One of the things I love most about birth photography is how unique every birthing experience is. Whether you're a first time parent or it's your third time around, every labor and delivery is different, and the stories – and little humans – that come of it are truly priceless.
Back in February, the Hornbuckles welcomed their very first child into this world! As sometimes happens, their birth story went differently than they had hoped, but through it all they had the most amazing support system with the staff at Sister's Hospital and most of all, from their dearest family members. Both the sets of grandparents-to-be, and mom's supportive aunt, cousin (and also best friend), and Nani waited with them at the hospital throughout the bulk of the labor, taking turns checking in and offering encouragement along the way. But I have to say, dad – as you'll see in the photos to come – was such a pillar of strength and support for mom throughout the entire lengthy labor she had. He deserves a medal for dad of the year, 1,000%.
I had the fortunate experience of being with the Hornbuckles to document their labor and delivery over the span of 2 days – plus a bonus extra day – and loved reliving this time with them as I was selecting favorites for this post. I make no apologies for how long this post is, and hope you stick with me through to the end. It's so worth it.
With one of my birth story offerings, I also offer next day coverage. So if you're looking for photos with loved ones meeting baby, or posed photos of your little one, this is something that can absolutely be added to your birth story coverage. Here are a few from my next day with the Hornbuckles!
First-hand feedback from the Hornbuckles about their birth photography experience:
Did you have any hesitations having your labor & delivery photographed, and if so, what were those hesitations? Brian and I had a few hesitations at first about being photographed during birth, because never having been through it before as first time parents, its hard to know what we'd be comfortable with in the delivery room, and sharing photos via your blog is a little scary, as well! But our desire for photos far outweighed the fear of sharing something so personal, and we KNEW you'd be very discreet and easy to work with!
Why was having your baby's birth photographed important to you? Having our baby's birth photographed was important to us because it is one of the most special days of our lives. Bringing a child into the world for the first time is special and I personally knew I'd want to relive the experience, whether good or bad, afterward. I had a feeling I'd be a little distracted (just giving birth, no big deal!) during the whole process and might miss certain things, like the weighing of the baby, etc. After carrying a baby for almost 10 months and going through labor, I knew I'd be sad if I missed seeing my baby's first few minutes of life!
How would you describe your thoughts/reactions to your photos? When I saw the photos, I cried! Because of the medication I had to be on during the labor, I was groggy and didn't remember a LOT of the labor and delivery. I was not expecting to be so out of it the whole time, so I am especially grateful for the photos! Not only of Levi, but the photos of my husband with me and taking care of me are precious.
If you have another baby, would you want birth photography services again or would you recommend me to others? If we have another baby, I would love to have you there to capture the process. I would definitely recommend you to others. You have such a passion and talent for photography, and you are amazing to work with. I'll never forget when the nurse asked you to hold my leg while I was pushing so she could step away, and you immediately put your camera down and held my leg during a contraction! You are both brave and kind!
What does having the photos of your labor & delivery mean to you? The photos mean the world to me! Seeing the whole labor process from an outside perspective was really cool and helped me remember parts that were hazy from medication. I did not expect to be on such serious medication and never imagined my labor and delivery going the way it did. The photos of my son being born are so special, because I could not see straight from the medication. I love looking at them now and they will always be special to me!
Bonus answer: Thank you for taking the time to take photos the next day with our family and friends! It was great to get photos of the grandparents with their first grandchild, and the photos of our son wrapped in his blanket are priceless to us. I was personally grateful to have you back the following day, as I was able to get freshened up and was more alert and myself. Thank you for each and every photo!