The image above is one of my favorite photos of all-time. It might not take much to see why but the backstory behind it is why I love working with families like the Headley family. Heather and her husband had a long journey to get to this photo. After suffering multiple heartbreaking losses over the course of several years, this was the rainbow baby of rainbow babies and my focus as both her doula and photographer was to support them through this and celebrate their day.
Originally Heather had planned to have a regular delivery with her team at Special Beginnings, but as the pregnancy progressed it became more obvious that a csection was in her best interests for her and the baby. A "family-centered cesarean" has become a more commonplace practice in the last few years in the birth world. In short, this means the family has more focus and a greater role in the OR. They are able to see the baby be born via a clear drape or a mirror, mom is able to move her arms freely, direct the tone of music or conversation in the delivery room and baby is placed on mom to initiate breastfeeding if she desires. Sometimes, and with increasing frequency, it also means additional support members are permitted into the room such as a doula and photographer. This became our focus as we planned for Heather's delivery and we were grateful for an amazing team of providers that made it happen.
There are so many moments I will never forget from this birth. The atmosphere of the room, the midwife standing to the side for support, the OB excitedly explaining when he had arrived. The care and attention to mom and the celebration that this birth was a very big moment. The most poignant though is captured in that first image. The doctors working, baby happily breastfeeding, dad in complete and total awe and Mom content with her rainbow baby. It is a photo that captures how cesareans should be for every woman and how a birth-day for a baby is truly a birth-day for a family.
Headley family, it was my greatest honor to walk through this journey with you and you will always hold a special place in my heart. Check out Keegan's birth-day video here.