The Beauty of Birth can be a strange concept to somebody who hasn’t had a child. It’s one of those life experiences that you sometimes have to experience to fully grasp. After all, it is a slightly messy and often times uncomfortable situation. Above all the neccessary muckiness of birth, there is something timeless and potent about the experience. When a baby is born, you are reminded that you, as a human, with all your intelligence and opinion are simply an animal, and at the mercy and compassion of the animal that you are.
A year ago, I had never seen anything being born. I never would have predicted that I would become a birth photographer, I never in a million years thought it would be an experience I would cherish. I was the type of person who liked babies, but always felt they were that much cuter in somebody elses arms. My partner expressed concern once while I was pregnant. He noticed I didn’t fawn over babies, or baby things. I didn’t have a nursery planned out, or extensive knowledge on babies, birth, or even child rearing. Having a child of my own, that has changed drastically.
Having a child changes everything.
When I was pregnant, I heard over and over again, “having a baby changes everything”, but I never anticipated just how much a baby would change me. No amount of book reading, life coaching, dreaming and pondering would have prepared me for the changes in my heart and mind, the growth of spirit and heart that would occur, and is still going on.
When a baby is born, a mommy and daddy are born also.
It’s true that birth is a life process, and it can be a bit messy. It is also a spiritual process, a change of heart. A parents mind, body, heart, and soul grow and stretch and expand to make room for the small life you are entrusted with. A baby changes EVERYTHING. Your whole lifestyle changes, your sleeping patterns change. They way you spend money changes. Babies aren’t expensive, the things you want to give your children, those can be expensive. Babies themselves need love, plain and simple, to thrive, and that comes free.
I went from being non chalant about taxes, politics, laws, schools, medical practices, cleaning my house, paying my bills. To caring about all of it, I became educated in areas I never expected. I hear from all my new mommy and daddy friends that it is the same for everybody. The world, and your experience in it changes to become meaningful and important in a new and profound way. A baby changes everything.
The beauty of birth lies in the birth of a family. A child makes a man and woman become a family. Your friends and family become a network of love, laughs, and advice. A baby is a wellspring of love, the universe expands to infinite proportions. Now, when I meet new babies, I see the people they will become, and I see the love and endurance of their parents. I am now the baby holding, baby loving woman I never knew I could be. There is beauty in that depth, and that is why birth, to me is beautiful. Both the physical birth, for all it’s power and timeless endurance, and the spiritual birth of becoming something more than yourself. A child is an extension of your flesh, heart, and mind.
Special thanks to the babies, moms, and dads who have shared their birth experiences with me. Special thanks to the midwives, Dr’s, doulas, and nurses who make the experience safe, loving, and amazing for all the moms and dads out there. Much love to all who choose to embark on the journey, and to those who choose to participate less directly.
Having a child is not for everybody, but it takes a village to raise a child, and if you are reading this, you are a part of that village.