When we think of the miracle of childbirth, we don’t often think of C-section births. But that’s changing. A lot of people in the world today celebrate a mother’s bravery by capturing C-section birth images. And they are truly memorable.
Giving birth is a risky sort of miracle. My elders used to say that a mother has one foot in the realm of the living and one foot in the realm of the dead when giving birth. Without doubt, they just meant it’s really risky. And it’s even more so when a mother goes through a Ceasarian section procedure.
A recent study found that 18.6% of all births from 1990 to 2014 were Caesarian section. That’s 1 in 5 mothers. The World Health Organization stated that the recommended C-section rate worldwide should be at 10%-15%.
Though the procedure has saved numerous lives, a higher worldwide C-section rate is a heightened mortality risk because of the procedure’s possible complications.
C-section birth images
In spite of this risk, the option to have a C-section is a godsend when natural birth is not possible. That’s why there are photographers like Jessica Bender who choose to immortalise C-section birth images.
Jessica was used to taking photos kids during their birthdays but not during their births. When she was chosen by her friend to take C-section birth images during her delivery, she said yes.
“It was an odd feeling to be so excited that someone needed to have emergency surgery,” the Canadian photographer writes in her blog. “I felt guilty for about 39 seconds.”
She had to wait for her friend’s baby to come out while stooped on a stool, camera pressed against her face. Jessica noticed that her friend remained calm, cool, and collected as she watched the doctors “cut open the midsection, layer by layer.”
“She has forever reframed what a C-section means to me,” Jessica says of her friend. “In the past, it was presented as something to fear, but seeing Carly meet her baby . . . there was zero fear.”
Remembering a child’s birth through C-section birth images
Huffington Post ran a series of photos submitted by members of the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers for Cesarean Awareness Month last April.
So we thought it would inspire mums-to-be about the beauty of a mom’s bravery in childbirth. It’s a celebration of the complexity of birth, and the joy that comes along with it.
Some of these photos are from birth photographers, while some of them are from the parents themselves. A few photos are from our community.
A series of miracles
“This mother, Esther, came from Nigeria to have her baby. It was an unexpected C-section, which was initially disheartening for everyone involved. But it was remarkable to watch Esther become a mother, especially given the circumstances.” — Photo and words by Sarah Lewis, birth photographer
“My sweet little girl entering the world but still half inside of me. I am so grateful that the anesthesiologist snapped this for us.” — Photo and words courtesy of Kristin Kelly, mother.
A baby’s first light. Photo courtesy of kidspot.com.au.
Cleaning the baby. Photo courtesy of kidspot.com.au
First contact. Photo courtesy of kidspot.com.au.
“I just prayed and I was so relieved to hear his first cry. He was loud. I could hear the strength in his voice.” — Curtina, mother. Photo by Ker-Fox Photography.
“I like to keep everything light, so we were all joking and laughing in the OR. The anesthesiologist is also a fellow travel agency owner so we talked shop the whole time. You know, when she wasn’t holding the barf bag for me.” — Lia, mother. Photo by Kelly O’Roke.
“This was a Cesarean birth of twins, and this is “Baby A,” who came out singing to the heavens and reaching for his family.” — Photo and words by Jennifer Mason, birth photographer.
“The delivery lasted, like, three minutes, so I didn’t have much time to think. They had the baby out so quick, and then they put him on my chest and we just spent time soaking him in and getting to know him. I love my birth story and everyone who helped it unfold so beautifully.” — Anonymous, mother. Photo by Angie Klaus.
“The anesthesiologist was my photographer haha!”— Photo and words by Carla Perlas, Regional Content Head of The Asian Parent.