The story of these powerful photos of a C section and the birth of my child!

The birth of anyone’s child is a unique and wonderful thing but when it came to mine, something even more unique was created. These powerful set of photos.

During the labour process, we were blessed to have two wonderful midwifes with us, Janine Cook and Aimee Howard and in general conversation I mentioned I was a photographer, showed Aimee how to use my camera and she took a couple of shots of us. At this point, everything was quite calm and we were simply waiting for the dilation to reach 10cm for a normal birth. Thank the lord for epidurals!! I was waiting to do my bit which is of course holding my partners hand, saying breathe about a hundred times and keeping clear of the gas and air!

To cut this part short, normal labour didn’t work, the baby’s heart beat dropped and we had to be rushed in for an emergency C section! Needless to say, I was rather stressed at this point and found myself pacing up and down outside the operating theatre with my big camera in hand!

Thankfully the baby’s heart beat came back before the operation and our midwife, Aimee came out to get me and said these brilliant words “do you want me to take some pictures for you?”. I of course said yes, got changed for theatre and went in to sit with my partner.

In what seemed to be seconds, we heard the cry of a new born baby - my lovely daughter entered the world!

Whilst this was going on Aimee was snapping away capturing the birth and the first moments we saw our daughter. The pictures Aimee took are absolutely stunning and will live with us forever. They will also make showing her baby pictures to her first boyfriend all that more interesting!

As for the photography technical stuff, I think it came out superb and here’s why. The Canon 5d mkiv is a brilliant piece of kit and coupled with the 50mm f1.4 lens it dealt with the lighting conditions of an operating theatre with ease. Shooting in Raw also helped balance out the exposure with hardly any loss in quality. I set the camera to Manual, put the shutter speed to 1/125th so there was no camera shake, set the aperture to f2.8 to let in as much light as possible whilst giving a shallow depth of field and left the ISO on auto to adjust to the changing lighting conditions. I set the focus point centre frame and thankfully showed Aimee how to get the focus point where you want it whilst all was calm!

This together with the astute photographic eye of Aimee made these shots what they are!

On a personal note, we can’t thank the maternity staff at Basildon Hospital enough, in particular our two midwifes, Aimee and Janine, who saw through the birth of our child. Their professionalism, skill and level of care was outstanding. Our current government undervalues our NHS staff but you certainly aren’t undervalued by us!

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