Getting a birth video: He Says/ She Says

She says: “What do you think about holding a camera and getting my reaction when we meet our baby?”
He says: “Absolutely not! I don’t want video of that.”
She says: “What? It’s not like I want a crotch shot, I just want to see right as the baby’s coming out and I can see my reaction to finding out if it’s a boy or a girl and stuff.”
He says: “No, we can remember what it was like. I remember what it was like with [Lil’ J] and we don’t need a video of that for people to see.”
She says: “It’s not like I want to put it on Facebook, or show it at a family reunion. It’s for us.”

Obviously this is a disagreement we have. We’re facing off at opposite ends of the room. I regret not having any video from our wedding day, and I wish I had a birth video, or photos from the first several seconds after meeting our daughter. What did my face say? A picture is worth a thousand words an in my opinion, video is priceless.

I was lucky enough to get some pictures the day after my daughter was born. A friend came and took some photos for us in the hospital. Photos I’ll forever love. In fact, as I was looking for one for this post I got teary eyed seeing how fat my little newborn was.

I thought after getting one baby out of the way my husband would be more open to having other people in the labor room–Like my mom, or maybe a photographer. I’m more open, but he prefers the intimacy of a smaller audience. But I’m determined to win this time. Maybe not with having someone else in the room, but I’d like some reaction (notice, not action) video. I don’t care if I have to set up a tripod myself and zoom in (above my crotch) to capture the special moment.

Another photographer friend of mine suggested I show him birth photography so he can see it’s not as invasive as he may be thinking. It’s worth a shot. Hopefully we can come to a compromise so I don’t have to strap a skydiving-style camera to my head.

What say you?

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  1. while i’m all for fathers being involved and having the same rights as mommy when it comes to parenting decisions this IS your call. you’re the one pushing the baby out, and while it’s a special moment for him it’s not like you’re asking him not to be there or do something ridiculous (even if you didn’t want him there, that would also be ok.. your birth/body, your choice!). the baby belongs to the both of you, but frankly.. the birth belongs to you and the baby, not him. he can absolutely decline to BE the photographer/videographer or refuse to ever watch the footage for the rest of his days, but in my opinion he doesn’t have the right to refuse you to hire someone or ask another loving friend or family member to do it for you.-

  2. Well, I absolutely agree with you on the “no action” video. Lord knows I don’t want to see that again (mirror – eew). However, I do wish I had pictures from the hospital with my baby girl, and I think my husband does too. It was our first baby, so we were so engrossed with what was happening we don’t really have any pictures of her first few days. So pictures, absolutely yes. Especially when you first find out if you’re having a boy or a girl. That’s pretty cool. I’m not much of a video person, so I have no attachment to having a video. I would probably be opposed to it. Maybe he likes pictures more than a video? I agree with your friend – show him birth photography samples and gauge his reaction then.

  3. I completely agree with K. I had a birth photog at my sons birth and I didnt even notice her there. Best investment ever for someone who is passionate about photos.

  4. I’m in love with all the birth photography I’ve seen. My husband thinks it’s weird (since neither of us wanted anyone but us two in the room since the beginning). Even after I showed him the pictures, he doesn’t get it. Oh, well. I can’t justify spending the money right now anyway, so I’ll just dream. I DO hand him the camera as I’m pushing. I didn’t get any pictures of my first born (C-section, it was crazy, but he COULD have gotten some pictures, but he doesn’t think about it) and I hate it so much, that I insist he become photographer while I’m doing all the hard work. He sucks at taking pictures, but they’re better than nothing.

  5. Do it! Do it do it do it! Especially if you think this *might be your last! I have a friend who did this for her 4th pregnancy and it was amazing! Every birth is different. I will DEFINITELY be doing this for our next/last baby.

  6. That’s a hard one, I would say you guys need to talk it out a little more. I agree it is her body and her birthing the baby, but why start the whole process out by isolating the father with something so trivial? It’s already hard from a father’s perspective when it comes to the birth and the pregnancy, if this is something he really wants and you don’t think he will change his mind then… remember it… He wants to be “IN” the moment not watching the moment from behind a camera lens, and he has that right as well… You know ways to talk him into doing what you want, just go about it that way. But make sure he feels comfortable with the decision.

    But those are just my 2 cents, LOL! 🙂 Good Luck, hopefully he comes around!

  7. Now that I’ve done it once, I’m like “how many people can we fit in?” lol I don’t want any family there except hubby, but I want a few friends. And I really want a birth video – with the gory parts – that I can watch later on. Not for publication, obviously. But I’m really sad that I have no reaction video or photos from when Tzipora was born, because I remember how much in awe I was. 🙂 I kept saying over and over “I did it! I did it!” because it was honestly something I had dreamed about since I was a little girl, and my dream had literally become a reality. It was quite overwhelming emotionally, apart from the fact I had just had a baby! lol So yeah, I’m all for videos and pictures! Your body, your choice.

  8. Do it!! I am a birth photographer and for years I have been telling people that having a photographer at your birth is something you will not regret. But, it was not until this past September that I had the privilege of having my own birth photographed and now I am even more passionate about it than ever. We decided not to find out the gender with my latest pregnancy and the photos our photographer got during the moments following the “it’s a boy” announcement are phenomenal. I NEVER would have known what an emotional reaction my husband in particular had if our photographer had not been there to capture it. I was far too involved in pushing out a baby to realize how emotional my husband was to find out that after two girls, he now had a son. Here’s a link to my birth video if you are interested… the photo at 1 min 7 seconds is one of my personal favourites.

  9. I’d stick with pictures, personally, but even then – you’ll remember how you felt even without video of how you reacted 🙂

  10. I wish I could have a photographer in with me but unfortunately, only the dad is allowed in the delivery room at my hospital. My hubby was good with V at getting pictures although most are for our viewing only. With E, I asked for more pictures of me.. and I got nothing!! I’m hoping this time around he’ll be more proactive since it’s our last and we’re doing the surprise gender as well. Good Luck!

  11. We say talk it out some more. Try to explain to him what you miss about not having photos or video at Lil’ J’s birth. It is your body and your birth, but it probably won’t be a good experience if you guys aren’t on the same page on that special day.

    There’s still some time for some meeting of the minds. 🙂

  12. I wanted a video and my husband was against the idea. but maybe it worked just fine because the pictures my doula took tell the story just fine.

  13. I’m weird and I’d totally want a video of it ALL, action shots and everything. Ha ha. It would be interesting to watch a few years later (or in preparation for popping another one out)… But I’d probably respect whatever my husband wanted. I’d want it to be special for him too. I don’t know. Maybe if you had a camera set up, your reaction wouldn’t be as genuine? Since you know that the camera is there? Just a thought. I can see his side of it too. Maybe some things should be kept sacred.

  14. I begged out doc to allow us to video tape the entire birth. But due to legal issues (code for if something goes wrong and you take us to court, that video could be damaging). He did allow us to tape before and after birth. Still photos were allowed too. I have crotch shots and all. I wouldn’t dare post them on line. But we have them safely tucked away. Good luck. Let me know how it turns out!

  15. I say go for it! Its times like that you’ll look back on and want to relive over and over. You know….my daughter will be 4 months old next week. It was only THIS WEEK that it dawned on me that I didn’t get to see her being born – no mirrors, no video, nada! I knew that the hospital’s policy didn’t allow video recordings of the birth, but I didn’t think (I just didn’t think about it, wasn’t on my mind at the time, nor was it on my husband’s) to ask if they had mirrors so that I could see. I had to ask him what he saw. He says “it wasn’t like a lot of those you see on t.v. or in pictures. It was clean, neat. I was amazed.” Well darn, I wanted to be amazed too!!! I have her with me now in the flesh, but I hate that I didn’t get to see my baby being born after watching so many videos (in preparation) of other women giving birth. I was so calm and because of the epidural, I didn’t feel it. Unfortunately didn’t see it either. It was an amazingly easy birth…wish I could have “seen”. Probably would have cried. I was just like “is she coming out….tell me what’s happening!” #Crossing my arms and pouting!#

  16. I think he should let you film it, I sort of think the father should give the mother whatever she wants in that moment! Maybe he remembers things differently to you, you will probably be physically exhausted and might not recall things as easily. The only thing is if he has to film it maybe he won’t be able to focus as well on what is happening.

  17. I didn’t set out wanting pictures or video, but I asked my brother if he wouldn’t mind taking a few shots (he’s an excellent amateur photographer with a major fancy camera.)

    He ended up taking over 800 pictures and over 20 videos and I have a video of the moment my daughter was born.

    Nearly two years later, I still watch the video every couple of weeks and I’m still enthralled. We have the PG-rated photos as the screen saver on our TV and I never ever get tired of looking at them. My husband has seen the birth video maybe once, and only three or four other people have seen it. It’s not for anyone else, it’s for you and you should most definitely do it.

    And as far as not wanting to see graphic shots, we’re all adults here. We all know how babies get inside your body, and you’ve already gone through birth once. You know it’s not some crazy bloodbath with you hysterically screaming. It’s an awesome experience and you should have a video of that experience.

  18. Totally worth it… I would not miss it, and is a special moment. just set a camera towards your face, and let it be. nothing to worry about, and after he sees the results, he will understand.

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