BORN IN TIMES OF COVID-19

MAY 12TH, 2020, QUERÉTARO, MÉXICO

In the city of Queretaro, Mexico doctors and nurses rally together treating and caring for this who have been infected with Covid-19, with over 114,000 confirmed cases and over 13,500 confirmed deaths, like the much of the world Mexico has been plunged into lockdowns, struggles, and devastation. On the 12 May 2020, I documented a rare and beautiful moment amongst the chaos, the birth of a baby born during the pandemic through.

Photographing an event like this was a “mixed-feelings” experience. It wasn’t the first time I photographed a live surgery as my father is a surgeon and he has asked me to photograph his surgeries a few times in the past. But it was the first time I both witnessed and photographed the birth of a human being through Caesarean (or C-section) delivery.

Birth is something I have always felt “scared” of seeing. As a woman, I tend to empathise with the pain it involves in any delivery. But it was a fear I wanted to overcome. As well as to be able to see a different perspective from giving birth, rather than the ideas of mothers-to-be screaming, the blood, the tears and every emotion we see in the media when a woman is giving birth.

From this experience, I was able to see the joy, the hope, the love, the dedication of medical professionals, as well as the technology that has made a delivery such as this one, possible and safe.

Regarding the fact that it happened to be a birth during a Pandemic, I felt scared and uneasy to enter a hospital’s operating room. But I made sure I took all the persuasions possible. Wearing a mask, disinfecting my gear, maintaining a safe distance between medical staff, and so on. So to me it was an experience I was willing to take part into because somehow I saw the value of photographing an event like this one in the times we are currently living.

To me, the event of a baby being born during a pandemic, was something I felt this need to document through photography. I believe that photography and storytelling have the power to transcend barriers. It helps us share unique perspectives of this world, different ways of living, which in turn helps us connect as human beings through empathy, respect and attention. More so, I learned from my mentor Ricardo Azarcoya (a documentary photographer) that “the best stories you can photograph are the ones that you know the most, the ones that you have a kind of access that no one else has. And there you can find the relevance of photographing them, of sharing those unique stories to the world”.

Therefore, I think this series of images may reflect this “closeness” to the subjects because they are in fact, close to me. The baby’s father is my oldest brother. One of the doctors that participated in the delivery was my father. And my sister-in-law was eager of me to photograph her delivery because she is a photographer as well. She both wanted me to document the event, to take the first photographs of her baby and because she knew it was something I would love to do.

These series also have a personal emotional value because this newborn baby (named Bruno), is the first baby in my family. So this day was the day my brother became a father, my father became a grandfather, and I became an aunt.

So it was a very happy day, despite the fear of the current crisis. It was a day that gave us hope for life, gave us a reason to believe in a better future to come.

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THE STORY

I would say that the images that really stand out to me, that really provoked strong emotions in me are the ones when Bruno (the baby) was brought out of the womb and into this world. The shock from seeing him grow through my sister-in-law’s 9 month pregnancy, to seeing him right there in front of me, alive, giving his first breaths and screams as he spread his arms and legs, was incredible to me. I couldn’t help to cry from tremendous joy, to feel relief that he was strong and healthy and that everyone was ok.

I wanted to capture the professionalism of the medical staff, and all the care behind an event like this one. I wanted to capture the nervousness, the anticipation, the love and excitement of my brother and my sister-in-law for having their first baby. And furthermore, I wanted to capture the strength of human life though this newborn baby; Bruno.


Full published story in: https://www.thentherewasus.co.uk/a-global-pandemic-a-caesarean-and-a-new-born-baby/

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