In the very early hours of the morning at Highland Hospital in Rochester, NY, the Baumler's welcomed their beautiful baby girl into this world surrounded by so much love and support from family and friends. At that time, it was my longest birth coverage, but in those 20 hours of photographing Shaunna + Jon's birth story, my appreciation for everything women go through during pregnancy – especially during the delivery – sky-rocketed.
I've always known and felt that women – regardless of whether or not they have babies – are amazing. But with every birth I photograph, the greater appreciation I gain for women and the more passionate I become to share their stories. From smaller-ish things like changing eating/drinking habits to bigger things like sharing a body with another human (or two, three, etc), many women give up a lot just to carry and take on the responsibility of growing a child. And then, when it comes time to deliver, somehow women muster up the strength and courage to push through all the excruciating pain, or to endure the pain of being cut open for a c-section – all to bring that life into this world. I almost pass out getting blood taken for goodness sake, and here there are women like Shaunna breathing through all the pain, bringing new life into this world each and every day. Of course, they don't do it alone – thank goodness for strong support systems (like husbands, family members, labor and delivery nurses, doulas, midwives and doctors) who help women through the toughest parts delivery. But even with all the support, may we never forget that behind each new adorable baby and new family, is an incredibly strong woman who endured a lot of changes and pain to become a mother herself or to give someone else the opportunity to be a child's mother.
Women (like Shaunna) who have chosen to bring a child into this world are a huge inspiration to me and it is such an honor to document their unique labor & delivery experiences. I love being a part of birth stories for the mother's especially – so that they can relive the moment of birth that they will likely be in too much pain to remember. But also so they may never forget the beauty of their individual strength.