I received my maternity photos 7hr. shy of going into labor. It was the last thing on my list and actually the one right above setting up the nursery--and that was probably due to the pressure from family members to get it done. So I have 3 loving photos of me and my son in my tummy right after my partner lunged me into the pool.
The documentation of such an event in a woman's life seems so important especially since we have the tools in this day and age to take down these opportunities in life. With a camera there seems to be no reason to miss capturing every moment, Sometimes, I wish I was like my father--constantly appearing with a camera case around his neck and camera in hand. Snap! Snap! and everything is pricelessly captured in time to be remembered forever. I've also always valued his practiced of never offing a 'bad' or 'mistake' photo. Needless to say, my father has more photos captured of my prenatal period than I do.....I gave up after 8 weeks. To me at the time I could see the change and looking back there is nothing I notice different except for NOW i noticed what everyone else called 'the glow.' I treasure that heavenly ora.
Traditionally, I am an artist, a painter who focus' on the beauty a woman finds in herself. After having my son I have decided to depict children breastfeeding from the woman's point of view and pregnant women.
I have extended to the women in the boulder area a free service swap: I photography you for free and give you a disk of the photos in order to use the photos in my studio for my paintings.
I figure it is a good doula thing to do.
Love and blessings
There is something about the state I am set in when I see my son playing in the morning before breakfast. The type of beauty that is comprised of Love between my partner and I, the light that streams through the window (This morning has a particular clear blue light. It snowed a millimeter this morning), The curious actions that he swivels into play, The glint of mischievousness smeared with frosting and enjoyment sprinkles, the high pitched shrills that only could come from him; and the list goes on. There is something about the communication I feel between our souls, something in the way I feel so loved by the universe, something that brings me back to the first time I held him in my arms, nay, the first time I saw his face in a dream where I held him immediately after birth, nay, the first moment I saw my child was a little boy:
I dreamed that I was going to pick him up at my friend's house after work. I squatted down and open my arms, "come to mama!" He runs with joy and jumps in my arms, I swivel us up and around in a hug and kiss my bundle of love. He laughs [then cries saying, "mama that hurts." I look at him and realize he is referring to my chapped lips.]
It made sense to me early on that birth is and always will be a natural process, that this is what the female body is made for, that breastfeeding is the only true nutrient way to feed a baby...and that now that mechanized medicinal world feels that none of these factors are completely true.*
It saddens me that the female body has begun to be viewed as something to be controlled...as if, there isn't already a hierarchy and possession that our society society feels 'over' the female body (not including so many other things that are considered a feminine role). It saddens me to hear that females felt that there was no other way, that it was there fault that something had happened, that their birthing experience wasn't what they wanted...wasn't a moment of triumph...wasn't a moment of happiness...wasn't what they had in mind...wasn't...
I try to pass no judgment on others and the paths that they decided to take or allow themselves to take. All I can say is that I am sick of being considered fragile, sick of being considered unable, sick of under-the-table talk of what females should and shouldn't be...what the female can and can't do...sick of there being an underlying line that the female is the lesser of the male and female sex.
Society makes it hard to be a female of any kind. The Second Wave Feminists felt that there was a need to reclaim a piece of what it means to be a female. There was an other all feeling that there needed to be a standing-up action towards what a female could do and that there was no difference to that of a man. Females started to go to work and work more, help support their family, single-handedly support their family, be a SuperFemale and do it all: Work, Clean, Raise a Family, Love her Partner, be a Female, Love herself, Feed her family, and so on...
It is hard for me to be a mother and sit at home--when my foremothers taught me to be independent, never let anybody do anything for me that I couldn't do myself, be stubborn, Plow-pave-walk my own path--and raise my son and step-son, my home, my partner and not contribute financially to my household. To put aside the education I obtained, the profession I made for myself, the things I want so badly to do, the goals I have for myself and my family for what seems to be best for the household, best for my sons, best for my partner. It pains me to surrender when I was taught that I could and would do it all. That I am a jem, that I was unreachable and therefore unable to be pulled down. At times I feel like I have my babe strapped to me, both hands on a rope to keep a sail, while fourteen story waves tower above me, my family, my ship. It is constantly raining but I can see a break of sunshine on the horizon and that is where I am going. Other times I feel like I'm locked in a tall tower above the clouds trying to pick a lock and escape while our teenager is riding and whipping my partner to rip up all the foundational stones we had set down hours before. Sometimes a feel like a beautiful bird singing at the top of my lungs to be heard to be free inside a beautiful bird cage. Most times I roll over no matter what a night and see my babe smiling up at me...and my day starts.
Being a mother is the greatest high I have ever experienced and I would never trade it for the world...
*My Son's birth and my birth as a mother was beautiful and everything that I wanted and could have seen it to be. It was all natural, no interventions, breastfed before the cord was cut, with a midwife, in a hospital, with doula (a dear sistren), and my partner.