Many hospitals have started to ban the use of cameras in the delivery room, and it’s not because some women who’ve just given birth are wary of seeing their disheveled, hospital-gown clad selves on Facebook. It is in the wake of concerns about these being used as evidence in malpractice suits. A growing number of hospitals, including NYU, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, have begun restricting photography and videography during births. While some parents might cringe at the thought of videotaping or filming the birth of their child, for many it’s a way to hold on to the special moments of delivery for a lifetime. For others, it allows the mom to capture moments she may have missed. Mothers in delivery are thinking about delivering a healthy baby, not the experience. Having pictures allows mom the ability to go back and relive the experience without the pain or fear of unknown.
Birth photography when done right is about the magic and miracle and moment of the birth experience. For Camilla, missing the arrival of her baby ‘button’ was not an option. She enlisted amazing photographer Melina Moore to make sure she didn’t miss a memory in the making. Here in Camilla’s words is more than just her birth story, but the pictures worth more than words.
At about 36 weeks I decided I was officially done being pregnant. Unfortunately Button was no wear baked enough to come out. So after 37 weeks I began to do everything I could to induce labor except caster oil. Yea, that didn’t work. At all. At my 39 week appointment I was done done being pregnant, and realized if I had to go to 40 weeks or beyond some people would probably end up…maimed. It’s not that I wasn’t grateful to be pregnant, but the pregnancy was murderous. Twenty weeks of morning sickness followed by 12 weeks of fatigue and Braxton Hicks, and then 5 weeks of nothing. Seriously no contractions to give me hope, just severe joint and muscle pain. So at that 39 week appointment I had my midwife strip the membranes, and then I went home and walked, bounced on a ball, and other labor inducing methods. The next day, Wednesday, I continued with said procedures, walking around two miles that afternoon and then bouncing on the exercise ball all evening. Around 8:30 my friend on Facebook suggested doing squats. So I did. About 5 minutes later my water broke. Hooray!
I wanted to labor at home for a bit, but because I tested positive for Group B Strep my midwife advised I go in to get on antibiotics because we weren’t sure how fast/slow she would come. I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced at my 39 week appointment and at the hospital. We got to the hospital around 10:30 pm and I was hooked to the monitors. I wanted them to check to be sure it was my water that had broke before they admitted me, but the nurse who was monitoring said “Don’t worry. Your contractions are 3 minutes apart and 1 minute long, so we would have admitted you anyway. “It was strange because all I felt was dull back pain. They hooked me up to penicillin and a low dose of pitocin and after that I could feel the contractions pretty bad. Because I was on antibiotics anyway, I figured there was no reason to not get an epidural so I asked for one pretty much immediately. After I got it they were able to up the pitocin. The epidural wore off twice during the night, on both sides separately. It was horrible at the time, but in retrospect I’m kind of glad just so I could know what the labor pains felt like.
My midwife checked me at 7:15 am after a long night and I had only dilated to a 3+ but was 100% effaced. She was optimistic about the progression, but the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the pep talk about how I would probably need a c-section because of how slow I was progressing. My midwife had to leave to catch a flight later that day, and she was pretty sure I wouldn’t have her till 3 or 4 in the afternoon. She told me the other midwife in the clinic would come check me at 9:00am to see if I had made any progress. So at 7:55ish I sent a text to my friend who was going to photograph that I wouldn’t be checked till 9:00 and we were good. At 8:00am the midwife came in and said she was going to check me then, because she wanted to put monitors in to see what the uterus was actually doing. When she checked me she paused, laughed, and then said, “You’re a ten. You’re going to need to push on the next contraction.” We were all pretty shocked and couldn’t believe I had gone from a 3+ to a 10 in 45 minutes, when I had gone over 8 hours with pretty much nothing. I had felt a ton of pressure but didn’t realize that was what was happening. I frantically had DJ send my friend Melina another text at about 8:02am that said something like, “At a ten” which put poor Melina in an awful spot because she was dropping her kids off. She said she would get there as soon as she could, and the midwife said, “Don’t worry, you’ll be pushing for at least an hour.” We relaxed a bit and got ready to push on the next contraction. I did so and her head was pretty much already crowned. She had made it through the whole birth canal by herself. So there was a flurry of commotion to get the rest of the nurses in there and everything prepared for the birth.
I pushed for a total of eight minutes- about three contractions and she was out. She was born at 8:23 am. It was crazy fast but such a miracle to watch the process on the mirror. The cord was wrapped around her neck, which I was so grateful that she came so fast that it didn’t turn out to be a problem.
They immediately put her on my chest and cleaned her there. She grabbed my finger while she laid there and I think it all hit me. It was all so surreal until there was this living, breathing miniature human being there and well.
They took her to the station to finish cleaning her and Hubs definitely went into protective mode and wouldn’t leave her side. It was great. Her apgar score was a 9. It was so awesome to look over and see Hubs with her and hear her cry. Best sound in the world.
She weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was 19 inches long. They had to weigh her twice because Hubs was really excited and leaned on the scale the first time.
Once she was sufficiently cleaned they brought her back over for me to hold her.
The whole time, from coming out to well after her first bath she was alert and awake. She is so special and we love her so much.
My siblings were in the waiting room so Hubs got to go show her off. There excitement was pretty fun.
Love this picture and the next one SO much…on so many levels. It’s seriously so perfect.
such an awful pregnancy. We are so blessed to be the parents of this little angel and couldn’t be happier. (Even if she does keep us up all hours of the night.)
Birth Photography by Melina Moore Memories.