Just two and a half weeks ago I had the opportunity to document an event I never thought I would have the chance to photograph. And in all honesty, I never thought I would WANT to photograph this type of life event. A birth. When my second shooter Carrie asked me several months ago if I would photograph the birth of her baby, I immediately said yes, of course I would do it – she was my friend and I wanted to help her out. I knew that technically I could accomplish the task, but still part of me over the next few months was like, “Wow, am I really going to do this?” I mean, I’m a Mom, I have a 10-year-old son. I’ve been through childbirth. But I was always frightened of it – I think I still am. Before having my son, I wasn’t even sure I wanted a child. But not because I didn’t like children. I LOVE children, I grew up dreaming of being a teacher, loved babysitting little ones, and taught preschool for a few years before pursuing photography full time. I just did not necessarily want to HAVE the child. I didn’t want to go through childbirth. And even when I delivered my son, I wanted nothing to do with having a mirror to witness the actual birth. I could really care less to see it all happening. So the idea of being in the room and taking pictures of someone else having a child, well it was a little daunting.
Carrie’s due date fell on Aug. 2nd, a date I had double booked weddings, and even though as the weeks drew closer to the due date and Carrie was scheduled for a July 26th induction I was still nervous I would not make the delivery. That was my son’s birthday party weekend and we had family in town. Luckily, Carrie went into labor on her own two weeks earlier than her due date, and one week earlier than her scheduled induction. She was able to have a natural childbirth like she dreamed of, and I was totally free from obligations and available to be with her and her husband in the delivery room that Sunday. It was definitely God’s perfect timing.
Now here comes the part where the words just escape me. I thought I was doing Carrie and her husband, Jeremy, a favor. I was providing them with something they would cherish forever, a documentation of the first time they met their baby and the road to that meeting. But instead, it was the two of them that gave me something so much more than words can describe. In that delivery room, I saw pure, raw emotions. I witnessed excruciating pain, unwavering love and commitment, patience, concern, fear, relief and most of all a joy like you just don’t see every day. I witnessed a kind and patient midwife guiding a couple into becoming a family, a loving father delivering his baby boy, a relieved mother staring in awe as her baby nursed for the first time. It was a true blessing to have been part of those precious moments, to be capturing the emotions that swirled through the room in those hours.
This is just one of the many reasons that photography is so important to me. While I cannot fully put into words how this day affected me, there are the images that show the complete emotions of the day. The images can be my words, they can be the mother’s and father’s words. They convey the true intensity of Abrams’ arrival.