A Michiana birth photographer's blog Hartstein Photography (a birth photographer tells the story of the birth of your baby thru photos; from the beginning of labor until after baby is born)
Andrea Hartstein photographer:
"It was a starry, starry night one warm early Monday in August...."
That's how my mom always started the story when she'd tell me about the
day I was born. They stopped at the ATM before going to the hospital,
because they thought they'd need money to pay for the birth before they
could have me. I believe my dad dropped my mom off before finding a
place to park. Her laboring at Butterworth Hospital was pretty quick -
maybe two and half hours? I remember her telling me that she was nervous
he wouldn't get back from parking the car in time. And once I was born,
my big sister met me. And she said, "that's MY baby". Which is where
the story usually ended, because my sister would chime in and say
something like, "well, I don't feel that way anymore!!"
I have one picture from the day I was born.
It's just of me. It's not of my mom and dad, who had me. It's not with
any of the nurses or the Dr who delivered me. It's not with my adoring,
big sister. It's not with my grandparents who came to visit me in the
hospital. It's just of me.
I have to imagine the rest.
It took us four years to conceive our daughter, Abigail. Oh, how I
wanted her. I've prayed for her since I was in my late teens. Not
necessarily to HAVE her, but I prayed for her future. I prayed that she
would be healthy and strong. I prayed that she would make wise choices. I
prayed that she would know love and that she would know how cherished
she would be.
Once we finally found out we were pregnant with
Abigail - I cherished every moment of it! Because, really, who knows if
she might be the only baby I ever have? My labor story is that I was
induced two days early, to expell the fear of pre-eclampsia. I labored
for 30+ hours. I only made it to 4cm. The anesthesiologist who
administered my epidural visited my room 5 times, which was 3 times more
than how often he'd ever visited one patient before. They tried a
spinal tap. Nothing worked. When they decided we were going in for a
C-section, I distinctly remember the Dr pricking my leg and asking me if
I could feel anything. Um... yes! I could feel everything. The last
thing I remember is hearing the anesthesiologist say they were going to
be knocking me out. So when my daughter was born at 1:37 in the morning
on the first hot day of the year of 2010 in April, I was unconscious and
my husband wasn't allowed in the room.
Our first picture of her
was taken by a nurse in the hallway. Thankfully I had my camera with me
at the hospital and I snapped away while in my hospital bed recovering
-- I got pictures of her with her daddy and with most everyone who came
to visit. While I'm glad I caught those moments in the hospital, I feel
something sad when I think about the day she was born. I have no memory
of her first breaths. I have no pictures to show me what it was like
when we ceased to be one and finally became two. There are no pictures
of us holding our baby together for the first time, because I was always
on that side of the camera.
And with that, my interest in birth photography was born.