Labor and birth are awe-inspiring events but, talking about the realities of the process can still feel somewhat taboo. Sure, plenty of folks discuss the life-changing moment when a baby enters the world, but plenty also gloss over the messy, raw details. Maybe it has something to do with how it's portrayed on TV: Anyone remember that scene in Friends when Chandler and Monica watch the birthing video? The looks on their faces said it all. Or maybe it's just about the fact that most of us watched a pretty terrifying childbirth video in health class ourselves. (You know the one we're talking about.) And yet the pure rawness and messiness of childbirth are also where the true beauty lies.
To prove it, the following breathtaking birth images serve as a reflection of the gorgeous realities of giving birth and becoming a family. Maybe they'll even have you looking at (and thinking about) the miracle of birth a little differently.
A version of this article was originally published in October 2016.