I am unsure where and how the concept of "The Jones" family started, or why we had to begin shaming what others did day to day. Don't get me wrong, if there is harm done, I will shame until I turn as blue as the sky in summer. That said, some where along the vast track of evolution we have taken it upon our individual selves to judge our neighbors, which in today's society our neighbors are everyone. Globalization, the internet, and the gross proliferation of education for the masses has created a vacuum of hatred for anything that is different than what we do in our three foot bubble.
I am not and will not talk politics here. It's plain not the place. I will however, speak about parenthood and perspective. With the entire world in our field of view, one would think we, as a collective group of people, would gain insight and understanding that we all do things in similar ways, which is not to say exactly the same.
Beyond music being a universal language, birth, the act of labor and delivery, is sacred in all cultures. With birth comes community, love, and a return of our primal roles to care for the littlest beings. Birth is absolutely incredible, growth and change, transition, growth and change set on repeat until the cycle starts over within the same person or moves to the next generation. It is largely a black hole in our history as the birth space has been passed down woman to woman through apprenticeship and maternal care, which then became the teaching and regulation of the medical profession.
We are only now beginning to see the growth of birth culture come back into play as more families have this wondrous event documented to be retold over and over again. I know everything I have written so far, and probably for the remainder of this post, sounds incredibly pretentious. I sincerely don't mean it that way, but I wanted to write a bit more dry to keep personal accounts to a minimum. I want to speak as clearly as I can when I say this:
all birth is natural birth;
you grew a human and brought them into this world.
Cesarean birth, medicated, un-medicated, surrogate, home, hospital, or otherwise, all birth is natural. Birth is birth is birth. While we are on this topic, fed is best, education is great, whether you kiss boo-boos or put a band-aid on everything, baby wear or push a stroller, co-sleep or crib sleep, there should be no shame. For those of you who have read my blog for a while, you know I dislike the word should. It is a self shaming word wrapped up in one neat and self depreciating syllable. I do not take issue with any decision made in an educated manner as a family unit. Family a term used to describe those you love and trust. I stand for love and informed decisions!
There has been quite a lot of sharing throughout social media recently regarding an unmentioned birth photographer shaming a mother regarding her choice or need for a particular type of birth. Whether this is true or false, I again want to be clear (I can only speak for my business), when I say I fully believe all birth is natural wherever and however you birth as long as it is safe for both mother and child.
with grit and grace,
*EDITED TO ADD*
Ma'am, if at anytime you come forward with more information regarding the allegation of a birth photographer openly shaming any mother for her type of birth, I will be the first to apologize to you for the heartless way this person has treated you and all mothers who knowingly or otherwise face a cesarean birth.
On the other hand, if you knowingly started an alleged false account damning a presumably fictitious birth photographer, to include all the people sharing it, and the media picking it up (media, vet your sources), I do not appreciate the slander you have placed on my business, livelihood, and the profession as a whole. As a fledgling industry focusing on art to serve others, bad press has a catastrophic effect.
I have personally worked hard to build a reputable birth photography community in my area, and am good friends with men and women worldwide who have done the same. We promote ourselves as professional in our craft, respective businesses, and within the birth world.
Birth photographers across the world live by the sentiment above. We support our families with the knowledge that all birth is natural birth worthy of being documented. Further, we wake up and leave our families at the sound of a phone call, at any time of day or night, to empower women and their families with the art we provide.
Our mission and core values are multifaceted. Whether we are focused on the art, mental health, family health, documenting history, a variation, or combination there in; birth photography is selfless and full of value. We do not discriminate, judge, or push our ideals onto anyone. I implore everyone to think beyond your personal bubbles and realize that our individual words and actions have a ripple effect.