Birth Photos. Sort of.

May 28, 2010

Did I tell you we had a photographer arranged for June’s birth? And did I tell you that the first time we met in real life was in the hospital room while I was mostly naked? And I did I further tell you that the birth was so speedy that the baby arrived before the photographer?

It’s true. It’s all true.

The photographer’s name is Michelle. She’s one-half of the talented husband-wife duo that makes up Revert Photo. Michelle sent the birth photos yesterday (I guess technically they are the after-the-birth photos). I think they turned out wonderfully and I’m so glad we have a record of that night. I’m including a few of my favorites here.

Glistening eyes after receiving eyedrops.

Why am I still in agony? Because those after-birth contractions hurt like the devil. Like. The. Devil.

We’ve never had a photographer at a birth before, and thought it was great to have someone there recording everything so that Ben Blair and I could love on the baby and experience what was happening. What about you? Did you have a photographer at your child’s birth? Would you if you could do it again?

P.S. — Michelle is a great photographer. If you’re in the Denver area, you should totally hire her — she will put you at ease instantly. I can’t wait to work with her again. When I’m fully dressed.

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashlea Walter May 28, 2010 at 4:37 am

Agree! The after birth contractions DO hurt like the devil. Why don’t people ever tell you that? I was surprised. Thinking, whew, done, baby, la la land. And my body said, “no, no, not so fast…”

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2 Kim May 28, 2010 at 4:48 am

Such beautiful photos. It’s something I would not have thought of, and I probably would feel a bit weird during the birth, but after? For sure! Most of our baby’s first pics are out of focus, taken by a teary eyed dad, but oh how I do love them anyway.

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3 Tina May 28, 2010 at 5:37 am

Such a great idea! I don’t think the photos would have been so pretty for my c-section….but I would totally do this for a natural birth. Beautiful.
And I have to say….you NEVER look ragged. Most birth pics are ponytails and sweat…you look beautiful!
Best,
Tina

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4 Lori Jo May 28, 2010 at 5:38 am

What an awesome idea… never thought of it. Unfortunately, we missed pictures of the second and third births they came so quickly. The doctor even missed the birth of my second! Wish I had pictures to document exactly what happened… it went all so fast!

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5 beth aka confusedhomemaker May 28, 2010 at 5:43 am

I would so have someone at the birth, although I could do with the after birth contractions. I agree those do Hurt. Like. The. DEVIL! Seriously, I wanted to pull my own uterus out after the last baby, even as a I wanted to just cuddle up with him. But I’m thinking it was worth it, not just the after birth contractions but the photographer in the room with you because the pictures are great. Just. Beautiful.

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6 dunski May 28, 2010 at 6:04 am

I love your pictures.
Iwould only want after birth pictures. I’m sad, that all three of my kids were photographed by their dad… and that made blurry not well taken pictures, that were hard to work with. But the experience of birth – to me- would have been to intimate. (would I want my children to know how I looked like, and how hard I worked?)

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7 Rachael May 28, 2010 at 6:37 am

I love the idea of having someone there focusing exclusively on photographing (after the baby is born!). My husband has taken some great shots, but for my fourth I’d really love to have someone who is focusing 100% on capturing the moment, rather than greeting their new baby…because that’s what the daddy should be doing!!

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8 Kelly@TearingUpHouses May 28, 2010 at 7:13 am

These are SO beautiful.

(And call me stupid, but I’ve never even heard of After Birth Contractions. What the?! Clearly, I need to read up on this stuff more before I ever get pregnant. CLEARLY.)

Kelly

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9 . tiny twist creative . May 28, 2010 at 7:25 am

Such lovely photos! I love the black & whites. Michelle certainly did an amazing job.

I didn’t have a photographer there except my sweet hubby who wouldn’t stop shooting photos after the baby has been born (both times). He’s really quite addicted to these little people, as am I. :-)

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10 Robin Baker May 28, 2010 at 7:52 am

I totally wanted one (birth photographer) for my last baby…and actually called my friend to do it. But the baby was way to speedy! He he. The after birth contractions hurt 10x more than the labor! Ouch. I feel for ya lady. Congrats on the new baby – hope you recover quickly ;)

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11 damaris May 28, 2010 at 7:52 am

perfect. what a great documentarian

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12 allysha May 28, 2010 at 8:07 am

Those are beautiful. (And I love your hair.)

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13 Stacey H May 28, 2010 at 8:08 am

Wow! Beautiful pics but that one of your husband adoring your baby brought tears to my eyes. Hooray for the great men of the world!

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14 Jessica Rosario May 28, 2010 at 8:10 am

Awesome, Gabby!!! I gave birth on my bedroom in the dark. It was the only way I could focus on my contractions. So I didn’t have pics taken until she was born (by then it was morning). I’m definitely not opposed to them. I’ll have to see for my next one… depending on my mood :) TFS. So heart warming!!!

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15 Sharon May 28, 2010 at 8:23 am

Lovely. I only have two pics of me during labour (clothed, no action shots!) and one taken just after the birth of my firstborn by the midwife. All still hepped up on the epidural then, so quite smiley.

Those contractions when you’re breastfeeding for the first few days after delivery too….hoooeeee. Sod that crap.

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16 Hil May 28, 2010 at 8:37 am

Absolutely beautiful. We had a photographer at my most recent delivery. It was for the birth of our stillborn son, and I will forever be grateful that our photographer was there to capture those special moments. The pictures are ones that I will treasure always, as they are the only pictures we have of our sweet Michael.

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17 Wendy May 28, 2010 at 8:41 am

One of our fav. photos was taken by our birth-mom’s brother. It captured the first moment we held our baby. We are standing in the baby nursery, just outside the room where the c-section took place. The look of astonishment on my husbands face was captured. I remember him saying “That’s my son!” Priceless memory.

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18 jessica May 28, 2010 at 8:46 am

I had a photographer after the birth of my second. It helped that she was also a good friend! Not sure I’d be comfortable with someone in the room during – but after was perfect. It also helps that my second came so fast! Not sure I’d want too many pictures of myself after my first was born – that was a much longer labor!

I hear after-labor pains get worse with each subsequent pregnancy. I only know about a second labor – can’t imagine how bad they suck after 6!

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19 Heather Lilly May 28, 2010 at 8:55 am

Michelle (and Z) are awesome! Thanks for sharing your birth story images! :)

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20 Bri May 28, 2010 at 8:58 am

I honestly don’t remember after-birth contractions, at least not them being painful. Hmph. Maybe I was just so enthralled with being a new mommy I didn’t notice.
I really REALLY want to have professional photos taken this time around, but I don’t know any local photogs enough to trust them with that kind of ‘session’!! :o/

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21 Barchbo May 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

See, I didn’t even know there were after-birth contractions! This blog has taken on an extra dimension of knowledge for me now that I am pregnant!

We are not having videos or cameras. It’s just not us, and it’s our first baby. Maybe we would feel differently for a second baby. I would find it distracting for this first pregnancy, I think.

That said: how gorgeous is baby June?! What a precious girl! I am glad YOU had a photographer because these photos are really sweet.

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22 hyzen May 28, 2010 at 9:13 am

lovely pics! I definitely wouldn’t have wanted a photographer after my daughter was born–it was a looooooong hard labor, and even I don’t want to see pics of myself all sweaty and exhausted and drained. Maybe this next time will be different (I hope?). I also don’t remember the after-birth contractions–maybe I was too delirious by that point? I do remember the nurse pressing on my abdomen, though, to help with the afterbirth, and it hurt so much I whacked her hand away hard without meaning to. She said that happens a lot. ;)

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23 Bethany Jackman May 28, 2010 at 9:17 am

Gabby these photos are gorgeous. What a precious little thing June is! It sounds like her birth was quite exciting, I can’t wait to hear more. :)

I had a photographer come to my first delivery (the only one so far!) and although I was hesitant to hire her, I am SO SO SO grateful I did. I wondered if it would make me uncomfortable or if it would take something away from the experience I would have with my husband and new baby, but it didn’t. I totally forgot she was even there. She even respected my modesty wishes, since all I really wanted were pictures of those first moments afterward. So not only were we able to sit back and enjoy the experience without a camera, but I have the most cherished pictures to remember it by.

Thanks for sharing! Especially Revert’s link…I’ve been looking for a good Denver photographer since I visit my family there often, since I get requests for Denver photography referrals, and since (shhh…) we hope to move there someday. Sigh. :)

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24 Krystle May 28, 2010 at 9:18 am

What amazing pics! The first one is definitely my favorite =) I would totally love to have a photographer there! The photographer at my son’s birth was my anesthesologist! She took some great shots on our digital camera, I wish she could be there for every birth I’ll have.

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25 The Emily May 28, 2010 at 9:23 am

That is such a great idea! My friend had her baby the day after me and had Jonathan Canlas take her (all natural!) birth photos, and they are totally amazing. I wish I had thought to do it. Maybe if I go for 4 kids I’ll hire one next time? And as for those after contractions? I had no idea! The first two kids, I had none. But this third, I had contractions for a full day afterwards, and it was horrible. They were still giving me pitocin and I asked them to please stop it but they had to give me the whole bag, making the contractions even stronger for a few hours. Awful.

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26 Alicia May 28, 2010 at 9:48 am

What sweet pictures!

I love the idea of having a photog there right after the birth. I don’t know that I would want pictures of me in labor but right after would be wonderful. When we had our son my husband pulled out his cellphone(!) and started snapping pictures and I had to remind him to get the digital camera. Who wants to look at grainy cellphone images? :) It would be so much nicer to be able to relax and enjoy and know that someone else is capturing it all for you.

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27 Jan (Family Bites) May 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

Really gorgeous…and your hubby just looks so incredibly sweet holding your hand. :)

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28 Katie May 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

I plan on having my SIL, who is a photographer, at my next birth so she can take photos. I think we’ll have a “the photographer does not speak or offer advice and will have to leave if I ask her to” agreement, you know, just in case. My husband took some awesome photos of my first baby and I right as soon as I held her. I’m glad he did that, but next time, I want him to be able to enjoy it to!

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29 Morgan May 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Lovely….. I love birth photography – too bad she missed the birth!

My midwives told me the after-birth contractions get worse with each child…..I can only imagine how agonizing they would be for you.

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30 Sarah May 28, 2010 at 12:16 pm

You look as beautiful as always! I always love when births are photographed. Thanks for sharing!

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31 Jenny also May 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Why is your hair straight? (My totally curly hair stayed curly during the birth process)

Rumor has it that after birth contractions hurt worse after each baby. Mine for #2 sure were stronger than #1. I bet after #6 they were really doozies! Another reason to feel compassion for Michelle Duggar.

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32 steph t. May 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm

oh my gosh… those after pains ARE a killer! jeez… worse with each baby, huh? i thought i was gonna die with baby #3. so brutal! you must be in agony. if mine were bad after 3, i can’t imagine after 6. ack! luckily you look so dang gorgeous in the pics. you wouldn’t even know you were in so much pain… it’s like you’re an actor. ha ha ha! gorgeous, gorgeous photos!! thanks SO much for sharing with us! love ‘em! xo

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33 Isa May 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I love these pictures. They remind me of my birth just five weeks ago. My husband ended up taking after-birth pictures. we hadn’t thought of it before, really, but a midwife in the delivery room told us to, so we did. And oh, how I love them! So so special!

Congratulations on your new baby girl!

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34 Miss Lindsey May 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Beautiful photos. Beautiful mommy. Beautiful babe.
I think a photographer in the delivery room is a fantastic idea…even if she arrives after the birth!

Miss Lindsey

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35 liz stanley May 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Love the photos. Jared thinks Ben looks super ripped in that first photo.

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36 Mama Holli May 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm

So beautiful and so SMART of you to do that! I would have done it had I been that smart!

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37 Carrie May 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Can you tell me how you arrange a photographer for childbirth? Obviously he/she is prepared to rush to the hospital at any time of day, but do you pay afterwards, based on what she is able to shoot? How “available” do you request that he/she be? Do you request travel to coincide with several weeks of your delivery date? Very curious. Thanks.

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38 Tracey May 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Expecting our 4th boy this summer (2nd birth)…I have been on the hunt for a birth photographer in the NJ/Philadelphia area!
Love this post…my friends think I’m crazy for wanting a “stranger” in the room…
They’ll be jealous once they see the pics!

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39 Emily Childers May 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Exquisite photos. Absolutely perfect.
I just gave birth on Wednesday and had a photographer come as well (the first time it wasn’t a family member taking the pictures).
And yes. I will for sure be doing it again.
Congrats again on a beautiful (speedy: ) Birth!

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40 Amber, theAmberShow May 29, 2010 at 11:11 am

WHAT ARE YOU ALL TALKING ABOUT?!

After birth contractions?! What? Why has no one told us childless but hopeful women about them? What else aren’t you telling us? Spill!

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41 Chelsea May 29, 2010 at 11:19 am

You wanna know what I love the most about these photos, is your husband’s tractor T-shirt. Glad my husband’s not the only one who keeps it real in the delivery room.

By the way, great photos!

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42 Amy May 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I would love to have photos of my babies births but not sure if the husband will fly having someone else in the room. We’ll see…but I’m glad to see such a great photographer in the Denver area! I know who I’ll use if my hubby is on board when the time comes!

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43 ~j. May 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm

What a stunning daughter you have. A beautiful family, as always.

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44 lakshmi May 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Lovely pics , Gabrielle. I love your sense of humor while you describe everything.

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45 freebee May 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Great pics! I wish I had thought of a photographer during delivery and birth but in France, we usually have a photographer come by on the 3rd day of birth (our maternity leave is usually 4-5 days)…
On second thoughts, since I had a Csection ( emergency general anesthesia etc…), great thing noone took pics of me…I would’ve loved pics of my baby girl though, when she was born, unfortunately it all went too fast for my husband!
I also suffered a lot from birth contractions (though only my second child this time around) so I can feel your pain with your 6th child, ouch!

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46 naomi May 31, 2010 at 12:58 pm

We’ve been without land-line and internet for almost a week now – I’m trying to catch up today at my parents’ home. Love these photos – such a wonderful record of her birth. We did not have a photographer, but if I ever had another baby, I would ask my close friend to be there for that purpose.

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47 Stephanie May 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I’d really like to hire a photographer when we eventually get pregnant with baby #3…not so much for the labor and delivery (maybe that too though…), but definitely for right after the birth.

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48 Suzanne from pretty*swell June 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Oh, these are extraordinary. What a treasure!

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49 Rendy Lemke June 2, 2010 at 6:09 am

I love the name your gave her! I have a great-grandmother named Flora, and a grandfather named June. Our 2nd boy is named after his dad, and at 7 y.o., we still call him Juni, and he loves it!

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50 cari June 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

such lovely photos! congratulations. she is precious.

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51 redmenace June 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I love these pictures! All of them. So lovely. I can’t wait for my time to come!

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52 Amy Springer June 18, 2010 at 1:10 am

Congratulations and thanks for sharing such wonderful images of your sweet baby’s birth. I love being a mother to four and a professional photographer! The moment when parents first meet their newborn is so full of the most authentic emotion and love that I have ever witnessed (or felt!) To be entrusted with the privilege of capturing that is priceless, as there are no “retakes.” With a birth photographer, both parents can focus on the intimate birth experience and the photographer can handle the technical and artistic stuff. A pro photographer can remedy unflattering hospital/ dim lighting, and avoid “awkward” angles. I am so passionate about birth photography that I’d recommend hiring a pro or at least having a “designated photographer” on call if at all possible.

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53 Dee June 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Beautiful photos. We did have a photographer for the birth of our daughter 6 months ago. I didn’t even notice her in the room. Her work was spectacular and I am really thrilled to have that record of her birth.

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54 salene kraemer May 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

i love this idea and i love the first photo you posted. thanks so much for sharing. salene

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55 greta May 3, 2012 at 9:45 am

I love this post!
It made me nostalgic for all my births.
And made me long for having another.
I only have 4, so you and your 6 inspire me for sure!
About the photographer.
I wanted to have one there..
But it happened 10 days early and no one I had asked was ready or available.
It all turned out OK though.
My sister in law was there and she captured some of the most precious pictures of the whole thing.
I treasure them all.
I will never be able to look at them and not tear up as I remember those wonderful moments.
If I am lucky enough to have baby # 5, I will try again to have a photographer there.
It’s very much worth it.
Here’s the post with the pics, if you are interested:
http://lillyandthebrothers.blogspot.com/2011/06/on-day-you-were-born.html
Love from,
Greta

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