“For better or for worse.” It is a small part of a couples vows that I hear at every wedding. And they cut right through me. For better or for worse…I will always love you. You fall in love. You get married. You have a baby. That is the for better. But sometimes the for worse does come out. In fact, it is practically inevitable. But one thing we don’t commonly talk about is how the road to motherhood, and the road to family, is sometimes filled with incredible heartbreaking, gut wrenching “worse”.
18 months ago, this sweet family was expecting the arrival of a sweet baby girl. She was named, the nursery was set and she was oh so loved. And at 42 weeks when her sweet momma went into labor, they did not find a heartbeat. Worse. Annabelle and Andrew walked out of that hospital, hand-in-hand, just the two of them.
And this is where it gets personal. Just weeks before, I had run into Annabelle in the doctor’s office for my own ultrasound. I was envious of her giant belly and sad for my own. I wanted to be pregnant with baby number two so incredibly badly. We had an ectopic pregnancy just months before and I sat waiting to find out if we had yet another loss. I went home and cried. I wanted to be in her place. Why did having a baby have to be so hard?
A few weeks later, I received the email. They had lost their sweet girl that morning. And that very morning…that very morning I had found out I was pregnant. I remember going into my doctor knowing that he was aware I knew what had just happened. And so my entire pregnancy with Shepherd, I do not think there was a day that went by, or an appointment, or a milestone, that I didn’t think about Romy. I already knew how much of a total gift this pregnancy was and it was such a reminder that baby’s are true gifts to us and motherhood…oh motherhood…in whatever form it comes in. It is a sacred badge all mothers have inscribed on their hearts and the journey to “earn” it looks so different to all.
Life is funny. On the day I went into labor with Shepherd, I found out Annabelle was pregnant with sweet Gemma. And the doctor on call for the evening to deliver Shepherd, had delivered Romy 9 months earlier. So this little lady you see above and her crazy strong family just have a tiny chunk of my momma heart forever.
So here is the “for better” part of those vows in all their glory. Darling gorgeous Gemma. Perfect in every way. And these photos not only show her beautiful self, but they show one heck of momma.
For Mother’s Day we are going to celebrate Romy and her sweet family.
We are calling these the Mother’s Day Sessions. Between now and Mother’s Day, 18% of every classic portrait session that is booked, will be donated in Romy’s name to the DC diaper bank. 18 for the 18 months Romy would have been. These are one hour long sessions that will take place between Mother’s Day and August 31st. All the details can be found here.
Annabelle, Andrew and Gemma…so much love for all of you. And sweet Romy…you gave all of us so much.