When Mr. P was born, I was certain I wanted no photos taken during labor. I'm not sure why. I'm sure I had reasons, but I can't remember them at all.
When Shmoogie was born, I wanted photos. And we were so blessed to have Auntie Doula, who is also a tremendous photographer, there for the birth. Some of the most treasured photos of my life are in the set she took that day. I was so awed by how incredible they were, that I put one of Shmoogie the instant after she was born, covered in vernix and amniotic fluid (and a little blood), on the cover of her birth announcement. Probably gave some of relatives quite a shock, and I feel a little bad about that in retrospect. But, as I was recently explaining to Uncle 2, it was a truly AWESOME photo. I mean, this photo was so beautiful and so striking, in the composition of it and the colors and the immediacy of the moment, it could totally have been in National Geographic! He said, "Yeah, and how often do you open a birth announcement and say, 'That photo could totally be in National Geographic!'?"
Anyway, this time I knew I wanted photos, but I also had no illusions that they could be as great as last time. And then, when it came down to it, Auntie Doula wasn't there and everything went so fast... I knew Mr. Right had gotten out the camera. I remember him pointing it at me and asking, "Can I take a picture?" And I remember laughing and saying, "You're my husband! You can take as many pictures as you want!"
But I had no idea he'd taken any after that until I saw them. There aren't as many as from Shmoogie's labor, but since it lasted less than half as long and he was also keeping tabs on the kids and fetching things for the midwives and helping me on a few trips to the bathroom, I'm amazed there are any. And they're wonderful. I especially love the ones of Shmoogie, sitting at the end of the bed, conferring with the midwives and twiddling her toes. And the few of all five of us on the bed after the birth, which the midwives were kind enough to think to take.