The moment that a child enters the world is a special one, and excited parents often immortalize the event through photography. Megan Mattiuzzo, a mom from Buffalo, NY, knew she wanted to savor every moment of giving birth to her son Easton Louis. And, as a professional photographer, she knew she had to document her son’s birth with her own camera. Yes, you read that right. The mom balanced her Nikon D5 on her stomach and snapped photo after photo as she was bringing her child into the world.
“When I first found out I was pregnant, I knew that this was something I wanted to capture for myself,” Megan said.. “I have friends in the birth photography field who said they would be happy to capture the moment for me. But I didn’t want just the moment captured, I wanted it from my perspective! Thankfully, my doctor and husband were both on board.”
And for Megan – whose epidural wasn’t 100 percent successful — juggling both childbirth and photography was a serious feat. “I could still feel the right side of my body and a spot on the left side of my stomach,” she explained. “I almost didn’t take the photos because of a failed epidural, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. I told the doctors as I started to push to turn the room lights off and just keep the spotlights above the bed on to make for a better photo.”
Finally, after handing off her camera to her husband for 15 minutes, she was ready to immortalize the special moment. “Between two contractions I set the setting on my camera and gave it to my husband . . . When I was ready, he handed it to me as I curled my chin to my chest to push. I balanced the bottom of the camera on my stomach to look through the viewfinder,” she explained. “Then I documented the highlights of my life. The first time I saw my son, the first time he drew a breath. It was the most memorable day of my life, and I know I will never forget it.”
When it came time for the final push, Mattiuzzo took the camera and tucked her chin to her chest. The device rested on her stomach, and she put her eye to the viewfinder and started pushing. “I then saw a moment I will never forget,” she writes, “my son’s hair, then his head, then his body… all while shooting. It was the most amazing moment of my life. I don’t regret and never will regret capturing that moment so I can relive it over and over again.”
Finally, frame by frame, an entire, wailing, triumphant baby emerges, photographed in full welcome-to-the-world glory by a mom still bound to him by the umbilical cord.
Although taking her own birth photos was far from easy, Megan will always look back on the experience fondly.
“I’m so happy that I did it for myself,” she said. “I get to look back and see it through my eyes again and again. These photos will be important to my family forever . . . As hard as labor was, these pictures don’t take me back to that pain. They take me back to the joy I felt seeing him for the first time: hearing him cry, knowing he was OK. These photos will always be a happy memory for me.”