Naomi’s birth was hard. Everything about it was different from my previous labors, which we later attributed to the arrival of her hand with her face. In the past, I’ve rushed to get the birth story down on paper. To remember every detail. But I had to force myself to write anything about this one. I didn’t want to remember. I felt traumatized and maybe a little bit ashamed that I hadn’t been in control the way I wanted. My friend Brittni offered to photograph the birth way back when I first told her I was pregnant. I’m so glad she did because I literally clutched to Dave for the last two hours of labor and he wasn’t able to film or photograph anything. And also because when she sent me the images, I felt slapped in the face with the raw power of birth. Her pictures helped to heal my trauma.
I know plenty of people think it’s weird to share birth photos. But besides the fact that I am weird, I think there’s power in sharing and witnessing instinctual strength and vulnerability. And so instead of a birth story, I offer a photo essay: