Breathtaking Pictures Capture First Seconds of These Babies’ Lives Outside the Womb

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 2, 2015   |   5:48PM   |   Washington, DC

Every human being’s life starts at conception and ultraound images display in stunning detail the miracle of life in the womb. Now,one photographer has embarked on a project to document the first seconds of human life after that amazing 9 month journey inside the womb.

The photographer, whose wife gave birth via Cesearian section, says parents rarely get to see those first few seconds after the baby emerges.  Christian Berthelot says when his wife underwent an emergency C-section to save both her and their son he felt like he was living in a parallel universe filled with confusion. So he set out to document those precious moments.

Here’s more and a few of the breathtaking images:

“In the operating room, the parents do not see what is happening on the other side of the operative field,” he wrote via email. “We hear and we waited, we imagined. And then it got there and it was the first time we see our baby.”

Around a week later, Berthelot met Jean-Francois Morievnal, an obstetrician in the hospital where his son had been born. The two spoke about their mutual love of photography and, about six months later, Morievnal proposed the idea that Berthelot begin working on a series about midwifery in the operating room with a focus on caesarean births.

It turned out to be a complicated process. For six months, Berthelot underwent training about how to work in a surgical environment and began seeking permission to take photographs both from the clinic and from the mothers who would be giving birth.