After unexpectedly falling pregnant with her second child, California-based photographer Lisa Robinson-Ward decided that she would take on the challenge of capturing her own labour and delivery.
For many the idea of grappling with a camera while enduring the pain of birth would be an impossible feat, while Robinson-Ward knew it would be tough, she thought it would help her to remain calm and serve as a welcome distraction.
"I didn’t know if I’d be able to take photos or not,” Robinson-Ward told Huffington Post. “I had my mind set on doing it, but I wasn’t sure I’d actually be able to pull it off.”
From arriving at hospital to seeing her newborn come into the world, to her husband's tearful joy, she successfully documented the entire process. Just one photo in the series was taken by her mother in order to show her first contact with the newborn daughter, Anora.
While for Robinson-Ward creating the photos was a coping mechanism for her birthing process and a career challenge, for those viewing the series, they are a rare and moving glimpse at what child birth looks like from the mother's perspective.
"I got an epidural, and once I did I felt like I had so much more control. I was so lucky. I was in labor for 14 hours, but it didn’t seem like it at all. Time really flew," she explained.
Amazingly, she even took photos while in labour. "When I was ready to push, I’d bring my hands and the camera up to my face. I didn’t know what I was getting at the time, and I didn’t know if anything was going to be in focus. But it helped me focus."