For several months had been happy, Hollie Perry and Scott Eyre from London to the Moment, to keep your child finally in the arms, to kiss it, to weigh and wrap. However, a few weeks before the birth were suddenly to smash all of your dreams: your Baby does not suffer from a genetic abnormality, is viable and will die in the next few days, said the doctor. Perry had to bring her daughter Hope, dead to the world. The Swiss photographer Matthieu Zellweger was accompanied by the two for his photo project “Those Children Who Are Elsewhere” in this terrible experience, and also shows other victims that had to suffer the same fate.
Children die in the womb or shortly after birth, it is called a stillbirth, still birth. In Germany, the Baby must weigh at least 500 grams, otherwise it is a miscarriage. The duration of the pregnancy is irrelevant, most of the children are, however, already about 20 weeks old. The parents receive a birth certificate – and at the same time the death note. Depending on the state, you must get your newly born bury.
Zellweger met people from London, Paris and Switzerland, and talked with them about their experiences. Midwives and Doctors supported him, to find Concerned. “More than anything else, I wanted to make sure that the couples are treated with the utmost respect. It is a very courageous step to agree to talk about such a difficult topic”. When Photographing Zellweger had to therefore be extremely mindful. Even though his paintings show an intimate and emotional moments, they do not seem voyeuristic: “I do not show dead babies,” he says. Instead, parents say farewell at a cemetery; Mothers in the moment when you see your Baby for the first and last Time; the plaster cast a child’s hand; Miniature coffins for dolls.
On the evening before the birth of their daughter, Zellweger met the parents-to-be Perry and Eyre, for the first Time, you let him in your hospital room. It was not easy to leave and in a Moment of emotions overwhelm you and stay professional, admits the photographer. Even if it is not for many parents first imagine, recommend Doctors, the deceased child even if it is already, to bring on a natural way to the world. This facilitates the work of mourning, and also for future pregnancies is important, because a caesarean section increase the risk of recurrence of stillbirth. A mother said to Zellweger: “I realized that a natural birth would be the last step, I could go with my son.”
Worldwide, more than 2.6 million children a year, dead to the world, which averages out to around 7,000 on the day. Is the case 98 percent of people from developing countries. But also in Germany, it happens on a daily basis. According to the Federal statistical office, in 2014, to 3.6 stillbirths per 1000 women to the world. The reasons may not always be clear – in 30 percent of cases, the parents know they never.
Each of the families, met Zellweger, found an individual way of dealing with the Experienced, but the photographer sees a Commonality: most of them want to be able to talk with your environment about the tragic event: “they would mention their deceased child, as it does in the case of living children. Would you like to be recognized as a parent who brought a child into the world, even if this child has not lived.” A mother reported: “It helps if you realize that you are alone and there is other similar. As I mothers other met, where the same thing happened, I could just cry, laugh, talk. I had to give any long explanations.” Self-help support groups Concerned in the processing. “The Only thing that is really wrong is to pretend as if nothing has happened,” said one of the mothers to Zellweger. Psychologists advise to put the pain to say goodbye to the child, and to keep. Also to give the Baby a name and bury it, will help many parents.
Stillbirths are a taboo subject, says the photographer: “The Western society thinks it can control most aspects of life. Except death, that is why it is for many uncomfortable to talk about it.” With his project, Zellweger to break the Silence and Affected courage: Many of the parents he got to know, got to the stillbirth have another child.