When the New York Times contacted me during Superbowl weekend for a story regarding Casper women pursuing natural births post cesarean births, the first thing I did was sober up and accept the job. The second thing was look up the definition of “cesarean”.
The background is that hospitals are afraid of complications when doing vaginal births after a C-section, or V.B.A.C. Although the procedure has been deemed safe, there is a slightly higher risk of rupturing the uterus. Short of being in the delivery room during a birth, it was going to be tough to visually tell this story. So I decided to go the route of moments. I spent a day with one mother and kids on a Sunday. Followed them to church, made some nachos, read a story, and left around nap time.
The other family had complications. The day before shooting, the 8-month pregnant mother had kidney stones removed. Being a trooper, she still allowed me to take pictures during a check-up and ultrasound. Except things went wrong again when I arrived at the doctor’s office and she came out saying “this isn’t going to work”. Mandie was having contractions and going into labor. They rushed over to the Wyoming Medical Center and I tagged along to see what access I could get. This is the hospital that was being shined in a “not-so-bright light” in the story. I pulled magic out of my pocket and talked my way into the room. She ended up having the baby via C-section days later.
The story was published Tuesday. Here are some photos. Thanks for looking!