Leilani Rodgers, a mother of two and a Texas-based birth-photographer has captured incredibly beautiful moments of birthing that she shared with Redbookmag while she documented the raw, yet the most breathtakingly memorable moments that she reckons the most.
1. Witnessing a baby born in the amniotic sac in tact is a rare moment. Leilani happened to capture just that! She says that the conditions for the birth weren’t great – it was a ‘dark, and the room was tiny, and there were a lot of birth workers present whose job was much more important than mine.” Towards the end of the day, when she looked at the images that she had captured, she was overcome with emotion at being so blessed to have witnessed the moment albeit through her lens.
2. This woman’s seven year old is helping her mother by applying pressure on her mother’s lower back. As she came into the birth room, it wasn’t expected of her, but she genuinely wanted to help her mother. It was a very sweet gesture for her age. Her mother later acknowledged that it was quite soothing to have her in the birthing room and how much she was overwhelmed at the caring nature her daughter displayed.
3. Leilani finds the C-section experiences just as breathtaking as that of natural birthing.
4. She also captured the rare occurence of a baby with six fingers. This baby has no bone in the extra finger, but for a nail. Quite fascinating.
5. Leilani finds these moments of mothers reaching for their babies and keeping them close to their chests as one of the most cherished moments. In her words: “The joy, relief, and exhaustion is just so palpable.”
6. She regards her experience as a birthing photographer a privilege as she gets the chance to witness the umbilical cords and the placentas that are nature’s marvels and have brilliant reasons to be there.
7. This image is that of Leilani’s niece. She had a calm birth. She describes this as a ‘heavenly moment’. “She came quietyly and peacefully into this world and took her time opening her big beautiful eyes to take in her new surroundings.” she adds.
8. Isn’t it amazing that women can birth in different positions? Perhaps birthing shouldn’t be restricted to women lying on their backs. Perhaps changing the positions can ease birthing.
9. Herbal baths are given few hours after birth, or a couple of days after birth. They not only smell great, but also help in healing the perinium and nurture the bond between mother and baby. And they make one of the favorite clicks of hers.
10. In this image, Leilani captures the moment when the baby is passing between the womb and her mother. The mother’s gesture of trying to reach out for her baby, desperate to hold it in her arms is amazing.
11. This picture was photographed in a bathtub. This mother knew making birth tubs is timetaking – blowing up and filling might not leave enough time for the process. The photograph was taken while looking through the glass of the shower stall.
12. This one is a two-mama family’s birth. The mother’s partner is an experienced doula as she was in labor for 35 hours.
13. This was one of the most beautiful moments – it was not until Leilani got home that she realized this little one gestured a sign of being at peace!