Baby Finn came into the world on June 5, 2015 at the Women's Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, NC.
His fabulous mama, MK, sat down with us to answer some questions about Finn's birth story. We couldn't be more excited to share this post- MK is a childbirth educator and doula with Emerald Doulas- (a wonderful group doing awesome things in the Triangle birth community- go check out their site and give them some love!).
It's always such a privilege to witness and photograph birth, and Kallyn and I are so grateful to have witnessed and photographed Finn's birth. MK and Anthony: thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of this special time in your family's life. We enjoyed every single moment with you- from your maternity session in the spring to your recent at-home documentary session with Kallyn. Thank you for sharing your lives with us!
1. Tell me a little about you and your growing family! Are there any special details unique to your family’s story that you wanted captured during your birth?
I had a friend take some pictures, during and immediately after my first birth. I found these so empowering, reminding me of all the hard work I did, and what a powerful experience it was. The pictures helped me to remember what happened and will help me remember what happened as the years go on, but we only had a few. I wanted my second birth to be documented as well, but in more detail. I also wanted to capture the first moment when my older son met his brother. He was SO excited to have a brother, I want them both to be able to see that moment later.
2. Although it is slowly becoming a trend in The Triangle, hiring a birth photographer is still an unconventional choice. Tell me about your thought process behind your decision to have a photographer present at your birth. Did any one event/person plant a seed of desire in you to hire a birth photographer, or did you always know you wanted to do this? What drew you to The Birth Collective and our style of photography?
As a birth doula and a childbirth educator I really believe that birth is a pivotal moment in our lives as women and as a family. I think birth is beautiful and empowering and that capturing our births in some way and remembering/honoring them is really important. For some folks, just writing down the birth story or their own memories is it, but for me, I really value photography and felt like it would be a really special thing to have.
3. What expectations did you have about your birth experience going into it, and how did you see birth photography fitting into that vision? How did your actual birth experience line up with those expectations?
I didn't have any expectations for my birth, but surprisingly it did end up unfolding exactly as I hoped. A peaceful birth at the Women's Birth and Wellness Center, the midwife that delivered my older son was on call and also was able to deliver Finn. I didn't have expectations for you, just that you would be there a capture the whole thing, no matter how it went. Even if things didn't go as we hoped, I think that having photographs would have helped me to process that experience.
4. What was it like to have a photographer in the room with you during your labor and delivery? Did anything about my presence surprise you?
You were wonderful! You were quietly supportive and matched the mood of the room. If we were laughing, you were too. If I was working hard, you gave me space while still documenting the moment.
5. How did you feel when you first saw the photos?
Grateful. Grateful for the experience, that you were there.
6. What is your favorite moment(s) that I captured?
So many! I love that you captured my husband. He was so supportive through everything and I'll never forget that. It was hard to appreciate fully in the moment though, so seeing those photos afterwards means so much. The last few moments of birth were really intense, and all I remembered was being in pain and wishing it would be over, which made me feel kind of guilty for not thinking only about my baby (ridiculous, I know). But when I saw the pictures I realized that the whole time I was pushing, I was reaching for him. I didn't know I did that, and I would have never known if you hadn't have been there taking pictures.
7. Do you plan on sharing these photos with your child one day?
Definitely! My older son has already seen a lot of them.
8. . Anything else you’d like to add about your birth or birth photography experience?
I value these photos so much, I truly hope that birth photograph is something that other women consider. Giving birth is an unforgettable experiences, but time blurs the details. I'm grateful that these photographs will help us remember our story.