The thread that binds us together as women, the link that is always there, (though sometimes we forget) became very clear to me during childbirth. It was my strength. It continues to become even more apparent to me each time I connect with a woman through her story. Photographing Miranda in her power, watching her push through pain, seeing her dig deep into the depths of herself, witnessing her birth into Motherhood, was an experience I will never forget. Women are amazing, I will say it over and over again. Child or not, we are all Mothers, the caretakers of the Earth. We have so much strength and it grows stronger when we connect with each other deeply via our shared personal experiences. We touch the Divine and the Divine touches us back.
Miranda gave me permission to share her birth experience, because she is proud of herself. She birthed a baby, she did it, no one else. She also wants her experience to help educate others. You have permission to take control of your birth, it is yours. Miranda’s birth team provided her support and reassurance during her birth. They gave her the space and energy she needed to know she had the power to give birth to her baby. They respected her wants and made sure she was safe.
Here is her birth story from my perspective…
It was a mild Friday night in February. I happened to be apart of an art show and the opening was going on. I had already heard from Miranda when she told me she was in labor, so I packed my camera bag to take with me to the opening. The gallery was closer to Miranda’s house than my own, I was ready to go when I got the call it was time for me to arrive. I hadn’t been this excited for a shoot in a long time. I was going to document a new life joining our world. What an absolute honor.
When I arrived, I was greeted by excited grandparents who were waiting patiently in the living area of the house. I slowly gathered my breath, said a prayer for Miranda, and went upstairs. The first thing I noticed is that it felt inviting walking up the stairs, the smells were wonderful, the room was dim, light music was playing. The perfect scenario to welcome Miranda and Brent’s daughter to her new home. Brent was rubbing Miranda’s feet, she had no idea I was there, until a bit later on when we made eye contact in between contractions.
I introduced myself to her Doula, and Midwives. I settled into the energy so that I could become apart of it. I realized with my own birth, that every person present at your birth has the potential to add or take away from the experience. Its very humbling to be trusted with an invitation to this sacred moment, I wanted to make sure to honor that.
When I met with Miranda and Brent to talk about working together, I asked how much of the birth she wanted photographed. I feel it is important to respect the wishes of the women I photograph and be very clear about expectations. She wanted me to capture exactly what I saw, every emotion, every surge, every push. She wanted to see her baby being born. Since Miranda gave birth at home, she had added freedom in her decisions about food/drink, positioning, and comfort choices. She was able to go from her own bed to the bathroom, to the pool pretty easily.
It wasn’t long after I got there that Miranda gave birth to her sweet baby girl. Mom, Dad, and baby got some snuggle time in bed before the grandparents got to meet the her. I noticed something that was very special when the grandparents came in…both grandmothers went to Miranda and hugged her first. What a beautiful way to pay respect to and honor Miranda’s Rite of Passage. It was her Birth day too and they respected that. Miranda’s Doula made her a nice meal while the Midwives changed her bed sheets and made it cozy for her. It was awesome watching everyone care for Mother and Child so deeply. I am grateful to have been part of such a wonderful group of women. Miranda is an inspiration to me, always. Her strength is something I will carry with me.
Her Doula was Annie Sweeney
Her Midwife Team was Women’s Wisdom Cincinnati