Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Camera in the Delivery Room + Giveaway

Before I ever even got pregnant, I was completely and totally adamant that I would never photograph or video tape the birth of any of my children. No thank you, that's gross and nobody needs to see that.

Between some beautiful photography on blogs and a story shared by one of the expectant moms in our birthing class, I started to entertain the idea pretty seriously. (Motherhood lesson #1: Never Say Never)

While I never followed through with a photographer, the birth of my daughter was captured on camera (video and photographs) by our Douala. She happened to offer at the very last minute and at that moment I happily agreed to have pictures taken.

A camera in the delivery room is not for everyone. I actually never thought it would be for me, but I'm so glad I did it. If you're wondering whether or not it's for you I have just a few thoughts for you. 

5 Reasons I'm Glad I Had a Camera in the Delivery Room




1.You Just Have No Idea

You have no idea how incredible the whole experience will be until it's happened and it's over. I honestly had no idea how incredible it would be. The moment my daughter was born is one that I still relive several times a day. I find myself incredibly grateful that I can still go back and watch her take her first breath. I can hear her first cries. I can watch them place her on my chest...as many times as I want. There are no words for those moments, no way to truly record them, but pictures come close. 

2. The Little Things
There are little moments from her birth that I may not have remembered or that I'm just glad were caught. Little side conversations were captured as well as the way the resident that delivered JaiseAnn encouraged me.  When she was born, Zach was the one to tell me she was a girl. The joy in his voice was something that I will never forget...and we were lucky enough to catch that. You can't hear it as well as I would hope because of the hustle and bustle of the delivery room, plus the wails of our little girl, but it's there. We also got my mom coming over to look at her, touch her head, and remark that she's cute while crying. She later calls my dad on the phone and while JaiseAnn is crying she says, "Say "Hi" Grandpa!" Those are the little things that I'm so glad we captured.

3. My Body is Amazing
We only have footage of delivering JaiseAnn (none of me laboring, though in hindsight I wish I had that, too) but I am so proud every time I watch that. You can hear a pin drop while I'm pushing, quite literally. The only sound is the encouragement of the resident and maybe a few other people, at other moments it is dead silent. When I noticed that at first I thought it was cool that I was so quiet in the midst of such great pain. But watching it again and again has made it so much more clear to me that my body was a vessel to get JaiseAnn from heaven to earth. The room is filled with such a quiet peace and my body was doing such an incredible thing. I've honestly come to appreciate my body even more from watching that experience.

4. My Daughter Can See It
I will never make my daughter watch her birth, but if she's curious someday and asks, I will absolutely let her watch it. I think it would be neat for her to see the experience and watch the reactions of her dad, mom, and grandmother the day she was born. She can watch me say, "Hi JaiseAnn" to her almost immediately. She can witness herself how she calmed at my touch. She can see the tears pouring out of her dad's eyes while he wipes them away and cuts the chord. If she wants to, she can see all of it. 

5.  Pictures can be Deleted
Right after JaiseAnn was born, I looked at those pictures and was a bit taken aback at how graphic they were. I was surprised that the Douala had taken them as it's not what I was wanting exactly. I didn't need to actually watch her enter the world, but the pictures were of just that. I was recovering, a bit traumatized from some of the events surrounding her birth, and those pictures weren't exactly what I wanted to see. I could have deleted them. Today, though, I'm glad she took them. They could always be deleted later, but I wouldn't have the opportunity to take them again. If you're wondering whether or not I deleted them, the answer is no. I have come accept and love those photos and videos. They are so much more than just graphic birthing images-they are powerful moments captured as Zach and I welcomed our little girl into the world. 

I'm so glad that in those moments before our daughter was born, our Douala asked if we wanted pictures and I'm even more grateful that I agreed. I didn't have time to over-think 0r  over-analyze. I'm also glad that Zach and I had invested in a DSLR camera after we found out we were pregnant. The pictures that were captured are clear, pristine even, and they capture the moment far better than a point and click camera would have.

Lucky for you these bloggers and I are giving away a DSLR (a Canon Rebel T3i to be exact) to one of you!
Win a brand new Canon Rebel T3i!
The giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on July 24th until 11:59 pm EST on July 30th. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only–sorry international friends! Please be honest with your entries because no one likes a cheater. Good luck, and be sure to visit the other bloggers who helped bring you this opportunity and give them a big "THANKS!" :)

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