Editor's note: This story was first published on April 30, 2018.
For Hayley Nanasi, a mom who delivered her daughter via cesarean section, childbirth was a "whirlwind" that may not have gone as planned, but was still an empowering experience.
"I tried natural birth, I tried birth with an epidural and in the end I had a C-section," Nanasi told TODAY Parents about giving birth in November 2017. "And you know what? My birth was perfect for me and my baby — it was exactly how God, or the universe or whatever you believe in, intended it to be."
"To watch these parents overcome the unknown, the fears and the anxiety is inspiring," said Scholz. "To see them hear their baby cry for the first time always brings tears of joy to my eyes... it is an honor to tell their stories — It's not just a birth story, it's a love story and it's beautiful."
For Nanasi, it was important to have photographs of her birth no matter how she delivered her baby. The Texas mom says the images remind her of the beautiful moments of support and love she experienced during her lengthy labor and delivery.
"I don't know why there is a stigma around cesarean births, as if you didn't experience the same determination, fear and pain and magically bring another life into this world," said Nanasi. "Whether you are on your hands and knees in the birth room or on the operating table, you went through the most intense moment in your life and you deserve to remember that. However you bring your baby into the world — you are a badass."
We couldn't agree more, so we've rounded up photos that show how beautiful, inspiring and yes, empowering C-section birth can be.