Monday, May 7, 2018

March and April

My dog has mad balance skills and my daughter thinks it is hilarious! 
(No animals were harmed in the making of this photo. The blocks are foam and this adorable girl was heavily rewarded with dog treats after her amazing performance!)

Azure Bielefeldt
The current stage of my body, how I spend my days, my world - all wrapped up in one photograph.

In search of mom friends: Must enjoy drinking wine in their pj's during naptime. 

40weeks and 2 days pregnant with baby #2. Growing rather impatient!

Motherhood has been very difficult for me lately, so I am trying to heal this feeling of not being "enough" with selfportraits of motherhood ...for me and for my children

Family beach time

23 weeks

One girl, two girls, three girls! 

24 weeks

My heart is full. I can’t picture our family without you even though you’ve only been out in this world for a week. You bring so much joy into our lives and we are so incredibly blessed. Knowing that the only way to be able to hold you in my arms would be to have a c-section was a scary thought. But it was worth it. You are so worth it. I love you Caleb Brian Ellis. I am honored to be your mama. 

A glimpse at an early morning baking sessions just so we could have that special one-on-one time together.  
In the stillness and quiet of our home, we whispered while we stirred ingredients, sharing in smiles, quieted giggles, and closeness. Sometimes we watched our biscuits or muffins bake, taking in each extra minute of togetherness.
Moments like this are the treasures of my life and what I most want to remember. I hope he remembers them too.

I've been trying to really LIVE in the little moments with my son, and not have the camera attached to my face. A few times a week we take showers together, every time I say to myself "I need to take some photos of this, these are such special moments" and every time I say to myself "next time". But then the other night I realized how much we take those words for granted, next time. So I gave in and grabbed my camera and snapped only a few shots, these are what I hope to look back on when i'm old and grey, when my house is silent and empty and to feel those shower droplets on my shoulder, to look down and see my baby's little body playing in the water and to just remember in these moments are when I felt the most alive.

I was sitting there drinking my coffee and thought "this is a daily mundane moment that won't always be" and I grabbed a nearby laundry basket, flipped it upside down, put my camera on it, and took this ;) I love the way she is watching me here.

I was completely content being a 'boy mama' to these FOUR energetic, loud, messy boys... and then came this beautiful unexpected, unplanned surprise! We can't wait to meet baby GIRL in just over a week!

The natural power of breastfeeding is one of the greatest wonders of the world. It is about real love. It is about caring and celebrating the wondrous joy of nurturing a new life. It is about enjoying being a woman.

My love could not be more fierce for any of my children; adopted or biological. My heart could explode with how much I love these four.

Doing laundry in a top load washer at 40 weeks pregnant is not for the faint of heart!

Tricia Satorius

You are so worth it, my boy. 
I remember when I was in high school, I would say things like “I’m not ever going to have kids, I don’t want to wreck my body.” when my family would joke around about the future. That quickly changed after I got married. When I had my daughter, everyone was telling me that I don’t want to have a c-section. That it would be horrible and more painful than a vaginal birth, which scared me. So when I was able to give birth vaginally, I was at ease and excited to meet my baby girl. When I got pregnant with Caleb and learnt that he was not gaining weight and not progressing the way he should have been in my last few weeks of pregnancy, and the fact that he was breach, I knew I would have to have a c-section to get him out. And you know what... I wasn’t scared. I obviously didn’t want to have one if I didn’t have to, but if it meant getting him out safe and healthy, I’m all for it. We scheduled a c-section and when the day finally arrived, I was overflowing with so many emotions. I was anxious, excited, nervous, hungry, but I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t scared of the surgery, and I definitely wasn’t scared of wrecking my body. Because now I understood. I’m not wrecking my body... my body is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing. I’m growing tiny humans. The birth may not have gone they way I wanted but, now that I have you, I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is the selflessness that motherhood is all about. I will wear this scar as a badge of honor and pride, because you my dear Caleb, are so incredibly worth it.

We took a family daytrip, a drive we have taken many times before. But this time, I noticed something new. As we sped past, I caught a glimpse of this artwork from road. I might have shocked my husband a little bit when I yelled "STOP THIS CAR!" but we circled back, and it was so worth it.

This might be my most favorite self portrait I have ever taken because it represents my first official photography project with my daughter. I was part of a ten-person team for a project called "The Traveling Dress" and this image is a behind the scenes look at what my daughter and I created during our time with the dress. This was a day I believe we will both remember forever. For her, it was exploring some new places with just her mom, without any siblings in tow. For me, it was seeing my beautiful girl in all of the innocence of a toddler, while catching a glimpse of the gorgeous woman she will become. More about the Traveling Dress Collective

It was my son's first time in the front seat of a shopping cart. The store was empty. And we really didn't have anywhere else to be. So a quick shopping trip to pick up eggs turned into a ridiculous amount of fun! These types of days of making unexpected memories are the days I treasure most.

This boy. He's my first. He's the most like me, in the good ways and bad ways. I could never list all the reasons I love him but the fact that he ALWAYS needs two hugs at bedtime and when it's quiet, maybe in the car or wherever, he always breaks the silence with "love you"... He's creeping in on 12. The oldest and kindest soul I know

Hold your babies tight and cherish every single moment you have with them. ANYTHING could happen in the blink of an eye.

Shannon Douglas
I know that the reality of my portrait may be hard for some to look at and I never want to cause any unnecessary pain. Recently, another mother in this group shared an image of her necklace that reminds her of her lost baby and it inspired me to photograph my whole motherhood story as well. As with most things, our family is not what it looks like from the surface. We are so lucky to have 4 healthy, vibrant children. We also have 3 children that were lost between 13-16 weeks. Two girls and a boy (these are their urns). Taking this self portrait was honestly hard yet it felt nice to be in a picture with them again. I miss them, I ache for them, I dream of holding them again. We have our rainbow baby here now and although her birth was healing after their deliveries, the void is still there. Sometimes the hurt feels good, it makes them real again. Life after miscarriage/ baby loss is hard, I struggle with the heaviness of it all but my hope is that my self portrait not only helps me feel connected to them again for a moment but that it helps other loss mothers know they aren't alone.

My hubby wanted me to come look at the pretty colors the sunset was making. We decided to play Peter Pan with self portraiture as well!

Live for the moments you can’t put into words.

Third trimester. Not to brag, but I haven't had a mood swing in like 7 minutes. 

I don't know who you'll be, but I know you'll be my everything.
23 weeks with our third boy.

For 9 months I was wearing pink glasses and was expecting to have a baby here surrounded by colourful flowers and beautiful butterflies. Then reality kicked me so hard, it still hurts!

The birth was way too long, breastfeeding way too painful for months. Husband works way too much, family is way too far. I am exhausted. And lonely. I talk all day but no one really answer. I am looking for unreal communication on social media, just to have the feeling someone cares about me. I worry every day. If I am good enough. If I can do this. Sometimes I am tired to play with him. To go for a walk. To speak. To smile. I am losing my patience. And a bit my personality. I still pretend most of the time that everything is fine. There are dark days. But then his smile changes everything. 
Do I want my life back before him? Not for a second!

Dorothy Thomas
This is my first post here. Today they told me my son likely has Autism Spectrum Disorder. I sat across from a child psychologist today as my son ran amok in his tiny office. It’s looking like it. You’re saying yes to a lot of these questions. He doesn’t have conversations. Does he always spin like that? Does he run back and forth a lot like that? I’d spent nearly a year and half in early intervention waiting for an answer. Praying he’d outgrow the delays. Praying the behaviors would stop. Praying and praying and praying. I love this boy so fiercely, so completely and so helplessly. I took this picture tonight because I want to remember this moment. To look back and see how far we’ve come. I pray that I’ll look back on today and smile. That I’ll see the lonely moment as the beginning of a beautiful journey. That we’ll all be stronger for it. That it won’t define or limit him. That I’ll carve out a place for him wherever we are. That I’ll go to war for him everyday. That I’ll be his safe space, his home base, his rock. I’ve got you baby. I’ve got you.

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