There's a very special place in my heart for couples experiencing the difficulties of conception. It's something that we also struggled with for many years. Our small packages arrived 4 and a half years apart, after 8 full cycles of IVF, and 3 miscarriages. It took countless specialists and various additional procedures, multiple visits to anyone who offered a hint of hope - acupuncturists, naturopaths. I'm sure that if someone said to slap a fish across my face 5 times a day I would probably have been down the fish market that morning.
Not all couples are quite as lucky as us. I get that. Fully.
So it's always so sweet to meet other couples who have a shared experience and happy outcomes. What I hear from them is often very similar to what we went through. I guess it's like many things in this world, unless it's experienced first hand, you can definitely empathise and sympathise, but often it's not fully realised.
For me it started with the way I would structure my everyday life whilst trying to get pregnant. Many women would tell you that there's a bunch of different things pregnant women shouldn't do, or in particular, eat. So as a woman trying to conceive and not having much luck, I recall living each day like I was already pregnant. Don't have the soft cheeses in case there's the smallest chance I was pregnant and I wouldn't want to "mess it up", watch my alcohol consumption, stop chewing Extra because it contains Molitol-ol-il or something else I can't pronounce so who knows what that is doing to me, exercise not for my own fitness but my future baby's possible conception, but don't exercise too much because that could dislodge something; hold your breathe whilst crossing the city street in case car fumes have an impact... yep I did that. It really gets to be quite ridiculous when you look back - but I know many women out there will know what I mean. And talking to more and more of them as a newborn photographer has shown me that there's sadly more of us than I realised.
So I got goose bumps when Anthony contacted me late last year. He wanted to surprise his wonderful wife with a maternity and newborn photography session. They too had similar struggles and finally, yes finally, this time it seemed to be working. And what a celebration it needed to be!
As I sit here writing this, tears literally come to my eyes, when I think back to their newborn photography session. I asked Anthony to say something to Kim about what this means to him. Holding my camera in front of them, and having the words come out of my mouth, instantly I found it hard to focus through my own tears. The look on Kim's face to me said it all. This baby. This tiny little package in her arms. He took so long to arrive, but he was here. All of those struggles. The countless injections. The rollercoaster of conception. He was here and he was perfect.