As a newborn photographer, so often all I see is the happy ending: a beautiful, healthy baby. Tired but beaming parents. Older children becoming siblings.
It’s wonderful, but so often, there’s so much more that goes unseen and undocumented: the endless waiting. The invasive tests and questions from well-meaning relatives. The crushing news received during what was supposed to be a routine sonogram.
One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and one in eight couples struggle to conceive a child. That means there’s a 100% chance that someone you know is walking that path right now. Take that in for a moment.
If that someone is you, you are not alone. After getting to know so many families and hearing story after story of loss and heartache, I knew I had to do something to pay tribute to those struggles.
In January 2018, I put out a call on the Facebook page. The request was straightforward: I was looking for moms expecting a child after a loss. The only real requirement was a willingness to share their story with others. Seven women answered it, strangers to one another and to me at first, but instantly united by their common experience.
They are devoted mothers, activists for their babies, and supportive friends. I’ve watched in awe as they’ve adopted babies on just a few days’ notice, organized walks to fund preeclampsia research, and built beautiful memorials in honor of their babies.
After months of preparation, the day of the group portrait finally arrived. The weather was beautiful, as was the farm that had lovingly hosted us. Though it was our first time meeting as a group, there was instant camaraderie among us.
I had a vision for this image. I wanted it to be bright and beautiful, and yet, a loss mom could look at it and know exactly what united these women. My goal was to create something that another person walking this path could look at and see the struggle, but could also see hope and the beauty.
We still have so much work to do and so much to share with you. Over the next several months, we’ll highlight each family and tell their story. The project will culminate in a book, sharing each story and this experience. Each of these women has something unique to share with you, and I’m so thrilled to bring their stories to life.
More to come! Stay tuned.