To clarify, a Birth Story is a session including photo and video documentation of the times leading up to, during, and after the birth of a child.
I have been pushing Birth Stories lately. Why? Because I LOVE BIRTH STORIES. Real moments, real relationships, real emotions, and a lot of them! I love everything about birth stories. But I keep getting the same responses: “You want to photograph/video while I am in labor?!” & “I just don’t know if that is the kind of thing I want.” & “What would I ever do with those photos? I am not going to hang them on my wall.” & “I really don’t think you’ll want to video me while I am in labor.” & “Won’t that be gross?”
Was that gross? Was it unflattering? Did you cry? I did, and I have watched that video about 206 times. Make that 207. Would you show this to your child? Now let’s get to the point–>
5 Reasons for a Birth Story
1. The birth of a child is one of the most important, life changing days in the parent’s life.
Do you know anyone who didn’t hire a photographer for their wedding day? No? Why? Because everyone knows that it is an incredibly special day, and you want to document every moment of it.
The two most important days in my life have been the day I was married and the day I had my son. Why wouldn’t I hire a photographer for both?
Reason number one for a Birth Story is because the birth of your child is one of the most important days of your life.
2. The pregnancy and day you deliver will go by quickly.
You know why else people hire a photographer for their wedding day? Because they are typically so preoccupied with everything to focus on the little sentimental things that are happening. Even if they are not too preoccupied, there are so many things happening that some are bound to be forgotten. That is, until they see the photos and remember the hilarious conversation they had with Uncle Bob.
If you are or have been pregnant, you may disagree with me on this point. I know I would have disagreed that it all goes by quickly when I was 9 months pregnant! I promise you this is a valid point. The pregnancy will be over before you know it, and you will want to have documentation of it, even if it was a horrible pregnancy. The delivery day, even if you pushed for 18 hours, will go by quickly as well. There will be special moments between you and your husband, your mom, your sister, or whoever else is there to witness the entrance of a new family member. Those moments may be easily forgotten or overlooked.
I will never forget that right after my c-section I was trembling, I was told it was normal, but it was still a little unnerving. Everyone else was paying attention to my son, and I am glad they were. But my sister sat next to me, she let me rest my head on her shoulder, and she held my hand. This calmed down the trembling and made me feel so much better. I will also always remember my mom’s face when she held her first grand baby.
3. Kids grow up FAST!
Guess what, my son is already 4! FOUR-YEARS-OLD! When did this happen? He is a little man already. And I tell you what, the older he gets, the worst my memory gets. I’m going to blame it on mom-brain, yep that sounds about right. No, after four years mom-brain does not go away. I want to remember everything as he grows up. I want to cherish it in the moment, then reflect on it later. I really do not want to forget.
Reason number three for a Birth Story is because kids grow like weeds, and we don’t want to forget the life we are sharing with them.
4. Kids love to hear their own birth story.
My wedding day and the day I had my son are the two days I still tell stories about. I tell the stories of these days to everyone! But I have one fan in particular, who especially enjoys hearing them over and over again. You guessed it, my biggest fan–> my son. We have this little album of photos that my sister-in-law, Rachel, took for my birth story. He loves to look at the photos while I tell him the story. I think it is so sweet how he always stops on the photo where his Daddy held him for the first time. It is priceless. These are moments my son will never remember, but he can see the evidence of them. The look of awe, love, excitement, joy, and every other emotion you can imagine on a new dad’s face while holding his son for the first time. Goodness, I am crying just typing this!
Reason number 4 for a Birth Story is so that you can illustrate the story that you will tell your child 100+ times.
5. To document your family history.
From the time we are able, we start to document our lives because we understand the value of family history. Family history that shares relationships, moments, and the seasons in our lives that shape us into who we are and shape our children into who they will become.
Some people document by journaling, others video blogging. I personally try to be well rounded with how I document. I journal, blog, take home videos, and LOTS of photos! I want my child to be able to read, see, and hear his story. To journal is to give your child a look into your thoughts about them, it is very intimate. A photograph will freeze a moment, often giving an image to a memory. And a video tells it differently, setting the scene, showing the anticipation, and hearing words like “I love you”.
My mom wrote letters to me in a journal for the first two years of my life. She told me about things I was doing and things she was praying for me. Like praying that God would provide a good husband for me, check! Prayer answered! He is above and beyond “a good husband”. Thank you God! No photo could compare to how special that journal is to me. But the history the journal provides is completed with photos that show my mother loving on me. I would love to see a photo of my mother holding me for the first time. I would love to see the way she looked at me. It would not bother me in the slightest bit if she had no makeup on, or if her hair was a mess.
Reason number five for a Birth Story is to provide a well rounded family history for future generations.
Are you giving your child/children a complete, well rounded, history of the events and daily moments that are shaping them into who they will become? Will you be able to share with them details about little moments that seemed so insignificant but became a favorite memory? Will you remember everything?