I’m unapologetically raw and honest. Parenthood is messy and so beautifully difficult. It’s the most rewarding and yet the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And I try my hardest to take all of it in: the cracked nipples, the postpartum body and hair loss, the blowouts and 2 am cry sessions, everything. It’s a season, and seasons pass. And although in the midst of it, it can be daunting and feel like you’re drowning (I sure did, shit I still do), I can’t imagine being on the other side. I don’t want to be there yet. Shit, I begin to cry thinking about my son going off to college already and he’s only two (which my husband totally laughs at me for).
Speaking of my son, my biggest regret from the day he was born was not hiring a doula (and then not hiring a birth photographer because cell phone pics just don’t do it justice). No matter how many books I read, how many times I studied the hospital childbirth class curriculum, or check lists I finished from Pinterest, I was not ready for the journey or transformation that was birth. I had no one in my corner who understood natural physiological childbirth and it showed in how my son entered the world.
You will never forget how you were treated on the day you give birth, ever. It becomes a part of your soul, of who you become as a parent. And the way I was treated, is the reason I became a birth worker.
And as for photography, I want everything documented. I want my children in 20 years to be able to look back at this crazy life. I didn’t grow up with pictures so taking and having pictures is something that I am determined to provide to my children and those around me. Sometimes it’s those small details that we forget after a while. And being able to sit down, and hold a picture in your hand while remembering the sights/smells/feelings from that day is inspiring and oftentimes the most comforting feeling in the world.
It’s so cliche but pictures speak a thousand words. They stir up forgotten emotions, and trigger a waterfall of tears in an instant. Both positively and negatively. But that’s life.
And I love the chaos of life. It’s fucking beautiful.
Jelina Sonnenberg, SBD, CD(DONA)
Birth Photographer, Certified Birth & Bereavement Doula, & Placenta Encapsulator