Never in a million years would I think I’d write a blog, but here I am sharing with you the story of this beautiful mama and her son, because it is stories like these that are so worth documenting.
“I really dislike photos of myself. I’m always so critical. Even when I was working out 5 hrs a day and looked fantastic, it still wasn’t good enough. The last thing I wanted was a photoshoot where I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. My birth experience with Everett has left me with scars, both physical and mental but doing this photoshoot was so cathartic. I look at this photo and I can actually see and feel the love between us and my heart is happy. This photo is perfection and I’m so thankful for it. Lisa you are amazing!!”— Nic
Nic and I have “known” each other since my oldest was born two years ago. We were in the same Facebook groups and watched each other’s families grow through social media. I have followed her pregnancy journey with her third baby, little Everett, and was routing for her to be able to get the VBA2C (Vaginal Birth after 2 Cesareans) that she had dreamed about. Despite her hard, hard work little Everett was born after a long 30h labor via cesarean section. Nic, her husband and their two older boys were so excited to take little E home and start this journey as a family of 5.
However, instead of them getting settled in at home, Nic was in and out of the hospital with a number of postpartum complications. Not only did these turbulent first few weeks affect her physically as she was still recovering from surgery, but also mentally and emotionally in her relationship and bonding experience with Everett, especially their nursing relationship.
It broke my heart watching her go through the things she went through and hearing her struggle which is why I reached out to her to participate in the intimate motherhood model call I was planning. Nic was hesitant at first and afraid that it would become too much, but I encouraged her to give it a try with assurance that she and Everett would run the show. I wanted to give her some tangibles to hold onto to always remind her that the bond her and Everett have is true and strong and unbreakable and to hopefully help process her postpartum period as much as I could.
So we met for the first time on this brisk, but sunny day in November at the gorgeous Ballenger Farms in Hamilton, VA. We chatted, I admired little E and I encouraged Nic to just be present with her son. So they snuggled, fed, laughed and chatted. And look at the magic they created together. I could not be more thankful to Nic to take this leap, and even when she felt the most vulnerable, trust in the process and in me to show her how strong of a mama she really is.
The message I received from Nic after the session emphasized that THIS is the type of work I want to be doing. I want to be able to help women process and document their pregnancy, birth and postpartum journeys whether that is a positive experience or whether it comes with trauma or grief and my images can help them with their healing. Motherhood truly has my heart.