My Infertility Inspired Me to Become a Birth Photographer

Leona Darnell

birth photography
Leona Darnell

In my 20s, I lived a free-spirit artistic lifestyle, working, learning, and traveling the world with my friends. I spent the next decade or so working and developing my craft, finding where I belonged in my chosen professional career.

In my 40s, I realized something crucial was missing: My biological clock was ticking. I wanted to be a parent.

  • Months later, after acupuncture, Chinese herbs, standing on my head and being poked and probed more times than I care to remember, I resorted to IVF.

    Eight months later, I was rushed into the operating room for an emergency C-section. Everything was a chaotic blur, and as I lay there strapped to the bed, I briefly heard my child cry as he was rushed out of the room. I couldn’t touch him or even see him, and it was a full 24 hours before I could even set eyes on him.

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  • Later, at home, I reveled in motherhood, but mourned for all that I missed.

    Leona Darnell

    I wanted those moments back and wished someone had been there to document them for me.

    While my situation was unusual, I realized that many parents must feel as I did. With so many important things happening so fast as their child is arriving, they can’t see, experience or feel it all.

  • I wanted to be the eyes of the mothers and fathers.

    Leona Darnell

    I want them to concentrate on the precious gift of their child’s arrival while I creatively and respectfully document their journey into parenthood and their child’s journey to the world.

  • I vowed to add that invaluable documentation to my work. I never want a parent to feel that he or she missed anything during such a monumental event.

    I do this for the parents and for myself. By providing those moments for them, I recapture a bit of the ones I lost.

    This post was written by Leona Darnell of Birth and Beauty and published with permission.