I've been watching you these past few hours. My camera rests beside me as I watch you sink deep into a moment of quiet - a brief break between contractions.
Mama, you hired me for a thousand different reasons. The look on your partner's face when he or she firsts sees your child. Your placenta with it's intricate veins. The cord that connects you to this child you already love deeper and richer than words can convey. You want pictures of their first breath, their tiny fists, their feet pressed up against ink and paper. And I sit in this room with you so that I can capture those moments. Priceless moments that you'll want to relive again and again.
But can I tell you that the most beautiful image in this room is YOU. Birth becomes YOU. It transforms you with its pain into a goddess that is more powerful and more fragile than any depiction of the feminine that I've seen. I am in awe of your beauty, and each time I pick up my camera, I find another angle, another perspective, another confirmation of this truth: birth becomes you.
I see a peace and tranquility previously unmatched.
There is such beauty in vulnerability, and I watch you melt into the arms and hearts of those that love you.
I see your furrowed brow and know it only hints at the immense battle you're fighting within. Fighting past fear, past doubt, past the desire to throw hands up. That furrowed brow is beautiful.
I'm convinced you've never looked this strong....
Or this beautiful....
You are letting go...and we can see the power of birth overtake you.
You may not remember yourself as this beautiful...but I promise...you were, you are.
Your lover, your friend, your midwife, your doctor...we are amazed by you.
And when your sweet baby is finally here, we celebrate not only the birth of a child...but the transformation of a woman.
You see, we have been caught up in a lie for generations: birth is painful, birth is difficult, birth leaves us undone.
But that lie is slowly eroding away as more of us mamas embrace the beauty in birth.
I am honored to be playing a small part in charging that narrative with these images. Images of YOU. Images that shout: birth transforms me, birth changes me, birth makes me beautiful.
We enter another world, ever so briefly, when we birth our babies. Let's not forget the divine that we now carry because we straddled, so bravely, life and death.
Photos by Monet Nicole - Birthing Stories
To see more beautiful births, visit Birth Becomes Her