by Mary Fischer
The birth of our children is one of, if not the most significant moments in our lives, which is why it's only natural for us to want to commemorate the experience by taking pictures.
But there are some couples who are going one step further than whipping out their digital cameras. The practice of hiring a birth photographer seems to be on the rise, proving that there are some things people just don't consider sacred anymore.
And when I say birth photographer, I'm not talking about a nice lady who comes in and takes pics of you holding your newborn baby and looking all happy and glowing. Nope. Birth photographers snap shots of the entire process -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Yikes.)
As you will see in the video clip below, some couples want to be able to see a play-by-play of the entire birth, which is why they let photographers take upwards of 600-900 photos from the time they check into the hospital until the time the baby is born.
Ok, am I the only one who finds birth photography more than a little bit invasive -- and kind of creepy?
When I gave birth to my son, I wouldn't even let my own husband take pictures of the actual labor and delivery process. Ok, so maybe there were one or two shots of me lying there in the bed hooked up to the monitor giving a big ole' thumbs up before the pitocin really kicked in, but after that? There was no way in hell I wanted any sort of camera within a good 100 feet of me.
I was in excrutiating pain. I was sweating. I was whining. And right before my little guy made his entrance into the world, the doctor informed me that she was going to have to perform an episiotomy because I was about to "tear up top," which is apparently really bad. Um, why on earth would I want to relive any of those horrific moments by having them captured on film? It was bad enough experiencing it once, let alone having a permanent reminder of how much my body went through during 24 hours of labor.
After I was all stitched up and my baby was placed in my arms, I finally let the camera come out again. But the only person taking pictures was my husband -- which is the way it should be.
Back to the birth photographer thing. If snapping shots of the birth isn't bad enough, the fact that a total stranger is doing it is what really weirds me out about this trend. Giving birth is so private and intimate, and it just seems so strange to want someone you barely know in the room getting up close and personal.
But then again, everyone is different, and I guess some parents see hiring a birth photographer as a blessing, since they are able to capture moments that wouldn't be possible to see otherwise.
To each his own, but personally, I really believe not every single experience in life is meant to be shared with anyone and everyone. When it comes to privacy, I draw the line with random people capturing me in my most vulnerable and emotional state.
Would you hire a birth photographer?