I know for me the matter of whether or not to hire a birth photographer was a question of great debate before I had my LO. Now that I'm on the other side, I feel compelled to share my experience so it may be a use to other mommies out there on the fence.
This was my first child and my husband and I went back and forth trying to decide if we wanted to invest in a photographer. We were planning on a home birth surrounded by family and loved ones. I was looking forward to a very close, intimate moment and wasn't sure if I wanted some stranger there during it all but I also didn't want those attending to be distracted by having to take photos. We really wanted images of our DS being born and I really wanted a good shot of my husband's face as he became a dad so we finally decided to go with a photographer.
38 hours of labor, 12 of them spent stuck at a 7, I had to be transfered to hospital. I developed an intrauterine infection and had to be sectioned. I. Was. DEVESTATED. Instead of being lovingly received by his family, in our home, bathed in prayer and warm candlelight, my DS was to be cut from my body by strangers in a cold, fluorescent hospital room. I instantly started to regret having paid the money for a photographer. Why would anyone ever want photographs of a moment so terrifying and stressful?
As it would turn out, hiring Deborah and having her photographs was the single most important aspect of my emotional recovery from the birth. And for anyone expecting in the Dallas area this post is as much an endorsement for birth photography as it is for Deborah Francis bc she truely is amazing! I had so much remorse and regret for not being able to push my baby out. I felt like a had failed at my birth and therefore had a hard time looking at the memory with joy...until I saw Deborah's photographs. There was so much energy and enthusiasm in them. Everyone was still so happy and supportive in spite of the circumstances. My family, my husband, ME! We were all elated! I could see now that it hadn't even mattered that we weren't able to be at home, it didn't matter that I had to be sectioned, we had everything that mattered right there in our arms. My beautiful healthy, happy boy! The emotions that Deborah captured for us, our anticipation, our pain, our joy, all of it was so raw and beautiful and told our story so well. Deborah stayed with us the entire time! She even returned on the day we were discharged to take photos of our new little family heading home. Her photographs allowed me to make peace with my birth and have memorialized the single-most important moment of mine and my husband's life.
I know with a new baby on the way it's hard to consider spending money on something that doesn't seem wholly necessary. But trust me, you will NOT regret it! And if you end up in a situation like mine, it may actually end up being very necessary to your peace of mind. There really isn't another time in your life that will be as exciting or as significant, so give yourself the gift of remembering it always. Deborah Francis at DallasBirthPhotography.com is so patient and supportive. I HIGHLY recommend her and her artwork. She gave me just as much love and support as a family member and ended up being the second biggest blessing from my birth (the first of course being my DS born strong and healthy).
I really hope that this post will encourage some of you expecting mommies out there to take the leap and hire a (Deborah!!) photographer. My birth photos are so elegant and have brought me so much joy already. I want that for all of you! Best wishes and happy baby-having!