Yes! This is me! Doing what James refers to as my magazine face. James and I are expecting our first child in a few weeks. As we round this corner, we’ve been overcome with the depth of love, wonder and awe over what being a family means.
My personal posts have become more and more rare. This started at some point after my divorce - an experience I did not want to share via social media. My continued reluctance on revealing my own inner world became more apparent when I determinedly kept the news of my pregnancy off social media. The reasons were several. In no particular order -
My own struggle with infertility, and divorce, in my early thirties locked me into an internalized chaos. During that time, it was a challenge for me to share the in joys of my friends who were in successful marriages and starting families.
I was worried that there would be a perception that my business would be over, that I would not be able to continue booking jobs when clients found out I was pregnant.
As someone born at the tail end of Gen X, I am still uncomfortable placing information about my private life in the public sphere.
Weeks away from the due date, I still didn’t have any more than a handful of maternity portraits and those were barely portraits being primarily early morning bathroom selfies taken with my phone. What was the hesitation to make a record of this time in my life? Did documenting this change make it more real? Or less real?
My prenatal yoga and mindfulness practice (thank you Emily Masnoon!) slowed me down to be aware of the changes that were happening, not only in my relationship to James, and my body but to my self.
This new and evolving relationship needed documentation.
On Sunday, in the midst of bedroom construction (teary goodbye to our epic open floor plan), I set up a new backdrop and began to make some self portraits. I was feeling good about this moment, about my belly, about embracing this time in our lives.
James made a half hearted attempt to get in a few images - but his awkwardness in the images prevailed and has requested those are not distributed.
It is with delight and gratitude that we welcome a new person into our growing family this year. James is referring to it as our New World Order (and has created this is a bold red on our calendar). I expect to continue my work as a portrait photographer and a handful of weddings of course.
My dear friend and new mom, Kiera whose maternity portraits I took at the end of last year, gifted us a book for expectant parents. One of the prenatal prompts for writing was What Adventures Have You Already Taken Your Child On? It was that compelled me to make it down to the Women’s March. Being there, surrounded by people who care fiercely about justice and compassion, who are ready and willing to make their lives is what I hope for this child. To be part of a loving community that respects plurality of all people and all kinds of families.
Valentine’s Day is about expressing and sharing love. And that requires courage and fearlessness.
In that spirit, I begin this new phase and open up to our personal lives, our inner world, our private selves.
As such, I hope that your day (and week! And year!) is heartened with reminders of the courageous and loving people you have in your lives.