When I heard that my newest niece, Emma, had safely arrived, I cried tears of joy. And for the next few days, I thought about her often and cried more happy tears.
So I'd have thought that this post would be easy to write. My excitement for this sweet baby goes way beyond just the beautiful pictures. But, somehow I found myself putting off this post for almost a month.
I can't write about Emma without thinking and writing about her brother and sisters--but it's difficult to bring so much grief into a celebratory newborn post. My happiness for Emma's life is all tangled up in the pain of losing Ayden, Abigail, and Adelyn who were stillborn.
Every newborn baby's birth is something of a miracle, but Emma's feels even more so. I'm so happy that her parents Jenny and Ryan found the courage for another pregnancy and are able to cuddle Emma and watch her grow. Now, they have the opportunity to experience the joys of parenting, not just the hurt and fear.
I don't pretend to fully understand the grief parents of stillborn babies experience, but I can empathize. My own first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I remember the overwhelming grief, the fear that I would never be able to raise a child. I had always thought of myself as becoming a mom and was unable to imagine my life without a child. I felt nauseous seeing pregnant women or babies, and hated how every television show and commercial or radio program reminded me of my loss and left me in tears.
I have learned to celebrate the new lives I get to photograph, because even with all of our medical knowledge and technology, not every pregnancy has a happy ending.
With Emma, there is plenty to celebrate. She is a beautiful baby girl. She slept so well during her session and modeled lots of different accessories. She has her parents dark hair that reminds me a bit of Aubrey when she was younger.
I travelled to Eau Claire, Wisconsin for her newborn session and stayed for a couple of days. I love photographing newborns because I get to cuddle them, but don't have to worry about months of not being able to bend over to tie my shoes followed by months of sleepless nights. I was very happy to get extra cuddles with Emma as I hung around her house for a bit. She made the cutest little grunting noise as she drifted in and out of sleep.