We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Having photographed births for many years, Monet’sMonet Moutrie's work is nothing short of remarkable to behold, from images of contractions as they are happening to photographs of babies literally half-born to fresh-from-the-womb umbilical cord images.
But this time, Monet wasn’t behind the camera. Instead, she was the one giving birth.
Just a few days before welcoming her second daughter into the world, Monet photographed a client’s birth. “I went home feeling relieved and inspired,” she wrote in a blog post on her website.
Soon it would be time to focus on her own labor, with the help of a squad of supporters, including a man she calls "the best." Monet told our site about her husband Ryan, "We're completely blessed to have each other."
I couldn't help but wonder if her day job as a birth photographer colored her experience giving birth. Like, did Monet find herself posing through contractions?
"I wanted to give birth in the daytime, because I love natural light," Monet admitted to BabyCenter. "But other than that...I didn't think AT ALL about the cameras in front of me. Unmedicated labor is such a powerful force that it demands your FULL and COMPLETE attention. I didn't even notice that [my birth photographer] Jennifer was in the room. And I definitely didn't have the strength or energy to pose."
I birthed two babies naturally myself and I agree: The pain drives you out of your mind, and maybe I asked a silly question. In any case, here are the amazing images taken by Monet's friend and birth photographer Jennifer Mason from the day baby Eliza was born, along with more details about the labor and birth as told by Monet.
Monet says the part of her birth story that had the most meaning for her was the part she didn't expect and stood to learn the most from. "Having seen so many births and having had such a quick labor with [my first child] Lucy, I anticipated that this second birth would be fast and easy. I felt strong throughout my pregnancy and I envisioned myself birthing my baby without much support from those around me. Instead, I ended up on the bed with two midwives guiding me as my husband and best friend held my shaking legs up."
She admits at one point she doubted her body's ability to give birth. "Instead, I found myself going to that place of desperation that so many birthing mamas can relate to – a place that you feel like you'll never be able to leave. But it was during those moments that I found a deeper strength then I had previously imagined – a strength that came from community and from loving support. I let go of self-sufficiency and found that I could rest in the arms of my family and friends.”
I love what Monet says next: "That long hour of pushing forced me to connect with my baby. My labor had happened so quickly that I was still in shock when I started pushing. But when I realized she wasn't going to slide out, I found that I needed to remember what I was doing...and who I was doing it for. I placed my hand on my belly and felt her last movements inside of me. I garnered up all that mama-bear strength and pushed harder than I ever thought possible.”
In the end, Monet says about the birth of baby Eliza, “And so I found that this birth was less about me and my individual strength or power. Instead, it was about community, it was about a sisterhood of women who were brave enough to stand with me. It was about my husband and me...the deep love that created this baby was present when we birthed her.”
I guess even a birth photographer can be caught off guard-by the unpredictability of birth. And can find lessons in the moments our bodies and minds are pushed to the limit, all in the name of birth.
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Mason Photography.
This post was originally published in November, 2016.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.