September 19th, 2019

On a very typical day, the life of Naomie and her family was about to change forever. Naomie was scheduled for a sonogram that day, and she had no idea that she would be giving birth early. This routine test was to see if Sofia was doing ok. She was supposed to arrive two months later.

During the sonogram, the doctors discovered water on the fetus’s lungs, not a huge quantity but enough for them to be worried. Naomie was sent promptly to the hospital for further investigations.

Once she arrived, Naomie’s case was handled rapidly by the staff, and they started monitoring the baby’s heart right away. The gynaecologist on-call did not want to take any chances and referred Naomie to the CHU Sainte-Justine, mother and child hospital center.

October 1st, 2019

CHU Sainte-Justine remains Quebec’s premier destination for mothers experiencing high-risk pregnancies and possesses the largest neonatal care centre in North America with a capacity of 80 incubators for preterm babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

After a week of investigations by many specialists, the decision was that Sofia needed to come out early. She would be a late preterm baby. Then, on the day before October 1st, the call came in. Naomie was expected at the hospital in the afternoon to initiate the process that would ultimately put her into labour.

It took a little bit longer

The process of putting Naomie into labor was supposed to take only a few hours. Apparently, Sofia was not in a rush to come out since it lasted 4 days. The doctors tried numerous drugs, but nothing worked. During this time, between naps, movies or long walks down the halls, Sofia’s sister came to visit. She couldn’t wait to greet her little sister.

October 4th, 2019 – 10h38

At last, the moment everybody has been waiting for happened at 10h38 on October 4th, 2019. I had the chance to document every step of her birth. Sofia’s birth was a compelling moment. Looking at the doctor’s work is like watching a perfectly choreographed ballet. Perfection!

The long journey begins.

Every parent who experiences giving birth prematurely will tell you that the birth, is only the beginning of a very long journey. A journey spent in the NICU (neonatal intensive-care unit) with ups and downs before being transferred to a local paediatric hospital. Sofia spent a month at the hospital before coming home to her parents. Many families must spend a lot more time in the NICU. Sofia was in a way fortunate.

Today, she is perfectly healthy. Thanks to the doctors of CHU Sainte-Justine who without, saved her life.

This was shot on a Fujifilm GFX 50R using the GF 50mm f/3.5