Birth Photography – Baby Sawyer

“When I’m in labor I go inside myself.” -Christina

No spoken words were ever more true.

Everyone has a different labor story and a different experience. Comparisons between them are not fair. But empathy and understanding of birth between women are aplenty.

When Christina (Mom) and I spoke about me being at her birth, she felt great about me being in the room but trepidatious about a few angles that she didn’t want me to capture. Her rules were: no noises, no VJ shots and stay out of the way like a fly on the wall.

When I arrived in the room the morning of her induction, she was in good spirits and quick to laugh, in between her contractions. Paul (Dad) was at the ready if she needed anything from water to a back rub.

Things progressed slowly as they slowly upped her Pitocin levels and just like Christina said, as her contractions hit, she would fall silent and pull into herself, gritting through the pain with her mental energy and internal strength. She tried different methods for laboring including rolling on the ball, leaning over the bed or the blowup horseshoe, but never wavering to almost complete silence as the waves of a new contraction would hit her.

Eventually, she told the nurse between waves of the pain, what needs to happen for me to have an epidural? The nurse contacted the anesthesiologist and they started moving forward with the epidural.

Once the anesthesiologist was in the room and prepping for the needle, they had her lean over the nurse. Her silent battle with the contractions was now being accompanied by a gentle whimper. The nurse told her to arch her back like a camel. When the needle was about to be inserted, Christina abruptly stopped him and said: “STOP, I need to push, I need to push!” Her birthing doctor happened to be passing by and they started calling in nurses. As Christina laid back on the table the RN that had been supporting all day, cried out “I see the head!” Scrambling to put a glove on, she reached out and caught Baby Sawyer’s head and his body quickly slipped out in seconds.

“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers — strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”

—Barbara Katz Rothman