Right after a baby is born, there's a special moment that Dutch birth photographer Marry Fermont loves to photograph. It's not the second that mom sees her newborn for the first time, or the moment dad cuts the umbilical cord. It's not even those happy tears that come from the gathered family—it's something simpler.
"When I documented my first birth, the midwife showed the parents how the baby had been inside for nine months," Fermont says. "It was such an 'oooh' and 'aaah' moment, and I just loved how this tiny baby was all curled up."
This midwife's demo is a shot Fermont now tries to capture in each birth she photographs, and while it's mostly dads who are up for the challenge of holding the curled up baby (while mom recovers), sometimes it's the midwife or even the new mama who do the honors.
"It makes it just a little more special if the dad does it," she says. "It has been inside of the mum's belly for so long, and after nine months, his child fits in his exactly in his hand like it was in the belly. Nothing sweeter, if you ask me."
Through documenting 99 births, she created a womb series showing this unique angle that Fermont calls "a miracle." Her 100th birth was her own, in July of this year to a daughter, Livi, and she says now, more than ever, she understands how astounding it is to see this child that you shared your life with for so long.
"It's so hard to actually understand how it's possible to grow another human being inside of your body," she says. "Once they're out, it's also so hard to imagine that they have been inside of you all this time. To actually see how they fit—it's magical!"