Sometimes, there are no words. We know… we’ve been those people to whom you just have no idea what to say. There are seasons of life you develop certain expectations for, not the least which is pregnancy, and preparing for your first baby! You never expect to be one of those people who gets terrible news about that baby. That’s the kind of thing that happens to other people, but not to you. And then, all of a sudden, it IS happening to you. You’re half-way through a pregnancy that seemed normal and healthy, and out of nowhere, you’re blind-sided by a doctor telling you that your precious baby …of whom you’ve been dreaming, for whom you’ve been planning, registering, decorating… is not healthy.
2 1/2 years ago, Brian and I were that shell-shocked couple in the doctor’s office. And for the last half of their pregnancy, Jason and Kristen were that couple as well. Kristen was referred to us through Be Not Afraid, a support-organization for families who receive a poor prenatal diagnosis. I know from experience that, once you hear the doctor tell you just how unhealthy your baby is… that you may never have the chance to hold her alive… your entire world comes crashing down around you. All the things you were looking forward about impending parenthood start to disappear. You cancel your baby shower… you withdraw from birthing class… you pack away all the sweet little clothes and baby things that have been finding their way into your home.
Maternity photos are one of the only normal “pregnancy” things you can do that makes complete sense after a prenatal diagnosis.
Because no prognosis can change the fact that, as your baby is alive inside your womb, you ARE her parent. Even though their daughter was not yet born the day we took these photos, Jason and Kristen WERE her parents, even then! She was alive and worth celebrating just as much as any other baby on-the-way would be. And that was worth remembering. Capturing.
This is why we do what we do. Because life is life. Whether or not some pompous, purist doctor deems it worthy does not change that fact. All life deserves to be celebrated, documented, and remembered. Even if that life is short, or different than what we expected for ourselves.
We’re thrilled to complete this post with the news that Baby Emmy was born alive, breathing on her own and is home now with her Momma and Daddy! We waited to post these images until after her birth, and now we’re so glad that we did so that we can end on a celebratory note. We even had the chance to meet this sweet girl the day she was born, and see the face her parents had only dreamt of meeting the day we took these maternity images. We hope that all of the images we captured of Jason, Kristen and Emmy will serve as a precious reminder, no matter how long or short a time they have with their girl, of how vibrantly she moved when she was inside her Momma’s womb, and what it is to love something this fiercely!