Hospital birth photography
I had the amazing opportunity to document the birth of a newborn baby girl when her mother had a planned cesarean section at Spokane Valley Hospital. In the past, I’ve documented surgeries, other births, and mass casualty situations during assignments in the news industry. But this one was special. This was my niece Savanna who was delivering her second daughter.
As Ty (my niece’s husband) and I were waiting to go into the operating room, there was a definite cloud of anxiety. Any time your loved one goes into surgery, there’s a bit of worry. But as any father will tell you, the anticipation for your baby to arrive and all the thoughts that ramble around in your head are definitely heightened.
In the operating room
In our operating room suits and hair nets, we were escorted to the surgery suite. Ty took his position next to my niece, while I hung back to capture the surgeons doing their work and get the first glimpse of baby Addyson making her way into the world.
With a few precise cuts, a few tugs, and a thorough inspection of everything, the surgeons had Addyson out and crying within 10 minutes.
My poor niece was able to get a quick glimpse of her daughter as the surgeon raised her above the surgical sheet to show her. Then she was hustled over to the pediatric nurses where they did a series of checks which is when they noticed she wasn’t transitioning as well as they’d like. Her breathing was rapid and her oxygen levels were low. After 15 very tense minutes, they were able to get her breathing and oxygen a little better and were able to transfer her to the nursery where Ty didn’t want to leave her side.
The father-daughter connection
Over the next few hours, Ty would go back and forth between Savanna in her recovery suite and the baby who was constantly being checked to get her breathing, oxygen and blood sugar where it needed to be. You could tell he was a man torn. He wanted to stay by his wife’s side as she recovered. But he also wanted to spend every moment with his newborn girl. He would spend 10 minutes or so with the baby and right before leaving, he’d caress the baby’s back and rub his finger over her tiny hand. Then it was back to check on Savanna.
New life captivates people. The freshness of it all. The notion of innocence and frailty. But it’s also about a new branch of the family tree. The opportunity to bring someone into the world and guide them along a path to where they will be part of society, and maybe start a family of their own.
But it all begins with that moment when a newborn takes its first breath.