I have been photographing birth in the Fredericksburg area for a little over 3 years. I talk often about the value of those images. How precious your first few moments are, how it is an investment you will never regret making, and I meant every word.
Then my second child was born!
We planned for a VBAC after a very traumatic labor with my first son. I have no images of his birth, and just a handful of grainy cell phone pictures from those first few days. While I count them as some of my greatest possesions, I always regretted not having his story documented.
That experience is what led me to birth photography.
The day before August was born, we decided on a repeat c-section, and were incredibly lucky our dear friend and fellow photographer could be there in the OR to document his story. The experience gave me a new perspective. To have beautiful, archival quality images of the very moment we fell in love, it means more to me than I could have possibly understood. The day Gus' gallery was delivered, I sat at the computer and cried. And as time goes on, it is the tiniest details, I treasure the most. I am so grateful to have that last moment I was pregnant, my beloved OBGYN holding that sweet baby up for the first time, and how his tiny head fit right into my hand. I can feel my eyes filling up 8 months later scrolling back through that gallery. I am sure years from now it will bring back all those memories, the way an old song, or a certain scent can take you back. The images from your birth story will transport you back to those perfect, hazy first moments again and again.
There is a misconception about what a birth story really looks like. So often new friends will ask what I do for a living, and look more confused after my response!
I am occasionally asked to document the crowning and physical delivery, but more often it is those first seconds as a family of 3, 4 or 10 that matter the most. The first time you & your spouse cradle that sweet babe, the intense flood of emotions, that first latch. This really is the day your greatest love story begins. Why not remember every second?
Nicole Tronti is an IABP & PPA certified Birth Photographer based in Fredericksburg, VA. She has documented over 25 births & has over 10 years experience photographing infants. You can find more information at www.nicoletronti.com.