I haven't been doing birth photography for very long, but I've been immersed in this world long enough to know how rare it is that a photographer is allowed into the OR for a c-section. I feel as though I've been given a very precious gift with capturing this birth, one that I certainly can't keep to myself.
I believe with every fiber of my soul that this birth will empower women in the future who either must make the choice to have a c-section, or they must go into one unplanned. Momma's - there is nothing less beautiful or less real about a cesarean as compared to natural birth. And even though you may have to let go of your birth plans and dreams for your delivery, I also want you to know that a c-section can be equally as empowering.
I can't say enough about the incredible birth team that worked with Nancy and her husband, Robert. I've never witnessed a team of nurses and doctors so supportive of her desires. While documenting this time for them, I never once witnessed a single person try to make this about their own agenda. It was 100% about Nancy and her family. I loved that! She delivered at Integris Edmond with Dr. Schlinke. And again, can't say enough good things about him! Ladies, if you are having a c-section and desire for those moments to be captured by a professional photographer, this is your doctor!
Hazel was the first to arrive, with Mabel arriving just a minute later. After getting cleaned up the doctors quickly brought the girls over for skin to skin time with momma. Yes, skin to skin while still on the operating table! A doctor helped Nancy hold Hazel on one side, while her husband held Mabel on the other side. Hazel ended up nursing for quite some time while still in the OR. Unfortunately Mabel needed some extra attention to help with breathing and didn't get to stay with momma for long. She ended up spending a few days in a special care nursery (from what I understand, it's not quite a full on NICU). Both girls have now been home a little over a week and the family is adjusting and doing great.
Nancy & Robert - thank you from the bottom of my heart. You trusted me and believed in me (probably secretly hoping I wouldn't pass out at the sight of blood!) and for that I am grateful. I am so thrilled you've been given two sweet little gifts, and I pray that the days ahead are filled with overwhelming joy. Give those girls extra snuggles for me ;-)
Do you know someone who is expecting a baby and think they might want beautiful photos of their little one's delivery? I would absolutely love if you would share this story with them and spread the word.
Just a fair warning, not much is held back here. I have permission from Nancy to share the full story, so it's about to get real. Enjoy :)