It is the best taking maternity pictures of a family and then getting to see that baby at just a few days old. I try not to have many regrets in life, but one thing I wished I did myself was capture my growing belly with my three kids with a professional and then had newborn pictures. I'm so glad I get to do this for others though.
Leslie and Jason have always been fabulous to work with. I get to visit them every three months and watch how much little Brenley has grown. But don't let me do the talking. When I share newborn pictures, I love for mom or dad to tell their story. Here is Leslie...
From the moment I held her I knew I was meant to be a mother. The love I feel is something so powerful, it’s indescribable. If you would have asked me if I wanted to have kids in my twenties and probably even at 30, you might be surprised to know I was rather ambivalent about it. Sure I loved kids, after all I'd been babysitting since I was 9 years old. I became a NICU nurse and babies were a part of my everyday life. I just wasn't convinced they were right for me.
My uncertainty stemmed from fear. In the back of my mind, I wondered if the irregular cycles I’d dealt with all of my life would come back to haunt me. In addition, being a first hand witness to the many real issues in the NICU, was concerning and downright scary! Would MY baby need to be in the NICU? Would it be born too early? Would it have a congenital disorder? What if my delivery didn’t go as planned? These fears became even more palpable once we made the decision to have children.
Fortunately, just months after deciding to start a family we got that positive pregnancy test. I was so thankful to my OB who had truly listened to my fears of infertility and guided me through this process. I still had to overcome the anxiety of knowing not all deliveries go as planned. Being a NICU nurse you are conditioned to plan for the worst. Being pregnant didn't give me a free pass to avoid these situations. I was grateful for the support I received from my husband, co- workers, friends, family and OB group. Day by day, I became more at ease. Instead of fearing the experiences I had as a nurse, I found peace in all the wonderful outcomes I have been part of. I focused on the positives and on the families and babies who have truly touched my life. These families are strong, they are resilient, they love unconditionally, their faith leads them, and they have so much hope. NICU parents are the strongest I've ever met, experiencing the worst days of their lives, yet so thankful for each day with their little one. It really made me realize how privileged I am to have my amazing and humbling job. I often think of the babies who have lost their battle, and although I still mourn their loss, I think of them shining their bright, pure light upon my Brenley.
So although I didn't dream of being a mother for years, I can't imagine my life any other way. Being a mother is the most fulfilling experience I have had, and I frankly can’t imagine it will ever be rivaled. The frequent wake up calls, the "witching hours", the messy house, the inability to make plans, the constant attention, the long days, are all so worth it, when I see that little face smiling up at me every morning.
P.S. That second newborn picture, Brenley is wrapped in her wedding veil. So beautiful and simple.