To The Smug Photographer Who Dropped His C-Section Client: Birth Is Birth

A birth photographer refused to document an expectant mom's C-section because "surgery isn't birth"

There are few things in life more beautiful than the birth of a baby, and certainly none more momentous. Unsurprisingly, the birth photography industry is growing as more people choose to capture this occasion. Of course, in addition to artistic talent, a birth photographer must be warm, flexible, and compassionate.

One potential photographer didn’t get this memo.

Earlier this week, the Facebook page Sanctimommy shared a screenshot of a conversation between a mom-to-be and a photographer she had contacted. The photographer “politely” declined the job, informing the mother that because she would be having a C-section, she would not be giving birth, but rather, “having a surgery to remove [her] baby from [her] abdomen.”

This was followed by helpful advice that motherhood is hard, and should not be started by, “cutting corners so early in the game.” Mom was informed that if she decided to, “give motherhood a go from the get and have an actual birth” the photographer would set up a session. No word on if Mom jumped on that generous offer.

Excuse me for a moment while I take a minute to process the fact that I was never actually born. This is quite an existential crisis for me so early in the day.

While I grapple with the concept of my own existence, let’s discuss how lazy these C-section moms are for taking the easy way out and not actually giving birth to their babies. I can’t believe these women; choosing to be cut open while awake and completely aware that they are being operated on. Such cowards, it’s a shame they aren’t brave like real moms.

And how selfish to avoid the pain of labour! They get off so easily with their incision through muscle and internal organs, and their stitches, and their 6-week recovery time, while the rest of us had to suffer. I don’t care if they went through countless hours of labour first, they still didn’t quite work hard enough. No real birth for them! And taking care of a newborn after having major surgery is a breeze. Seriously, it’s a shame these women aren’t willing to fully commit to the work of being moms from the get go...

The idea that having a C-section is taking the easy way out has always baffled me. I gave birth to both my children vaginally. My first threatened to keep me in labour until he was ready for college, then came in like a wrecking ball when he was finally ready, and I STILL consider that an easier birth than having a C-section.

Most women do not voluntarily choose to have a C-section, and the ones that do often have some compelling reasons for it. Many suffer from PTSD from past trauma that would make labour and vaginal delivery very traumatic. It is rare to hear someone say they volunteered for major surgery to avoid pain. That’s just counter-intuitive.

It goes without saying that reactions to this photographer’s idea of real birth have been universally negative, with a resounding, “Are you kidding me?” from C-section and vaginal birth moms alike.

Birth is birth. It is raw, and messy, and unfathomably beautiful. I don’t care if you bring your child into this world vaginally, surgically, or through your nose, it is all birth, and it is always real. If this photographer can’t see the beauty in all births, I imagine they lack the eye to take quality photos in the first place.


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