This is the photo I shared the other day on my personal page. I didn't think it would bring back as many memories as it did. I mean, it's just a profile of Dex as a fuzzy black and white ultrasound picture.
But then I started thinking about our journey to get to that spot. It was long and at times, really hard. The sole decision to have him had a domino effect on every other major decision we made (and still does!). While I wouldn't wish infertility on anyone, IVF does provide you with one major perk... I literally have a picture of Declan from the time he was an egg to yesterday.
I remember going in for my transfer (when you technically "get pregnant"), and the doctor handing me this small 4x6 inch picture that was light blue, and had a faint circle that took up most of the area on the picture. "That's the zygote we'll be transferring today," he said with a smile and then went back to preparing the room. I sat quietly for a moment looking at the simple image of the egg that would soon be my baby. Amidst the other emotions of that day and the two week wait (longest two weeks EVER), and craziness of pregnancy, it wasn't until I sat down to do his baby book (which I'm fairly certain that was the ONLY time I sat down to do it...), that I realized how profound it was to have that image.
I had seen my baby boy at nearly EVERY stage of his life.
I think that was the moment it truly resonated with me that images were important... Beyond important. I've mentioned before that I don't have the best memory in the world (ask my husband, he'll tell you). I get caught up in the minutiae of being a mom, working, being a friend, a daughter, etc. and I forget these fleeting moments I have with Declan. Yeah, sure, I post the funny stuff on Facebook (sorry for all the poop stories), but there is so much of our family epic that would probably only mean something to me. I think as parents we all have those things we'd love to remember forever... Mannerisms, phrases, facial expressions; you know exactly what I'm talking about.
While all of this is well and good, the other side of the coin is being in pictures WITH your kids. When I look at all of the pictures I have of Declan, I'm in VERY few, and even fewer are something more than a selfie taken with my cell. I wish he knew the goofy faces I used to make when he was a baby to make him smile, or how small he was in our arms, or the first few days of life where we slept with his glow bed in our bed just to be close. We as moms are part of our children's narrative... We must be in the picture to fully tell their story. We must not leave out such a huge part of their story by being invisible. Not to get morbid on anyone here, but one day images may be the only thing our kids have left of us. They deserve to be able to relive your love.
These are priceless to me. The top left image in the collage was from a family session with another photographer (Portland friends, check her out... Hannah Nielsen Photography). As Dex gets older, his hugs are going to be far less squeezy and much less full body... I'll miss every single second of those toddler hugs. This image brings back those feelings for me every time I see it. And that feeling is worth the world to me.
In all honesty, I'm just as bad about being in pictures (and as a photographer, I should know better!), so I've made a commitment to myself this year to get in the frame with Declan. Whether you choose a photographer (I have some tips on doing that here!) or take the time to learn to use a camera, get in the frame with your kids. They will thank you later for it.
And I promise, you'll love it too.
More from Rachel Cathleen Photography:
Choosing the Right Photographer
Mommy & Me Mini Sessions