It was late in the evening and about 28 hours into a long birth. My client had experienced some complications and had just made the decision to have her baby by cesarean. Though she knew she’s made the right call, my client was still feeling some deep disappointment. Her OB tried to help her make the best of things by offering to let me take photos in the operating room. She said she’d seen my work and I would take great photos for them. I’d worked with the OB a few times before in the role of a birth photographer, but in this case I was there as a doula. I explained I wasn’t there as photographer and hadn’t brought my gear.
No worries, my client said. He had HIS camera gear with him and I could use it and then he could be in the photos, too!
So that’s how I found myself all geared up in the OR. Geared up with the paper coveralls, the cap, shoe covers, and face mask. Also all geared up with an unfamiliar camera! At least it was the same brand as my own. I quickly tried to familiarize myself with the controls and did my best to get good images for them.
Even later that night, getting undressed for the shower in the dark so I wouldn’t wake my husband, I heard something fall to the floor, but I was too tired to worry about it in that moment. I was confused by the odd, big circular impression I noticed on my breast as I showered, but again, too tired to think about it too much.
It wasn’t until the next day when I realized what I had done! I found a lens cap on my bedroom floor, and went to put it back with my camera gear. It wasn’t a fit for any of the lenses I owned, so where had it come from?
Eventually I put the pieces together and remembered my client handing me his camera as we walked down the hall to the OR. With all my pockets unavailable under the paper coveralls, I had stuck HIS lens cap in my bra and hadn’t given it back with the camera!
So I made a trek back to the hospital the next day to return it. I was vague on the details and just told them I accidentally took it home.
I think I’ve exhausted my own funny, awkward and/or embarrassing tales of doula work. If you’d like to share some of yours, let me know my emailing me from the contact page!