There may not be a more badass mom move than taking picture of the first moments of your child, as you push him into the world
As a professional photographer, Megan Mattiuzzo knew plenty of birth photographers that could capture the arrival of her first son. But that’s not exactly what the 29-year-old first-time mom had in mind. She wanted to take the pictures herself, and she really just wanted one shot: her son’s first breath, from her perspective.
Although she mostly focuses on weddings, Mattiuzzo – owner of Megan Ann Photography – had a full plan for snapping pics at her son’s birth. When things got pretty close, they would get the lighting right and Mattiuzzo would prepare her Nikon D5 for the big moment. Then her husband would hand her the camera right before the final push, and she would rest it on her belly as she birthed her baby.
Despite a few kinks in the plan (as most births go), Mattiuzzo got just exactly the shot that she was hoping for, of her first child, Easton.
“Yes I documented my own birth,” she wrote on Facebook along with pictures of the big moment. “Since I got pregnant I knew I wanted just one photo .. of his first breath!”
She went on to describe how the birth went, in relation to the original plan.
I wasn’t sure I would be able to actually pull this off because of my epidural not fully working. My pain level at the end was over my limit. I grab my light ( as we say in the business lol ) between two contractions and then Ryan handed me the camera the min they said that last push would be the one! He came out crying but calmed so much down they made him cry again to make sure he was okay. He has proved to be a very calm baby who is dealing with some breathing issues but is a trooper. We are so in love with our Baby Easton!”
Mattiuzzo tells Scary Mommy more of the story.
“When I first found out I was pregnant I knew that this was something I wanted to capture for my self,” Mattiuzzo told Scary Mommy. “I have friends who are 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!”
“My doctor and husband where both on board! I told the doctors as I started to push to turn the room lights off and just keep the spot lights above the bed on, to make for a better photo. Between two contractions I started my setting in my Nikon D5. Then my husband held the camera for an hour and 15 mins until the moment my doctor told me it would be the last push! He then handed me my camera and as I curled my chin to my chest to push I balanced the bottom of the camera on my stomach looking through the viewfinder.”
The next moment was an amazing one, both for a first-time mom, and as an artist.
“I then captured one of the best moments of my life. The first time I got to see my son… the first breath he took. It was the best day of my life and I now I will always remember it. Photographs keep moments from ever being lost. I’m glad I captured my son’s first moments!”
She told BuzzFeed that the moment almost didn’t happen at all, because of the partially failed epidural that made labor extremely painful.
“My epidural wasn’t a hundred percent effective. The left side of my stomach didn’t take [and the] labor was very intense,” she said. “At one point I looked at my husband and said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.'”
She also spoke about the first moment she saw her son, through her viewfinder.
“The focus went away from the pain,” she told BuzzFeed. “It’s your son, it’s your child. Seeing him…I can’t describe the feeling. You go nine months not knowing what they look like, who they are. And then to see finally see a healthy baby, you’re just overwhelmed with happiness.”
Since she published the pictures, they’ve gone viral.
“I am very surprised by the overwhelming attention the media has had to the images,” she told Scary Mommy. “Its been quite a ride! Im excited to have this story for Easton as he grows. Its nice to see a warm story of birth and I’m so happy to see the great response from mothers and women. It’s been a very eventful few days since his birth and I can’t wait to share the story of his birth with him when he is old enough.”
As you might guess, there are already tons of other great picture of Easton – and we’re guessing many, many more to come throughout his life.
Mattiuzzo added that she wanted to thank her nurses, her doctor, and the hospital, all of which were completely supportive of her wish.
As to other expecting moms who might want to shoot their own labor and birth? She want to make sure everyone clears it with their healthcare providers first. And that they are prepared to capture a moment that only happens once.
“Make sure ahead of time that you’re familiar with your camera and how rapidly changing the settings could be,” she said. “Know your camera, so you don’t look back and realize [your photos] are blurry.”