We're always fans of the gorgeous photography talented artists share of the beautiful moments that come with childbirth, but sometimes, we run across something even extraordinary...like beautiful pictures of a 9-year-old boy lovingly filling the role of his mama's doula, as she gave birth to his baby sister.
The process of childbirth is one that often whole families get involved in, and the memories and normalization of childbirth are irreplaceable.
But when they're so beautifully photographed as treasures, it's even cooler. Such was the case for Hollie Lau, who in 2019, not only decided to allow her 9-year-old son Charlie to be in delivery with her as her 'doula' but to have incredibly talented Hannah Spencer to document it all.
In an article with POPSUGAR, Hannah said that it's important for kids to see childbirth in an effort to normalize the whole process of birth. Saying childbirth is still considered taboo and a 'behind closed doors' situation, we need to include children in the process so they too can gain the viewpoint of beauty, strength and courage in the birthing experience.
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Hollie herself is a doula, and she strongly believes it's important to give boys opportunities to be nurturing. Choosing Charlie as her 'doula' was easy, as Charlie asked to be at the birth immediately after finding out he was having a little sibling. Hannah agrees that putting the 'sentimental, emotional, loving characteristics of little humans in a gender bucket,' denies them the fluidity to be tender and loving too, and the incredible pictures she took show that warmth and love.
Hollie said that family-centered birth is beautiful and she wanted to share the powerful moment with Charlie. Saying that he gave her strength during labor when it was at its hardest, it was also a great opportunity for him to see how strong and capable his mother is as a person and a woman. She said that he was calm between contractions, and grounded her in a very sweet way that allowed her to regain focus.
Both of her sons asked to take mini childbirth education classes (which Hollie taught) so they could mentally be prepared for witnessing birth. Hollie said Charlie's presence helped her remember she'd gone through childbirth before and she could do it again. While his professional or hands-on training was obviously limited, his mental support is what Hollie depended on the most.
Related: Beautiful Birth Photos Show Doulas as Unsung Heroes
And as for Hannah, she said that she was inspired by Hollie's desire to change things up when it came to gender roles and norms for children in asking Charlie to be with her. Hannah says that she often gets to witness other birth workers give birth and it's always beautiful, but Hollie's was one that she especially loved because of the support of her family and children she saw. She said it was incredible to witness as a mom, mother and friend, and we're lucky enough to see the beauty and magic in so many of Hannah's other birth story captures here.
Just grab some tissues, though, because her pictures are incredible!