I’ve always had a love for birth. I love learning about birth, reading birth stories, seeing and taking photographs at births. Once I became pregnant, I knew I wanted to take The Bradley Method® because of how much it helped my sister with her three births. When my husband and I took Liza’s class, we were amazed at how much we learned. It made us advocates of natural birth and The Bradley Method®.
I gave birth to our first daughter, Kassidy, in May of 2011 at the UCSD Birth Center. Though I was able to have a natural birth, there were aspects of being in the hospital that I did not like. When I found out I was pregnant with our second baby, I knew I wanted a better birth experience. One of the big lessons we learned from our Bradley classes was the importance of learning all we can and asking questions to help us make informed decisions. So I started reading more birthing books. The first book I read was Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. The first part of her book consists of many natural birth stories. Reading story after story, my love for birth grew into an amazing passion. I knew that somehow, someway, I would work with women in labor.
After finishing that book, I started going through my Bradley Method books and notes from 2011 to refresh my memory. This reminded me of my classes with Liza. In one of the classes Liza invited a midwife, Michelle Freund, to come in and talk about home birth. That’s what I wanted! I wanted to be in charge, to be in the comfort of my home, to be surrounded by love and support, and to have everyone with the same mindset as me. In January of 2014, I gave birth to our second daughter, Kayden, in the comfort of our own home. Surrounded by family and love, with Michelle and her team from Birth Matters Inc., by my side. It was the birth I had dreamed of and envisioned.
Since Kayden’s birth, I’ve realized how I want to live out my passion for childbirth. I paired my love for birth with my love for photography. From the time I asked for a camera for my high school graduation, to slowly buying and collecting all the equipment I have gleaned today, I have loved photography. I love seeing the beauty in the small details; showing what others don’t always see; capturing raw emotions and precious moments. As a birth photographer, I get to share one of the best days of a family’s life. By capturing the beautiful moments of strength and love that surround a woman in labor, I have the privilege of honoring and showing how amazing and beautiful the process of bringing a baby into the world truly can be.
I was thrilled to photograph a birth at Babies in Bloom Birth Center. All the little details they put into each room make it such a calm and peaceful environment for the mothers. It also makes for beautiful pictures! When I got the call that it was time, I immediately left with my camera bag in hand. I arrived at Babies in Bloom before the family did. Perfect timing! Seconds after the laboring mother walked into her room, she gave birth to her beautiful daughter! The mother didn’t even have time to make it to the bed! Even with the fast delivery, I was still able capture the excitement of the birth and all the moments meeting and welcoming this new baby into the family-moments captured and cherished forever.
To many people, childbirth is scary and mysterious. It is a major life event that many people feel awkward talking about. Many fear the pain and the anxiety of the unknown, but they don’t know about the beauty of this natural part of life. I want to show everyone how strong women are, how beautiful childbirth actually is, and how special those moments are. I’ve been given the gift of being able to give parents the best memories of welcoming their new baby into the world. No matter where or how a baby is born, it is beautiful!
By Alanna Farmer
edited by Liza Janda