and that tons of women have them. There is nothing "unnatural" about bringing a life into this world. No matter how you do it." -Victoria
"That it is major abdominal surgery and that you will still bleed! I for some reason thought they would take it all out when they did the surgery!" -Kim
"That I'd have a Foley catheter for 24 hours after! Yuck!" -Elisabeth
"That you have to go into the OR by yourself, get up on the table by yourself, let them administer the anesthesia while you're by yourself, lay down on the table while nurses and doctors are setting up for the surgery...all by yourself. That the best feeling in the world is when your significant other is finally allowed in to hold your hand." -Anonymous
What is a common misconception about cesarean births?
"That we want them and they are easy! It had to be the HARDEST thing I have ever done! The mental challenges you go through are a whirlwind. Imagine having a beautiful healthy baby and you can't pick them up. You have to have help to do everything! My husband had to help me go to the bathroom and everything in between. It was the moment I realized what true love was - a man who will change your pad and help you with your leaking boobs and be compassionate as you go through the most emotional and painful time in your entire life - is a keeper!" -Kim
"That it's easy. There is nothing easy about being cut open and recovering from major abdominal surgery all the while taking care of a newborn." -Anonymous
"That it is less than a vaginal birth. I've been fortunate to experience both "sides"/methods and they are both beautiful and they are both a mom doing what is best for her and her baby." -Victoria
"That it's the easy way out when it comes to childbirth. There is a ton more physical and emotional healing that comes with it!" -Aurora
"That you end up with a hideous scar. Mine's flat as a word and super low. My OB is a ninja in the OR." -Elisabeth
What is one thing you wish people knew?
"That I wasn't disappointed or felt like my birth experience was any less because I had a cesarean. Women often give me a sad face when I tell them my son's were delivered by c-section. I wouldn't change a thing about their deliveries." -Elisabeth
"We don't want to have to justify or explain our c-sections. We birthed a baby...period. We don't ask "oh why did your baby come out of your vagina?" At the end of the day we had a baby and are mothers!" -Kim
"I'll never get the experience of birthing a baby vaginally. Yes I'm happy that my babies all came out healthy and so did I, but it's still the loss of the experience that I need to grieve over. Please allow me that." -Anonymous
"Birth is what you make it. It is one of the first things you do as a mother. You have choices to make through listening to others, gathering information, but ultimately doing what you feel is best. That's all you can do - what is best for YOU!" -Victoria
"It's still giving birth! It's one the most difficult, selfless, emotional, and rewarding things!" -Aurora
Any advice for future cesarean birth mamas?
"If you get the chance, get a mirror or a clear drape so that you can see your sweet baby be born! It is the most amazing thing to see!!" -Aurora
"Hire a doula and a birth photographer - treat your c-section like a vaginal birth. At the end of the day it is a birth and you deserve it!" -Kim
"It'll be ok. It's not easy, but this is your story. This is your baby's birth story." -Anonymous
"Two words, abdominal binder!" -Elisabeth
"You are doing a wonderful job momma! Sometimes it may not feel like it but you are. You are there and you are trying. That's all anyone can do. Try. Try. And try again.
And sometimes have a glass of wine after they go to bed. "-Victoria
A special thank you to all of my clients that have allowed me to document such a special time in your life.
HUGE thank you to the those that opened up to me and helped with this post.
Love you all!
Brittany Brooks Photography specializes in maternity, birth, and
newborn photography and videography.
Offering services in San Antonio, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Schertz, Live Oak, Cibolo, Wind Crest, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas.
To find more out about our sessions, please contact us.
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