26 Stunning Photos That Capture The Sheer Strength Of C-Section Moms

Birth is birth is birth.

A viral news story recently made the rounds, allegedly showing an outrageous exchange between an expectant mother and a birth photographer who refused to work with her on the grounds that “a surgery isn’t birth.”

Though the account wasn’t confirmed ― and the mother deleted the post from her Facebook page ― it certainly made waves among birth photographers, professionals who spend their days capturing the precious early moments between moms and their babies, and all the hard work that comes before.

Birth Becomes Her, a birth photography blog and community, quickly issued a reply in the form of a stunning collection of C-section photos that show A) birth photographers most definitely respect cesarean births and B) C-section moms are strong as hell.

“It was particularly shocking to hear that someone who calls herself a birth photographer would say something so damaging and untrue,” Monet Nicole, co-founder of Birth Becomes Her, said in an e-mail to The Huffington Post. “When rumors began to surface that the text message exchange might not have been true, we felt even sadder ... we just want all women to know that we love and celebrate cesarean births just as much as any other.”

Here are 26 gorgeous images from Birth Becomes Her that provide a glimpse of just how powerful and moving C-section births can be ― with captions from the photographers.

Captions have been edited and condensed.