Mom Takes On Role Of Photographer While Giving Birth, Like A Badass

by Meredith Bland
Used with permission of Lauren Chenault

Mom photographs herself during childbirth

A lot of parents get photos of their newborns at the hospital. Some will hire a professional photographer and have them take the pictures. But how many parents are professional photographers who take pictures of themselves during their own labor and childbirth? No, you shut up.

Photographer Lauren Chenault, who runs a studio in Rockville Centre, New York called You’re My Focus, did the seemingly impossible, most undeniably badass thing a photographer in labor could do: she shot her own childbirth photos. This may be the zenith of a mom saying, “Oh, for Pete’s sake, just give it to me. I’ll do it myself.”

At first, one might wonder why a person would take on the task of taking photographs when they’re already going to be busy with excruciating pain and p.s. also pushing a baby out of their vagina. But Chenault told Scary Mommy that she wanted to do it as a way of documenting her power as a woman: “I photographed my own birth because it’s amazing to me that a woman can grow a human inside her then push it out. I wanted to document that and now I have an amazing photo of the first seconds my son was born.”

The actual business of taking the photos was helped along by Chenault’s friends and her husband: “I also had my four closest friends in the room who helped hold my legs so that I could take the photos. Hubby was also there. There weren’t any challenges. My camera was resting on my stomach and I just kept clicking away hoping I got the shot so it didn’t interfere with anything at all.”

Yup, Chenault was all over it. She’s a mom and shit needed planning, so let’s do this: friends on the legs, husband for support, camera on belly, clickity click click, donity done done. It’s the ultimate in “Look what I made” artwork. (“Yeah, your kid’s picture of a dinosaur is really adorable. But look what I made.”)

Chenault took control of documenting one of the most important experiences of her life, and we love her for it. Though we have to say, we don’t think there are a whole lot of people out there who could pull this off. Chenault ended up with a gorgeous photo of her new baby, but we imagine a lot of folks would capture some ceilings, doors, and perhaps the upside of their partner’s head.

But Chenault got some incredible in-the-moment photos, and we’re glad she shared them with the rest of us.