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Megan Mattiuzzo is a professional photographer who set a truly amazing goal for herself — to capture the exact moment that her own child entered the world.
The 29-year-old resident of Hamburg, New York, is used to taking pictures of special occasions through her business, Megan Ann Photography. But when she was expecting, Megan knew she would be remiss if she didn't capture the most meaningful moment for her and her husband Ryan — the birth of their first child.
Megan was at week 37 in her pregnancy when she first brought up the idea of photographing the moment of her son's birth to her doctor. "She was super supportive," says Mattiuzzo. "She said, you've had a healthy pregnancy and she didn't forsee any complications."
On Wednesday, March 6, under the care of Dr. Maria Lagopoulos, and assisted by Jennifer Rath, a medical student at the University at Buffalo, Mattiuzzo gave birth to a 7-pound, 13-ounce baby boy, Easton Louis Mattiuzzo, at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, New York. Her husband Ryan Mattiuzzo, 33, and her mother, Patty Scott were by her side.
And while most births are extraordinary moments, few include the mother balancing a Nikon D5 camera on her stomach and snapping away as her own child enters the world.
Mattiuzzo told TODAY that taking the photos in no way took her out of the moment of giving birth.
"It's the opposite mindset for someone like me who's used to photographing unforgettable moments," she said. "You can't redo your wedding or first kiss or walk down the aisle. I can't relive his birth unless it's photographed. This way, I can relive the moment."
And while her photography friends were somewhat skeptical as to whether she would be able to pull off the shot, her husband Ryan knew that if Megan set her mind to it, she would accomplish it. She said he knew his job was to "feed me ice chips and at the right moment, hand me the camera."
When Mattiuzzo's epidural failed to work — she could still feel a good deal of pain — she still went ahead with her plan, even asking a nurse in the delivery room to adjust the lighting so she could get a better shot.
"They were laughing," said Mattiuzzo. "It lightened the mood."
Oddly, the task of photographing Easton's first moments on earth helped to distract Mattiuzzo from any pain she was experiencing. "That last contraction, I don't remember it hurting. It wasn't a calm moment, but it took me away from the pain."
In the end, Mattiuzzo ended up with a series of stunning photos that have gotten an overwhelming response since she posted them on Facebook. Still, she says that even if she had ended up with a blurry photo, it still would have been special to her.
The new mom plans to stay busy photographing weddings, but says that "having Easton makes me realize how important it is to capture milestones."
When asked how she hoped Easton would react to the photographs as an adult, she said it would probably be a lot like when you bring a girlfriend home for the first time and your mom shows her pictures of you as a baby in the bathtub — except in this case it's the moment of your birth!
"I hope he's proud and that he loves the photos as much as I do," she said. "He can never remember that moment, but it's the closest you can get to seeing it."