A Colorado Springs midwife's perspective on why you should hire a birth photographer

Kim Woodard Osterholzer is an incredibly intuitive homebirth midwife at Birth At Home Midwifery Services in Colorado Springs. Have you ever seen someone deep into their work and just known that this is the work they were put on this earth for? She was built to support families in this way, a gift that is a rare and beautiful thing.

She kindly wrote this piece for me about her perspective on the importance of hiring a birth photographer (photos from a recent homebirth with Kim):

Besides being a homebirth midwife, I’m a writer and a creative, a widow, a wife, a mom, and a grandmother.

I’m ridiculously sentimental, too.

As symbiotic such, I’ve spent my lifetime feeling compelled, even driven to capture the noteworthy moments of life.

Up until recently, I considered it adequate to capture those moments with pen and paper.

Prior to my move to Colorado, I’d spent two decades serving primarily within an Old Order Amish community, rendering my ability to capture moments by pen essential, as photography among the Amish is strictly forbidden. The rather forced cultivation of my abilities proved a blessing, however, and eventually produced a book!

But then I moved out west and, for the first time, attended a birth with a professional birth photographer.

It was a thoroughly lovely occasion—a long-longed for homebirth and the fulfillment of many sweet dreams. 

Toward bedtime of a bitterly blustery November night, surrounded by her husband and trio of golden-haired girls, the inimitable woman I was in service to knelt upon her floor and with her very own hands, drew a fourth glorious girl to her heaving, glistening breast.

I reveled in the beauty and the joy as I tip-toed about, tending to my tasks, and I drove home feeling what I’d seen and heard would forever and indelibly be imprinted on my psyche.

Then a week or so later, the heroine of our story sent me a link to a slideshow the photographer had crafted for her.

I clicked on the link and leaned back in my chair.

And almost immediately, I began to sob.

Enveloped in a magical blend of music and striking images, I realized, for all the depth of reverence I bear for the sacred glory of birthing at home, for all the steadfast intent I carry to mark and remember each experience, I actually miss a lot.

Freed from the responsibility of the occasion, I was able to just sit and sob as I absorbed all eight minutes and twenty seconds of the stunning display numberless times over, and I found the experience renewed my passion for my work, though I already was bursting with passion for it.

Mama gave me permission to share the slideshow with my husband who was also instantly reduced to tears, and then she gave me permission to share it on my blog where it soon took its place as one of the most frequently viewed posts.

Really, I cannot recommend the hiring of a professional birth photographer strongly enough! Of all the events of our lives, very few compare in beauty, in significance, in triumph, in profound power to those in which we bring our priceless offspring spiraling into the light!

How abundantly worthy they are to be preserved ♥

Kim Woodard Osterholzer, CPM, RM is a homebirth midwife of sixteen years with an active practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Kim’s attended the births of more than 560 little ones, including those of her grandbabies. Her passion is helping families off to a good start, and her heart thrills to encourage, inspire, empower, and equip those she serves to live their lives to the full. She’s founder and proprietor of both Birth at Home Midwifery Services and Born For This: Giving Birth to a Happy, Healthy Family, and is the author of A Midwife in Amish Country, Celebrating God’s Gift of Life and Nourish and Thrive: Happy, Healthy Childbearing. Kim lives with her husband Steven and together they revel in a blended family of five children, two children-in-law, and three grandchildren.