I believe childbirth is the most beautiful, magical, raw, physiological event there is. Uncultivated. Absolute. The eternal colliding with the temporal. The ushering forth of a soul. The emergence of a Mother; the installation of a Father; the establishment of a family.
She, above all, should be honoured, validated, cherished, praised, supported, loved.
I am passionate about empowering women through documentary birth photography. I see plainly how this medium is shifting our culture's collective view of what birth truly is; not what Hollywood would have us believe, not what our worst fears anticipate, not some insurmountable task to which womankind is doomed. Rather, we as a society are learning to see childbirth as something transformative.
Birth is the fusion of the ordinary and the extraordinary. At once commonplace and completely miraculous. Women have been giving birth successfully for millennia, and yet it remains one of modern life's greatest mysteries. Something unseen; a pathology to be cured. This medium is changing that by reminding women of their ability and capacity to birth their children. To birth without fear.
Hospital, home, birth centre, the forest - wherever. Medicated or unmedicated, vaginal or caesarean. I believe that childbirth is momentous and sacred, and it's implications far reaching. The integrity of her support team, the nature of her preparation, her understanding of her body all contribute to her confidence in the birth space and her competency as a mother. But I believe that images of birth, all types of birth, remind us that the task to which we have been called, as childbearers, is doable.
Of course it cannot all be planned nor every outcome foreseen. If birth is anything, it is unpredictable. And that requires something else from the mother; the ability to flex, to bend and heave with the flow of an unpredictable labour. To lean into that uncertainty, trust in her own ability, but also surrender to the discomfort of the unknown.
However it unfolds, birth matters. Your birth experience matters. We will never forget the way we were made to feel while giving birth. As the birthing woman, it matters that you are informed. It matters that you participate. It matters that you are heard. It matters that you are seen.
It is the surrender of self for the sake of another. The sacrifice of ones comfort, of ones flesh for the survival of someone else. What virtue is found in that inimitable surrender; what beauty in that sacrifice!
Birth Photography is a mirror wielded to show a woman the power in her surrender; to remind her of the sacrifice, to commemorate the new life she brought forth. It memorializes the very moment she became: Mother.