Eᴠᴇʀʏ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʙɪʀᴛʜ is downright amazing—but these women took it up a notch by getting hands-on with ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴏᴡɴ ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀɪᴇs. With the assistance of a ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ, ᴅᴏᴜʟᴀ ᴏʀ ᴍɪᴅᴡɪꜰᴇ, these moms caught their babies as ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇᴅ ᴅᴜʀɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴍɪɴᴜᴛᴇs ᴏꜰ ʟᴀʙᴏʀ, helping to ɢᴇɴᴛʟʏ ᴘᴜʟʟ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴏᴜᴛ and into the world. These raw, intimate moments were stunningly documented by ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ʙɪʀᴛʜ photographers, who shared with us their thoughts as they witnessed the incredible love and sᴛʀᴇɴɢᴛʜ of these women ᴘᴏᴜʀ forth as they met their child for the first time.
The chance to capture the most raw, emotionally charged moments is what draws Melanie Pace to photographing ʙɪʀᴛʜs. She says: “Mothers’ bodies are strong and capable of so much more than we can imagine, and witnessing that time and time again is so empowering. Watching mother-assisted ʙɪʀᴛʜs like this feeds my soul with such goodness that can’t be found in any other area of photography that I do.”
Few moments in life are as pivotal as those first few precious seconds when ʙᴀʙɪᴇs ᴀʀᴇ ᴀʟᴍᴏsᴛ ʙᴏʀɴ. These “ʜᴀʟꜰ-ʙᴏʀɴ” pics, as they’re called, show babies split between the ᴄᴏᴍꜰᴏʀᴛ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡᴏᴍʙ and the world at large. They’re incredibly magical moments. When the baby is not quite separate from his or her mom, but not quite his or her own person, “ʜᴀʟꜰ-ʙᴏʀɴ” photos serve as a memory of the doors between pregnancy and being a mother.
It’s photos like these that remind one why it’s important to have ᴀ ʙɪʀᴛʜ photographer in the room. It is an incredibly special privilege. The photographers capture the moments that may be forgotten in the ᴇxᴄɪᴛᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ ᴏꜰ ʟᴀʙᴏʀ, and they capture a lasting impression of the connection between mother and child. Photographer Marry Fermont, has captured the intensity of the occasion when parents meet their babies for the first time in her “First Moments” photo series. Marry told: “When a baby is born, it’s like everything happens really fast, but also in slow motion like time is standing still. But at the same time so much is happening.”
The photographer admitted that sometimes she can’t help but be swept up in the emotion herself. She said: “To be present at such an intimate moment feels like a privilege and you forget everything that happens around you, except for taking photos of course. Sometimes I shed a tear myself, because you are so into the moment. This moment is extra special, because the emotions are so real. You can never predict what will happen in this moment and you ᴄᴀɴɴᴏᴛ ᴄᴇɴsᴜʀᴇ ɪᴛ. It’s the one of the most pure moments in life.”
Marry revealed that mothers and fathers always react totally differently when they first set eyes on their child. She explained: “For the mum it’s usually relief and joy, often with tears. For the dad it’s sʜᴏᴄᴋ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴍᴀᴢᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ. Dads often ᴄʀʏ too, but much later than the moms. It’s like it takes a while for them to really let it sɪɴᴋ. But she points out that it’s a particularly special moment for the fathers even if it does take time for it to all sɪɴᴋ in.
She said: “You as a partner after all these months in which you just felt the ᴋɪᴄᴋɪɴɢ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ꜰᴀᴄᴇ with your baby. There are so many emotions in this moment: ᴊᴏʏ, ʀᴇʟɪᴇꜰ, ᴀᴍᴀᴢᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ, ᴘʀɪᴅᴇ, ʟᴏᴠᴇ, ᴇᴜᴘʜᴏʀɪᴀ, ᴄᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ and so many different reactions – smiles and tears. Moments of silence and moments of ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇ ᴊᴏʏ. It is always magical.”