“My mother groaned, my father wept,
into the dangerous world I leapt.”
― William Blake
Someone once asked me why I would want the most painful, messiest, intimate experience of my life photographed. My answer? "Because of that precisely."
Your child will only be born once. People are often quick to start snapping pictures of their baby the second it arrives earthside, but what about the journey? Isn't that just as important?
To me, photographs are personal. When I was younger I was told by my doctor that I was predisposed to have Alzheimer's. Just like my great grandmother, and grandmother and now as a grown adult I watch my mother creeping into early stages. Ever since I heard those words I thought of one thing. Pictures. To me, I want my life captured on film. I want to know someday, when I can't remember how to tie my shoes, that people loved me, and I laughed, I cried, I brought babies into this world like a warrior. I wish I could put every single second in an album, but I at least try to capture a little each day.
When I give birth, there's so much emotion that it's often a twilight memory in the back of my mind. I will remember it "hurt", I may remember the time, I may remember bits and pieces but most of it will be fogged by nature. The will to forget it what drives us to give birth again. I want to have photographs to capture everything I may let slip my mind. I want it raw.
You grow this human inside you and you are one. Labor is a journey to meet someone you are already in love with. Riding the waves, embracing the pain, raw and primal...beautiful.
For my homebirth I knew I wanted intimacy. With only my husband and midwife present, I didn't want one of them to be focused on taking pictures. I wanted my husband there beside me, holding my hand through the journey. Making his own memories. That is when I contacted Sara Dragman. Upon speaking with her for the first time I knew she was the one.
She came swiftly after she got the call. Like a fly on the wall she was present but I was none the wiser. She was respectful and patient. She captured me looking like a godess bringing life into the world.
My son is 3 months old and the memory of that night is already beginning to fade, but the photographs that Sara took will last forever. Someday when he is older, I will show him his journey on film. I will show his children.
Birth is beautiful. Capture it. Embrace it. Treasure it.
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