Emmett's birth- Cincinnati birth photographer
After the birth of my daughter in 2011, and becoming a new mom with a screaming baby (she had colic), and being alone much of the day, I turned to social media. I found solace in a group of women on Instagram, of all places, and if you asked me how it happened, I honestly couldn't tell you. Kim was one of the first people that I became "friends" with on Instagram. We had daughters close in age and we eventually discovered that we lived in the same county. Since then we have met up at the zoo, I attended her son's first birthday party, and we've met at the park. It's crazy how something like Instagram can have such an impact.
I remember when Kim announced on Instagram that she was pregnant. I congratulated her and I looked forward to all of the "real" posts that were sure to come about her last pregnancy. She doesn't sugar coat life. On social media it is very easy to create this facade of a perfect life and a perfect family. She jokingly calls herself Mary Poppins and I admire how open and honest she is about motherhood and the struggles that most mothers face, but are too afraid to open up about. Needless to say, when she asked me if I'd be interested in photographing her birth, I said yes!
This was Kim's fourth and final pregnancy. What made it even more exciting was that she and her husband planned to leave the baby's sex a surprise, until birth. All three of her previous children had been natural, medication free, births, and that was her original plan for this birth. Life has a way of throwing us a curve ball when we think we have things all figured out. Baby number four had been breech leading up to the delivery and a few days before delivery, Kim unexpectedly woke up with a detached retina. The doctors decided that a c-section would be the best option.
The day of the scheduled c-section I met Kim and her husband, Rusty, at the hospital. We weren't even sure if I would be allowed to go back with them. Thankfully, the doctor and the nurses were all on board with me photographing the c-section and eventually, the anesthesiologist hopped on board with them. I was so excited! I got to wear the official scrubs and wait in the hallway to go in with Rusty. It was exhilarating. Rusty and I sat out in the hallway talking away, I think we were both nervous, but it was nice to be able to get to know him a little better. Cara, Kim's friend and the labor and delivery nurse, came out and told us it was time to go back.
When we got into the operating room I did my best to stay out of the way. I assumed that I would have to stand up near Kim's head and would, for the most part, be photographing her reaction to the birth and then follow the baby from there to the scale. However, they set up a stool for me to stand near her feet. I had full view of the actual surgery. I'll admit this was the first human surgery I witnessed (I used to work at a vet's office and have seen animal surgery), and while I didn't think I'd be grossed out, I worried my nerves might get to me. I stood there ready to capture the baby's first moment's earth side.
I am grateful for this experience and humbled that I was able to be present. I have two children of my own, but it is something magical to experience a birth from the other side. I will let the photos speak for themselves.
World, I am pleased to introduce you to Emmett Douglas.