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Mama's Do Have Favorites.

It's been 4 years since I started this journey of birth photography. I am grateful to all the families who have allowed me to be a part of their birth stories. It's changed my whole life. And I hope my photos change theirs. To celebrate these past 4 years I've decided to start this blogging project and you can learn more about me and the work I do at Acorn and Oak. For my maiden blog I asked a few mothers I've worked with to share their favorite birth photos along with an explanation for why it is their favorite. I was really surprised by their responses!

Jean: Do you ever look at a photo and the image itself brings you right back into that moment? Your eyes start to swell and your heart just skips a beat. Well that happens to me every time I see this photo. I see the proudest big brother, who after staying awake all night can't take his eyes off his baby sister. I see a husband who's in awe of his wife's strength and determination. I see a couple who just came together to bring a beautiful baby girl into this world. But its not only what I see in this photo, its what I can feel. I feel love, I feel strength, I feel power, I feel peace. . . I feel, complete . . . This, this is the moment my family became whole.

Kristen: "After looking and reflecting on all the images again. I would have to say this is my favorite one because it captures the first moments after Blake was born so perfectly. I can see the feeling of relief but also the "birth high" on my face. It is something no other experience will ever replicate. Blake's birth was by far my most difficult labor and had me filled with feelings of not being able to manage it much longer because of the back to back contractions and pitocin. But in this moment I was filled with relief and so glad that I DID do it and my healthy little guy was finally on my chest. This was the moment I worked towards my whole labor and dreamed about in the months leading up to it."

Megan: "Choosing a favorite photo was almost an impossible task - there are so many that captured such special moments from each stage of our labor and birth. However; this particular photo is one of my favorites because it so accurately depicts how I successfully birth. I am in a comfortable atmosphere free to roam and move as needed. I am in my own clothing and there is a table in the background with snacks on it that I frequently would eat from during even the most difficult contractions. My husband close by, but staying in the background where I really prefer him to be until I ask. My daughter observing while being cared for by with my sister. My doula by my side the entire time to provide physical and emotional support as needed. Each individual respectfully giving me the space I required - being exactly who I needed them to be. (The only person you can't see is Naomi, who we wouldn't birth without.) Being in a safe space with safe people are such crucial element of having a normal, quick and easy birth and I'm so happy Naomi was able to capture that in one photo for us."

Kim: When I look at this picture it brings the rare harsh emotions of that moment rushing back. To many it looks likes like the birth team having a simple conversation except to me its that very moment when all my hopes and dreams about my birth came crashing down around me. This was the very moment when I was told that I would require my 2nd Emergency Section. I know it seems weird why such a picture of negative ( to me time ) point in my birth would be my favorite picture and this I will never be able to put into words. I endured so much that night fought so hard with very minimal support and no one believing in me but me. This pictures shows defeat but in that defeat it taught me some incredible lessons about myself.

Andrea: "I had just become a mother for the first time. I laboured hard for almost 7 hour on a pitocin drip. I was still in the first minutes of it sinking in, that this new human belonged to me and he was our sole responsibility for the rest of our lives."

Megan: "This photo was taken just moments before my son was born. I was in the thick of hard labor and my doula leaned down to kiss my forehead. I have no recollection of this moment. To me; it represents the unique relationship my doula and I have but also her divine ability to cater to my needs, creating moments and space that I needed in that exact moment. "

Loralee: "They say it takes a village to raise a child. After we lost our baby girl, it took a village to get me to the point of having another baby. These amazing individuals are a huge part of the village which helped me get to this point."

Rachael: "Awe. Wonder. Coming together. Overwhelming love. That's what I see when I look at this photo from the birth of my son. It captures everything important that moment held. I love the way it shows the reactions on our faces from seconds after he entered the world earthside. I also love that it displays all of the newborn yumminess we crave for 40 weeks. That first cry, those tiny toes and tiny hands, the vernix from his body, the bright cord still attaching him to me. The photo captures all sorts of magic that I never want to forget."

Amanda: "This is one of my favourite birth photos because you can see the love and excitement in her eyes while looking at her brother, something she had been waiting a long time for." Thank you to all the mama's who shared their favorites and the stories behind them. I am always grateful to the families who are willing to share such sacred moments with the world. <3 - Naomi

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