There’s a moment during labour where your baby is in a sort of suspended animation. They are neither born, nor in the womb – they are crowning. Part of our world, and the world inside their mother. One photographer has managed to press the pause button on this breathtaking few seconds in a series of moving images.
For most of us this often hectic moment is usually over in the blink of an eye as our babies are birthed with the next push, or pull. But this talented snapper is taking us on a journey, to a place where babies straddle two different worlds, for their briefest of moments.
The birth of the head
Netherland’s photographer Marry Fermont says when she first started taking birth images, she was scared she would miss something really important. So she always focused on the emotion – the parents, and everything else that ended up on the camera was a bonus.
“Until I was at a birth in February 2012,” Marry says, “Where the child’s head was born with a tight nuchal cord. This doesn’t happen often but it means that the midwife cannot easily get the cord over the head and away from the neck, to allow the rest of the body to be born.”
Marry says the midwife decided to cut the cord first, and then allow the mother to birth the rest of her baby. Marry says it gave her a good chance to document everything, with the cord clamped the baby still to be fully born, and take the amazing image above. When she originally shared the image it sparked huge debate about whether the midwife did the right thing. However, that baby is now a healthy young child with a younger brother.
A moment suspended in time
The acclaimed photographer says it prompted her to begin taking more photos of the moment babies’ heads crown and emerge from their mothers. The result is a compelling series of images. As Marry explains, “All these babies are not quite born yet, so they’re -10 seconds old”.
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