Saturday, December 3, 2016


A few months ago Jessi, my friend and photographer, reached out to tell me she was going to shoot our maternity pictures - no ifs ands or buts about it. She said we deserved them and understood it would take time, but to let her know whenever I was ready.

To be honest, at the time I had absolutely no interest in taking maternity pictures. I didn't want to *jinx* this pregnancy with permanent proof of its existence, and I certainly didn't want to deal with the emotional baggage they would bring. It's still difficult to look at Grace's maternity pictures because I don't even recognize myself in them. I look so relaxed and happy. I wish I could go back to that day. I wish I could scream at that person in those photos to cherish every single moment because all of it is about to come crashing down.

Well, I didn't tell her no, I just sat on it for a couple months. Then in October, I came across a viral photo of a woman who created a stunning rainbow with smoke bombs in remembrance of her 6 miscarriages. When I saw the photo for the first time, I just lost it. This woman lost 6 babies. 6 babies. And there she was, exuding hope for her unborn baby and strength for women everywhere. I immediately sent the picture to Jessi and told her I was ready.

Pebbles and Polka Dot Photography. Link to full article here.

I love the whole meaning behind a rainbow pregnancy - a beautiful rainbow after suffering through a dark storm - but I don't really love the obvious, in-your-face rainbow stuff. It's just not me. I like more subtle and meaningful ways to remember my babies...things that only I would ever know about. Of course my maternity photos were no exception.

I started looking on Pinterest for ideas and came across a photo that had little rainbow circles of light in the background, sort of like a flare. The photo wasn't even rainbow pregnancy related, but I loved how natural and subtle they looked. I sent the photo to Jessi and she told me they appear at random in pictures based on the lighting, but you can't guarantee when or how they show up.

I immediately fell in love with the symbolism of it all. Everything that has happened to me over the past 2 years has been completely at random and I've had to learn over and over again how to surrender to the lack of control. It seemed fitting that I wouldn't get control over something as simple as this, either. I told her to try to shoot for them but it was understandable if we couldn't get any.

We worked through logistics of time of day and location, and then she told me the only available date she had was 11/11 - Sprout's due date (our miscarriage). I smiled as I wrote it into my calendar. I don't believe in coincidences.

I cannot thank Jessi enough for capturing these photos of our family almost exactly 1 year after our shoot with Grace. We haven't reached our rainbow yet, but the clouds are finally starting to part. James and I look happy again. I look a little more hopeful. And, as hoped, my sweet little angels were there with us that day, with double rainbows and sun flares in many of the pictures.

Surrender to the lack of control. 

All photos by Ava Photography & Design.