My journey into birth photography started when I captured Henry’s caesarean birth . It’s Henry’s 4th birthday today. Happy birthday Henry!
Lizzy was diagnosed with Breast Cancer just 4 weeks into her pregnancy. She bravely chose to battle on and underwent a mastectomy, Lymph node clearance and chemo during her pregnancy. Her little miracle was due to be delivered by c-section at the end of January 2015 and her obstetrician Tony, gave me permission to photograph the birth. I was so very excited but scared at the same time as capturing a baby’s arrival into the world remains one of the most personal things I have ever been invited to photograph. Here’s a recap of the day.
After a restless night, I travelled to my local hospital for an 8am start as I knew my early arrival would give me a chance to have a chat with and capture some photos of Lizzy before it was time for her elective c-section. Lizzy’s husband Nick turned up soon after.
After Tony debriefed Lizzy, Nick and I got into our scrubs and then the next half an hour was a bit of a blur. Lizzy was given a spinal block and the theatre was prepped with sterile equipment and I was given the low down on what was likely to happen by the team. Every time I looked around, Nick was reassuring Lizzy.
There was a new machine in theatre which basically would upcycle the excess fluid gathered during Lizzy’s operation, clean it and then created a bag of patient friendly Red blood cells. How amazing is that?!
Then Tony appeared, there was a head count and to my amazement, there was 14 of us in the room. We were asked to do a name check round robin and then after clarifying a few things, Tony and the team began.
THE NEXT SET OF IMAGES SHOW A CAESAREAN SECTION. THERE IS BLOOD.
Et voila, baby Henry appeared and you certainly told us you had arrived! Henry grabbed tightly onto Tony’s finger while he cut the cord. In case you didn’t know, babies develop in the womb with a covering called Vernix which is the white substance you can see on baby Henry. Perfectly natural and more prevalent in c-sections. As Henry’s arrival was via c-section and he was pre-term, there were pediatricians on hand to monitor his progress.
I was asked to stop taking photos of baby Henry by the pediatricians at that point so I took the opportunity offered to me by the attending midwife to photograph the bag of life, aka the placenta. I was fascinated!
The bits at the side being held up by the midwife, is actually the area baby Henry would have developed in.
With Lizzy sown up, baby Henry breathing on his own and his sats doing well, it was time for Lizzy to finally hold Henry. Tissues at the ready!
Welcome to the world baby Henry! I cannot thank your mum and dad enough for allowing me to be part of your journey into this world. I feel very privileged. May your life by healthy and happy and I hope your mummy continues to kick cancer’s arse. She is such a brave inspirational lady. I would also like to thank BSUH, Tony Kelly, Bronwyn, Paul & Mark for making me feel so welcome during my visit at the Royal Sussex.’
A quick reminder I’m actively looking to capture some home, birthing centre or hospital births in the Brighton and surrounding area to expand my birth documentary portfolio. I will attend on a free of charge basis and you would receive a copy of all images in exchange for your permission to use the images to promote my services to other parents.