Life Before Her

One of the things I love most about my job as a storyteller is the fact that I relate to so many of the stories I tell. Connecting with other parents, especially mothers, on a level deeper than simply photographing their family is so meaningful to me. It’s important, and it’s something that is absolutely essential when it comes to my job, but each and every family that I photograph leaves part of themselves with me. Their stories are forever written on my heart, and they each make up small parts of me.

I’ve known Stephanie for quite awhile. We marched together in college marching band, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching her family grow since we graduated. When she reached out to me about documenting the story of their family before their daughter, Alina, makes her arrival, I immediately obliged. I remember how it felt to be the mother of one child who is soon to welcome another. I connect with their story in so many ways, so telling it was important to me.

When I was pregnant with Parker, I remember feeling a little sad about how much things would change with Piper once he arrived. I felt excited with each passing day knowing I would finally get to hold him in my arms, but I also cried a lot knowing that it was one day closer to Piper not being my only baby anymore. Knowing that things were about to change drastically scared me. Every little hug or conversation with her felt like the last. “This is the last time I will hug my girl without a baby also needing my attention.” or “This is the last time we’ll run through our whole bedtime routine without another kid also needing tucked in.” It’s odd, maybe, to think that way. I cried hugging her and telling her “goodbye” the night before Parker was born. I knew it would never be the same.

I was right. Things aren’t the same. They’re better. I was scared about a lot of things, but the addition of our son was the best thing for our relationship with Piper. I say all of that to show how deeply I understand this season. I see our family in this story. The family walk, organizing the nursery, TV time, a story before bedtime, all of it is so familiar to me. I cannot wait to meet their baby girl!