Baby photography comes to the delivery room, capturing the moment of birth

Baby photography, even of newborns, is a well-established tradition, but now some pregnant women are bringing professional photographers into the delivery room to document the birth itself.

 “I think the whole birthing process is so amazing; I wanted to capture it,” says Nicole Redmond of Aurora, Colo., who first saw examples of birth photography in a magazine at her ob/gyn’s office.

She hired Denver photographer Kim Rodgers, owner of highly rated Brink Street Photography. For $1,000, Rodgers photographed baby Christopher’s entry into the world on April 25, 2011, during a C-section scheduled a few weeks before because of his breech position. Redmond’s contract with Brink Street guaranteed Rodgers’ time, a slideshow and printing rights, and included a pregnancy photo session and shots of Christopher a few weeks after birth.

“Kim beat me to the hospital,” Redmond says. “She took pictures of the room number, me getting in, laying in the bed, the doctors monitoring me. She took nice pictures of my husband holding my hand.” In the operating room, Redmond was barely aware of Rodgers’ presence, and appreciated her use of black and white and tasteful angles to soften the surgery images. “I don’t have a favorite,” Redmond says. “I love them all, from right when he was being born, to my husband meeting him, to me holding him for the first time.”

While Redmond’s decision to hire a birth photographer didn’t surprise friends, her parents and older relatives were skeptical, especially that she’d pay for something dads usually did. “But when they saw the video, my father said, ‘That’s priceless.’”

Rodgers, who has photographed 20 births in four years, says that aspect of her maternity and baby photo business developed after she asked a fellow photographer to attend the birth of her own second child.  “When I saw the slideshow I recognized how tremendous it was to have my husband be part of the story instead of, ‘Get the camera!’” Rodgers says. “We didn’t have a photographer at our oldest child’s birth and we have maybe three pictures from the whole day, and my husband’s not in them.”

Not a job for an amateur photographer

A birth photographer must be discreet and experienced, says Jennifer Driscoll, a highly rated Indianapolis-area photographer who’s done birth work for a few former wedding and family-portrait clients. “You have to be very respectful of the moments you’re capturing,” says the mother of three and former nurse. “I offer words of encouragement at the appropriate times, but for the most part I stay in the background. I don’t use flash; I know my cameras well so I don’t mind shooting in low light.”

Randi Neukam of Fishers, Ind., had hired Driscoll to shoot her wedding and maternity pictures, but was initially shy when Driscoll suggested birth photos. “I’m a very modest person, so it took me a while to think about it. My family reaction was kind of like, ‘You’re doing what?!’”

In the final weeks before delivering her daughter, Neukam emailed Driscoll updates after each doctor visit, and called her when she went to the hospital around 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 13.  Driscoll documented the hours before Preslee was born, and even sat with Neukam while her husband left to get something to eat. When labor grew intense, “I honestly had no idea she was there. And all the angles of the birth pictures were from above my head. The shots she took, including my daughter having her first feeding, I felt like my dad and grandpa could see. Before, I thought I wouldn’t show the pictures to anybody. Then, I thought, ‘There’s no way I can’t show people this. It’s so cool.’”

Sheri Van Wert, owner of highly rated Sheri Van Wert Photography in Foresthill, Calif., near Sacramento, expects to document her first birth this fall. The idea originated with a former wedding and family-photo client, Erica Schweigert of Galt, Calif.  “I emailed her, out of the blue, saying ‘This is the most random question ever, but would you like to be there on the day I give birth?’” Schweigert says. “I didn’t want my mom or husband to feel obligated to take pictures. It’s like having a big party and the person doing the barbecuing gets left out.”

Van Wert says she’s more than happy to explore this professional avenue. “I’m very honored,” she says. “Being a part of these huge moments is such a blessing.”

Tips from birth photographers and moms:

  • Be sure you’re comfortable with whoever you hire; you’ll spend hours with him or her during one of the most vulnerable times of your life.
  • Review work samples and check references. Also, ask about their equipment and how long they’ve used it, since flash is a distraction in the delivery room.
  • Discuss what photos you’d like to see, and what to expect if the unexpected happens, such as a C-section. Make sure the photographer will be available at whatever day and hour necessary, and has a backup, just in case.
  • Inform your doctor and birth facility that you want a photographer present. Be aware that not all facilities or doctors permit photography or video, especially in the operating room.
  • Clarify cost and what you’ll get. Some photographers charge a fee, in the hundreds of dollars, to secure their time, charging extra for slideshows, prints, books or other products. Other photographers charge higher initial fees, $1,000 or more, and provide clients a DVD with a slideshow and images to use as desired. Photographers may also include extras, such as maternity or newborn photography, or discounts on those services.

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Comments

It is very sad to see that Births have become big parties and "shows" and no longer a private affair. Instead of husband and wife enjoying a private and very personal moment, friends and extended family want to "be part" of this joyous event. People more worried about getting the "perfect shot" then embracing the special moment of labor and birth. And don't get me started on those same family members who just "needed" to be there, yet spend most of their time texting, facebooking and tweeting about what is going on, than supporting the soon to be mom or enjoying this special moment. Is anything sacred anymore? Why does everything have to be shared for the whole world to see.

Let us stop saying that a woman doesn't care about modesty and privacy during childbirth. What a worn out, overused, statement. While it is true, that a laboring/birthing woman is focused on the pain and the job at hand, she does still care about the male visitors seeing too much. It's just that she is in too much pain to do anything about it. And this is where the nurse, husband, and her mother should step in. When photographs are taken, there needs to be no pictures all up in the vagina, unless the pregnant woman has given clear directives for that. Otherwise, just get the shots of the baby as it emerges. Would we take pictures of our men's penises as the doctor works on the vasectomy or prostate exam? No, because we always preserve men's privacy, while telling women to get over it and to stop being prudish. Stop messing with these vulnerable young pregnant women's minds. Many of us DO care about keeping as much covered as we can. Respect that please. We do not desire for our dads, brothers, fathers in law, uncles, and brothers in law, to see our intimate parts. Please stop trying to brainwash pregnant women this way.

Privacy has become a thing of the past. How egotistical must people be?

When I had my son, only my husband was allowed in the operating room for the C-section. he was so nervous and shaky that we didn't get ANY first photos. Having a birth photographer for our daughters birth was the best decision we ever made. I was able to relax knowing I was going to have some really neat, well thought out shots. she was very professional and let me decide how much and how little i wanted photographed. weknow have a DVD set to our favorite song with all of the best photos of our little girls first moments in this world. I cry every time I see it. For those who say "no way" i would rather trust a professional who is prepared for each step in labor than a trigger happy husband who doesn't have a clue what he's in for.

I can't believe this question is even being asked,, but with the way things are changing in our world nothing is sacred anymore.. During my child bearing years we wore "Smocks" and pants/skirts with stretch fabric for the baby, In other words we covered ourselves. Now I see girls that are pregnant with their "baby bump" totally ecposed, or a shirt so tight the really don't need to wear it.. I would never allow Photography in the delivery room,, It's not a show, or a performance nor is the mother there to entertain. She is their to bring a new life into the world that God has allowed her to have. It's between the mom and dad just as the conception was.. It wouldn't surprise me if the conception isn't photographed soon.. Like I said nothing is sacred..

I am a professional medical photographer, retired. I would have loved to have a professional in the delivery room. It wasn't allowed when I delivered any of my four children. :o( My husband attempted to photograph my c-sections. For the the first it wasn't allowed, and the second he bungled, the third & fourth were fine. But if I could have had professional memories I would have been thrilled. Personal choice rules!

I am a photographer and a mother of three. After seeing an interview about this very subject on TV I thought what a wonderful idea. During my deliveries I was the squeamish one so I didn't watch and digital cameras weren't invented :) I so regret not having anything from the moment my children entered the world. The photographs I've seen are very tasteful and beautiful and I'd feel honored for someone to allow me to capture that once in a lifetime moment for them.

I work with delivery families every day as a R N. We have a great photographer that does wonderful work. "chance". You hardly know she is there, the photos are excellent. The families can focus on supporting the mother and also document the day with photos. It is very tasteful.

I had a photographer with me for my scheduled c-section six weeks ago. I am lucky enough to have a great friend who is a professional photographer, and when she mentioned being there at the birth of my third, i hesitated at first, but could not be happier that i chose to have her there. It was great to not have a single worry about getting the perfect picture. Not to mention, she captured moments i would have never even thought to take pictures of. She was not allowed in the OR, but she handed her camera over to one of the nurses to catch the moments our daughter came into the world. I am a very private person, and although this seems like an invasion of privacy, a good photographer blends into the chaos in the end, and all you remember is the wonderful pictures you have to cherish. That being said, i really do suggest using someone you are very comfortable with. My photographer kept me company while my husband took the older kids to their grandparents, she helped chase after the kids once they got there after their sister was born , and i just felt glad to have her there as a friend as well as a photographer. If you are not as lucky to know someone that closely, dont fear, interview people, ask friends; if you want the pictures, it is worth it.

I think it is a personal point of acceptance. Both "to be" parents need to agree in advance, and have the Hospitals acceptance... I was on of the first husbands allowed in the delivery room with my son, in Santa Maria, California... and it is a Treasure I will live with forever.... It has to be a consensual agreement between the husband and "new" mother as to what they want....

I would be very cautious concerning photography during this very personal event. Hospital policies would need to be reviewed by their legal department. What are the legal implications if the delivery is of a high risk pregnancy, or what are the risks if the delivery evolves into a high risk situation? The focus always needs to be on both patients, the mother and child, with attention also to the husband or life partner if present. The photographer must understand that the doctors and nurses present have work to do and he needs to stay out of the way especially if there is an emergency. And one must also regard the rights of these professionals who, for varied reasons, may not want to be photographed.

I agree with ProShooter. This is the couple's decision -- not the public's to make, or force their opinions on others who may be considering doing this. I work in a hospital (not maternity) and know for a fact that families are OK'd to photograph, but with restrictions. Even hospital staff cannot be photographed without their permission. If there is (God forbid) and emergency situation, then all shooting has to stop. For those who may not know, whoever is in the hospital itself, with a camera, must be cleared through the hospital's public relations department, as the hospital always has to protect itself -- they cannot have any 'Tom, Dick or Harry' shooting something that could potentially be used in litigation later. For that reason, if I were the photographer, I'd make damn sure that all my "t's were crossed" and that I would not be held liable for any image taken, as they (images) would be considered the property of the couple. Yes -- this is definitely one time where 'professional ownership/copyright' has to be nullified! And, I would keep my professional liability to an absolute minimum. And considering the litiginous fools who sue doctors for just about anything nowadays, my question would be "WHY WOULD a professional photographer put him/herself in this situation to begin with?!?? Digital cameras are sold to everyone, of all calibers, including professional cameras -- so let the family record what THEY want to record. And the 'professional photogs' out ther -- earn you living elsewhere, please!!!

I would not want it taped, unless by family. I think the time is extremely intimate and special to the immediate family only.

No, the experience is very personal and not for outsiders, it is for family and a very intimate time.

My belief is that it is up to both parents if they wish to do it. My own and my wife's opinion is that we would not do it. We feel that it would be an invasion of the woman's privacy.

Many hospitals will not permit photography in the delivery room for liability purposes. Just a point of fact. A child's birth in a hospital is a medical procedure. Doctors, nurses, the birthing mother and if desired, the child's father are necessary persons. A photographer has no place in such an environment. if one chooses to birth via a midwife procedure, that is an entirely different issue, come one, come all. My nephews father is a professional photographer and, after the successful birth, that was the time and place for photographs, not before. JMO. Those photographs were quite beautiful. And cherished.

First, let me say that I love the idea and believe that it would have been awesome in the case of my daughter's birth. However, as a Healthcare industry professional, there are liabilities and risks for both parties and how this information can be used. Clearly, should something go wrong during the process, evidence is being created realtime. That is why I believe some institutions object. It can be a double edged sword as well. Should the patient(s) refuse to pay or make "false" statements, they could be held liable on the other side of the equation (even criminally). The best way to ensure this does not happen is to have a co-signed agreement indemifying the photographer, the doctor, and patient from using this in a litigious way unless an actual crime is committed.

When I was having children, NO ONE was allowed in the delivery room except the doctor and one or two nurses. When my daughter started her family, I was delighted that she wanted us to watch. It was the most amazing and beautiful experience of my life, aside from having my own babies. Since our first grandchild was born, my husband and I have been present at all of the other births except one. (Our daughter-in-law, also, allowed us to be in the delivery room.) I took pictures during all four deliveries and found the experiences to be uplifting, emotional, and beautiful. However, I was so intent on taking good pictures that I missed a little of the bonding that comes with just being there. So, in my opinion, hiring a professional photographer is perfectly acceptable. Then everyone can enjoy the miracle that is happening before them.

I think the modern trend towards putting one's entire personal life out there for the world to see is sick. Some things are meant to be private and personal. People who want to photograph events like this are exhibitionists who crave attention.

Yes. First of all, birth photographers are professional photographers. We have used a professional birth photographer (that's the only photography she does) at one of our deliveries and were so pleased with our experience. Like anything else, who you hire matters! If you have your amateur brother in law with an expensive camera in the delivery room, it might not be a pleasant experience. Our photographer has photographed births in and out of the hospital; at home, in birth centers, in hospitals, cesareans, twins, water birth... Her work has graced the covers of many magazines and books as well as birth websites such as the North American Registery of Midwives site. She and so many other professionals birth photographers are a part of the birth team and should be looked at as such. Ours was so quiet, we didn't even know she was there and we're very thankful for the beautiful images she captured from our special event.

I did it! After horrible photos taken by family for the first two, I brought in a "ringer". It was wonderful to have my husband's undivided attention and to have photos that included actual heads this time. I had someone we knew very well, not a stranger, that's important. But let's face it, if you're worried about privacy now, you will not care about it in the delivery room. You won't know the nurses who are getting a very close look! I have beautiful photos that I put into a gorgeous book that anyone can see without embarrassment...except of course my daughter who turned out to be a son! That picture was worth everything!

Having a professional photographer in the delivery room is a decision that should be up to the parents subject to approval by the delivery doctor and with the understanding that the doctor can exclude the photographer if it is demed medically unadvisable. However, having been present during the delivery of my son, I am glad we do not have a rcord of the actual delivery .

As someone who takes care of that laboring woman and her family, and have had people trying to photograph that "special moment" I can say that it's not something most women want. Women are too focused going through a very physical and exhausting process and the last thing they want is to have some strange person in their face, or other regions, trying to "get the shot". The dads or partners are able to take photos, but in my experience, even if the woman thought it was a good idea before labor, they are NOT wanting a stranger there when they are so vulnerable and exposed. Your nurses or birth partners are always happy to take photos, but have your professional photography after you and your partner and child have had their "special moment" together.

If both parents are in agreement, I think it should be their choice. We are constantly hearing about the increase in C-sections though, and I wonder if this practice wouldn't encourage more of them. It would make it easier for the photographer and the parents to schedule the delivery ahead of time rather than the photographer being on call at all hours of the day and night. This could contribute to more premature births and complications for the newborn..

Thirty years ago it was standard practice for my OBGYN to photograph the birth of his mothers. Of course, my permission was required, and one of the nurses photographed the glorious event, however, unlike the photos that appear in your article most have the likeness of medical text book photos. The photos were delivered to me as slides and have pretty much been relegated to my dresser drawer. My children have never had a desire to see them. Maybe that will change when their own children are born. They just might consult Angies List for a great referral. Not much has changed in 30 years.

Is nothing sacred??? I almost lost my lunch when I saw that there was a SHOW ON TV following birthing women (and in my own city, no less). Needless to say, I did NOT tune in. Nor do I have children of my own. Enough said.

Absolutely not. Very private time

Good luck trying to have a "professional" photographer take pictures of what should be an intimate moment between mother and baby (and father). We were told that under no circumstances could video/pictures be taken while the birthing process was occurring and could only be done after the child was born and checked by the medical staff. This was at a very well-known community hospital and I'm positive they have that "rule" in place to protect themselves against malpractice should something go wrong...as it would be documented on your film!! In my opinion, it's a CYA for them...not to mention the fact that they partner with a 3rd party "vendor" that goes in afterward and "sells" you on a picture package of your new addition. Nice way to show the child how the world worships the almighty dollar from the get-go... In any case, I'm with Josh on this. Wake up, people! Use the brain that God gave you to "remember" what should be one of the GREATEST days of your life!

My baby was born at home with a doctor. I had requests from a professional film crew and a professional photographer to come and film a home birth. I am glad that I refused both of them and had a very private experience, with husband, close friend and doctor. Every woman should be able to choose what is right for her.

For myself the answer is NO! If my husband wanted to take a picture, that would be fine, but no strangers allowed. I do understand and support the right of others who wish to have DVD's or photos to look back on. I prefer to keep this special moment private.

If I was giving birth, sure!

If I was giving birth, sure!

I think it's a personal choice on whether to do it or not. The people that are against it, fine don't do it. But don't be judgemental about people that DO want to. For many mothers this is an opportunity to see the birth like you never would've before. The pictures can still be private, something the parents are able to look over when the child is older. They aren't going to neccesarily put them on facebook for petes sake.

@Renee, It's kind of similar to the way the Trojans and wildcats roll.

Absolutely not. Some things should remain private in life and between 2 people.

NO... I would not want a professional photographer in the delivery room. There is enough risk of infection in any hospital setting that I don't think you need to add "non-sterile" camera equipment in the delivery room. Also, delivery rooms are not huge rooms. In the event that "something goes wrong", every inch of available space is needed for medical personnel to intervene to assist the mother and the baby. This is not an event that needs to be filmed by an outside photographer nor does he/she need to be "in the way" during emergency interventions.

As a retired family doctor that did about 2200 deliveries I would not allow any photographs in my delivery room for the simple reason in this litigenous society it would be use in a lawsuit if anything went wrong in the eyes of the patient, her family and a malpractice attorney. I liked having the father present and if the father was experienced at viewing the delivery from the ladies end he could be beside me on her third delivery and even cut the cord on instruction. The legal side is too perilous to allow pictures or even worse a movie of delivery. I do not think the doctors insurance carrier would allow it either. Even if a disclaimer paper was signed ahead of time.

The labor and delivery of my third son, Asher, was very quick (only about 90 minutes) and very scary. I am SO thankful my friend Rachel Vanoven (a professional photographer) made it to the hospital shortly after I did and was able to catch the whole event for us in the midst of the chaos. Her gorgeous pictures (taken from bedside, nothing graphic) show perfectly the scary moments when Asher's heart rate dropped, my pain and tears as I delivered my 9.2 lb. baby boy WITHOUT the epidural that I was hoping for, and the relief on our faces when Asher's bruised and purple face started to pink up. Rachel's pictures are so very special to us - remembering the amazing way Asher entered our lives. I highly recommend having a photographer in the delivery room! Schedule them for maternity pictures beforehand so you can get familiar with the photographer. Then just talk with them about the KIND of pictures you want. Across the room, only get our faces, or get in there, I want EVERYTHING on camera. With the right person, it's an experience you won't forget.

I dont think i could you can tape it your self cheaper that would mean mor

I am a retired professional photographer. I shot hundreds of weddings. But only one delivery. My daughter's. Now, 26 years later, I would love to shoot her baby's birth this August. Of the thousands upon thousands of rolls of film I have shot in my lifetime, none are more important than that one roll from 26 years ago. By all means find a reputable photographer with good references that you feel like you can be comfortable with in an intimate situation. You will not regret it.

Delivery room photography/video is not a new concept. Way back in the 70's and 80's when I had my children it was a huge trend and many people had a friend or relative in the delivery room doing just that. You would then be "treated" to a photo album or slide show at a friend's house after the birth. I declined to do this for the simple reason that I knew it would take me out of the moment. I didn't want to be concerned about the presence of a camera trained upon me at my most vulnerable. I went through all of the pain and discomfort of a "natural" childbirth willingly - partly because I wanted to be as aware as possible during this once in a lifetime experience. Photography changes things. Your memories are of the photos, not your internal perceptions of the actual event. You have to ask yourself which of these kinds of memories you want to take through the rest of your life. If it matters to you, do without the photographer in the delivery room.

We did it - 37 years ago! As I was working as a journalist, it began as an assignment to highlight Lamaze techniques which was a fairly new concept then. It morphed into a full photography exhibit by a very talented photo journalist. We didn't talk about it much with our daughter, so imagine her surprise 13 years later when she opened her freshman health textbook and saw a copy of a photo of her birth.

Almost thirty years ago, a photographer named Mary Motley Kalergis photographed a book in Charlottesville VA called "Giving Birth." I was one of the moms who participated. Mary photographed numerous women both at home births and at hospital births and I will be willing to bet you that thirty years later those photos are treasured by every family who has them. I know I do. Anyone who doesn't want this doesn't have to do it.

I would do my best with my digital...

Seems that some will do anything to make $$. My husband took pictures of our daughter's birth and I can't imagine hiring an outsider to do it for payment. If you don't have a family member or friend you feel comfortable with taking pictures, then why bother.

Odd my 3 kids were all born at different hospitals and NONE of them allow cameras during the delivery process. My wife is an ER nurse at two different hospitals where we now live and none of them allow cameras during birth either. It's not a dr thing it's a hospital policy to protect itself.

i am editing a batch of birth photos right now:) i have been a doula for 8 years and love capturing the labor and birth:) its an individual choice, not everyone wants photos of this, but i have taken them for hesitant mamas before ( with their camera instead of mine) and they were in aww and greatful to have them! we are so out of it when we work so hard, that it is really interesting to see what was going on around us while we were in labor land! i get pictures of more then just the baby;s head comming out, i feel that my pictures capture the whole story of the labor and birth in a more emotional way that video ( or a dad snapping quick shots between holding a leg) just cant do:)

I would! It is not about my body but about my baby and their first expressions of their life. It is a priceless moment that only a professional could capture in a artistic manner.

If I am correct my wife and I were the first couple in Miami, Florida to be allowed into the delivery room together for the birth of our first child on October 3rd,1967. It was a miraculous experience that changed my life forever. We had taken a series of four classes which were preparatory but not Lamaze classes. The doctor was a Polish Jewish immigrant to Cuba who then fled Castro as well. He was only kind enough to do it because my wife was also a Cuban who came to America in 1954. Sent by her parents who were teachers and knew Castro was going to be horrendous. I took pictures of this birth, and also recorded it. It was nothing short of a miracle. Three months later I went back to college at UF in Gainesville 350 miles north of Miami. While studying Engineering there our second child was conceived and by the time he was ready to be born I had had a crisis about Engineering, finding the job I had in Engineering that summer very boring, and not who I was personally. We decided I would change my major to Nursing and pursue a career as a Nurse-Midwife. That never came to pass as I was a bit to early for the nursing leaders to accept a male into that roll. I was allowed into the delivery room, again as the first husband at the Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida on November 14th of 1969, and experienced another incredible experience. Eventually I went back into the Air Force as a Nursing officer, and was allowed to serve for 2 years in a Labor and Delivery. However when asked how I was going to be chaperoned during my exams I blurted out, "Why I will invite the husbands into the labor room." They all stopped smiling, and had no retort for that solution. I coached a couple of hundred labors, and attended their consequent deliveries while at that duty assignment, but was told I would never be allowed to attend the USAF Nurse-Midwifery program. I did attend the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics (A.S.P.O.) Certification classes, and became a Certified Childbirth Educator. (C.C.E.) Lamaze instructor during that time. During those two years In the military my third child was born in the back of a VW Bus. It was 1974 and the gas crisis was in full swing. You could only get gas every other day determined by the odd or even number at the end of your licence plate. Goldsboro would not even allow one of the OB doctors from the base into the delivery room when his wife delivered at the town hospital instead of the base hospital. Raleigh, N.C. was the closest city and none of their hospitals would allow husbands in the delivery room. So we went to 80 miles to Durham N.C. where one of their hospitals would allow me in the delivery room. The day of his birth was chaos. I had worked all night and begged my wife to let me sleep a couple of hours before the drive to Durham. She did. As sweet as she is she let me sleep about 6 hours, but then awakened me at 2 PM. While putting the kids with neighbors, and then getting her overnight bag in etc. she broke her water. I asked her if she wanted to go to the base hospital and she said NO very definitively. I had taken out the center seat in the bus and set up a plywood bed with a double mattress in the back. When we left the base it was just after 3 PM and the traffic into and out of the base was totally unexpected. All our previous monthly trips had been out at 10 AM and back by 2 PM. The one mile road to highway 70, the main road to Raleigh and Durham was packed with cars bumper to bumper. I drove off onto the shoulder of this road and bumped along while cars beeped their anger at me. Seeing the intersection of our road and hwy 70 I knew I could not expect to get into that situation without a fight so there was a very large Gas station which lay in front of me with a fully black topped surface. Just what I needed. I dashed catty whompus across that open road and never saw the unmarked speed bump put in to discourage such adventures. We hit it at a good rate of speed and flew in the air just like they do on Dukes of Hazard. My wife screamed, my head hit the ceiling, and I knew a bit more about this gas station and its owners, who must have laughing like "ole Boss Hogg." Only a few miles down hwy 70 I knew my wife was pushing. I stopped to see how far along she was and she was "crowning" the baby's head was right there. I pulled off of hwy 70, away from the tobacco fields just before Clayton, N.C. into a semi-circle of trees, and 20 minutes later we had a 9 lbs 3oz baby boy. He is now a 38 year old ER doctor in Fort Myers, Florida. The local VW dealer sent her 24 red roses, 21 more then I did, and VW America sent a $100 savings bond, telling us he was the 264th baby born in a VW since their program Bonds for Babies had been developed. I eventually left the military and went to Charleston S.C. and applied to their Midwifery Training program there a few times before abandoning the effort. Yet I taught Lamaze classes for 5 more years there. The next child was born at home when my wife's water broke just as she sat in our station wagon which was not set up to give birth and, she said, "Oh NO! Not again." So on July 20th of 1979 he came into the wold while our daughter prepared to bath him, and the oldest boy filmed it. I just think that birth is a beautiful miracle that needs to be documented. Yet I do not think there is a woman that I can remember who would want anybody there but her husband, or today her significant other. My oldest boy was in with his wife's births, but we respectfully stayed outside the door while it happened. Just a professional courtesy we extend them. The youngest boy's wife had c-sections and he is a semi-pro photographer, and he was in the operating room for both births, as she was given an epidural and was awake for both. It has to be each couples decision, but I would not expect to make a living doing it as I feel there are few couples interested as there are privacy concerns. I went on to get into Emergency Medicine and eventually became a Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP).

NOT IN A MILLION YEARS would I ever let that happen. Photographers are known to going a little to far with their cameras -NO WAY IN HELL

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