Photographing a surrogate birth!

The life of a photographer is not always planned. And sometimes those unexpected moments during a session can be the most special moments. This birth session was nothing short of special. I had a surrogate mama contact me when she was 14 weeks along with a special baby boy! This was an extra special session because before this baby boy, the parents had tried for a baby girl that didn’t stick.

Flash forward to 2019! I connected back up with this surrogate mama about our plans, and back up plans. Her c-section was planned on January 8th and I was happy to be on call for her the week prior. Skip to January 3rd 3am (yes, I was fast asleep) - I get a phone call “Shannon - my water broke, we’re heading to the hospital shortly” … up and out of bed, threw on clothes, brushed my teeth and ran out the door! That 20 minute drive felt like an eternity.

Once I arrived the surrogate mama was checked in and waiting final testing. While the tests were being processed (that took a few hours more than expected) the parents arrived! We finally got to share the surprise to the parents that the surrogate mom hired me, as a special surprise for the parents. Not only is this selfless woman carrying their baby for them, she hired me to photograph all the excitement of the birth! Seriously, thinking about this makes me want to cry tears of joy all over again. As expected the parents were overjoyed! So many amazing emotions all happening so fast!

Shortly after 8am it was go time! Initially we were told only one person can be in the OR during the c-section. At that point I went to the waiting room and chatted with the parents to be about everything! Names, life, the c-section process, photography, art, and traveling. As we were chatting in the waiting room, we got word that 2 more could join the c-section (we were shocked and extremely excited!) !!!! It was an extreme honor that I could be there to photograph this, and be along side the new mom (surrogate, and the surrogate’s husband). Once dressed and ready to go we waited till the surrogate mom was ready and then we all shuffled in. Every c-section is different on the rules in the room, where they have me stand, and what they let me photograph. When the doctor was ready to pull baby out she called me over, I got into position and captured the most amazing miracle. Baby boy was born!

After a quick clean up, check up, and warm up, baby was perfect. Quickly after we left the OR we met up with Dad who greeted baby for the first time. Such a special moment, a lot of excitement, and now could breath a sigh of relief! Poor dad was waiting, worried, and anxious that all would go well for the surrogate mama, and baby. Fortunately everyone was perfect.

Baby still had to get weighed in, checked out, and checked on. Next up!? New parents got to hold baby boy! As a new parent there are so many emotions, and to be sitting with the parents as they hold their baby for the first time was absolutely an honor and a priceless memory. One of my favorite moments in the nursery was when they parents were holding baby and just looking at him. Those first steps to learning how baby works, what soothes him and what he likes.

After the nursery they were sent off to the recovery room. Holding baby, feeding baby for the first time, changing a diaper! Swaddling baby boy and finding those comfy spots to cuddle with him. The best years of their life are now. These memories and precious moments, will always be remembered thanks to the most amazing surrogate who planned this all.

In the few days following up with the surrogate and parents, the surrogate is doing well and recovering nicely. The new parents are learning their baby and trying to get sleep. In less than a month the new parents will go back to their home town but until then they are staying local and taking in their new baby one moment at a time.

Within the day they got a sneak peek, and within 2 days they received all their photos to share.

For more information on booking a birth send me a message!