the heart behind my work
I always knew I was destined to be a mother. As a young girl and even a teenager, I dreamed of the day I would hold my baby in my arms. And when that day came that my first son, Oliver, was born I was re-born, too. I loved him and his ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes with all of my soul and all felt right in the world. As that first year went by though, I began to get a little lost in motherhood. This little boy that I loved so dearly was so fragile and needy, and I was scared. Scared of something happening to him. Scared of not being a good enough mom for him. Scared that I was losing myself in finding him. Postpartum depression set in after about six months, and my days consisted of diaper changes, tears, and the four walls of our home. Slowly over the next few months, with therapy and self-care, I figured out ways to feel better and started to come alive again.
And then, I was pregnant again, with another little boy to love. And I couldn’t be happier because I knew this time would be different - I had figured it out and this time it wasn’t about losing myself to motherhood, rather finding my balance. But that all came crashing down on me on December 21st, 2014 when at 39 weeks pregnant, I found out that we had lost our baby boy, Henry, and after giving birth got to hold him for just one day. Once again, I was lost, but this time it was in a sea of grief and despair. There were many, many dark days, but inside of me a fire had also be lit. A fire that whispered, “you are here, you get to live.” Slowly, overtime, that whisper became louder and louder. It told me that life is too beautiful to squander and that I have a chance now to live it for Henry. To honor him and celebrate him and make him so proud. I was no longer afraid to fall because I had seen the worst, and knew I was strong enough to survive. So, I started to take more risks and do the things I had only ever dreamed of - we started a nonprofit for called Anchors for Hope and I finally made my dream of starting a photography business a reality. Best of all, my heart was ready again to welcome another baby and in 2016 my rainbow, Theo, was born in what felt like the most miraculous and redemptive day of my life.
Motherhood has been the most challenging and beautiful and worthwhile adventure I could ever imagine. But I am not unique - every woman, no matter what her journey has been like, is changed to her core when she becomes a mom. And at some point, we come to realize that it’s the challenge of it - the messy, the mundane, the pull-your-hair-out days - that makes it so darn beautiful. That it is impossible to be perfect, and every day we are falling and learning and getting back up again, and that is precisely what makes us a good mom. No, actually, we are amazing moms because we keep rising every day, and keep coming back again and again and fighting for this love that has changed us so deeply. And our kids will see that and they will be alright - in fact, they’ll grow up believing that they have the best mom in the whole wide world. And when someday we look back at the family and the life that we’ve built, we’ll know that it’s true because we did our very best and we did it with love. And that is all that truly matters.