Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Tiny Tribute

One of the first things that I did once I discovered that I was pregnant with number four, as I previously mentioned, was to call my super cute and talented photographer friend, Heather. I wanted pregnancy announcement pictures! With each of my other pregnancies I have always had Boss or my mom snap a few pictures of me here or there as my belly grew, but I had never had professional maternity pictures taken. The reason? I never really liked the way that I looked before I got pregnant, so I certainly did not like the way I looked once the extra pounds were packed on! I was always in awe of my pregnant body, thinking the whole process of growing a life was beautiful, but I never, ever thought that I looked beautiful pregnant. At only five feet tall, when pregnant, I look more like an oompa loompa. Just speaking the truth here. Perhaps a cute oompa loompa, but an oompa loompa all the same. So I always passed up the opportunity to capture each pregnancy in time through photographs. Another reason I passed pictures up was because I always assumed that there would be a next time. Next time, I would be thinner before I got pregnant so obviously pictures would be cuter then. Next time, I would grow my hair longer so my face would not look quite so round. Next time, I would have a better wardrobe. Totally shallow, but it is what I would think.

But suddenly, back in 2010, I found myself the mama to three beautiful children and I did not think that we would ever have any more. And I began to mourn all of the things I did not do in my pregnancies. Did I cherish my swollen belly enough? Did I implant deep in my mind and heart what it felt like to be heavy with the miracle of child so that I would never forget? And why, oh why, did I not take more pictures? Why didn't I document everything from the very beginning until the very end? I vowed then and there that if I ever became pregnant once again I would do those things. I would celebrate my pregnant body the way that it deserved to be celebrated.

So when we found out that number four was on the way, I wasted no time in calling Heather and having her come out to capture our new joy with her lens. I had so much fun in our little photo shoot! The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and Heather has a fantastic way of making everyone feel beautiful. How lucky am I to have such a talented friend?! It might seem silly to be posting these pictures now, considering that I lost our baby this week, but I am actually so thankful that I have these photographs! I am so glad that I did not think that I would just get pictures next time or later. Because this week has taught me that there might not always be a later. These pictures are my only memento from my fourth pregnancy, our baby that was not meant to be, and I will always cherish them. I think I might frame one and put it in my kitchen. That way I can always remember. A tiny tribute to the tiny one who taught me to celebrate each moment of life to the fullest. Who taught me not to take anything for granted, and who taught this mama to open her eyes to the beauty that is all around her instead of always wishing for something more. Thank you, Heather, for using your gift to gift me. May we all remember to celebrate and find joy in the lives that we have been given, and may we continuously praise our Father in Heaven who is the giver of life and all good gifts!

**** All photographs courtesy of Heather Matthews Photography. If you live in the area and are in need of a photo shoot, you can contact her at She is so fun and awesome! ****