I have been with Kylie and Zach through several big life moments in a short period of time. I photographed their wedding in 2019 and then the home birth of their first child in 2020. Even when the world went to shit right around the time she hit the third trimester, Kylie soldiered on and refused to let the joy of impending motherhood be taken.
What I find so interesting about birth photos if they tend to be taboo in the mainstream world. Somehow, even in 2020, the second you post a female nipple to instagram, a thousand people report it. A mother in labor is no different. Somehow a woman standing in the kind of glory only the female species can own is repulsive to some. Her naked body shaking and drenched with sweat as she delivers a human being into the waiting air is viewed as inappropriate. Even traumatic to view. How quick people are to forget that they also ripped their way into this world.
Giving birth is a rebirth for women. Both mother and baby experiencing the pain of the next phase. Fortunately, the brain graciously fogs over our actual births but women never forget the battle of bringing new life. We share our birth stories with each other because it is frowned upon to share them with anyone else. We are censored. Shamed. Quietened. Our bodies and their natural abilities are shoved into a dark corner, told no one needs to see that.
Well, I hope you see this. And I hope you take from it that women are breathtaking in their endurance. Powerful. Gods in their own right. Pain is the price and we willfully and lovingly bring it on ourselves for our children.