“I have dreamed of this moment,” my dear friend Jen said as she glanced down at her sweet baby boy. The room was quiet yet filled with love — these moments of solitude and normalcy were everything she could have hoped for, and more.
The miracle sleeping on her chest was less than an hour old — he was all theirs, and it was hard to believe. A few years back, her firstborn was placed in the NICU immediately following birth, which meant it was days before she was able to hold her in her arms.
Jen’s sweet husband, Brett, stood above her and kissed his baby’s beautiful, dark hair. His eyes were filled with tears. The three of them were together, and he was healthy. Their son, Gresham John, was finally here.
Around nine months ago, Jen and I were driving to a wedding. “Do you have anything booked for mid-March of next year?” she said.
“I’m not certain … what are you thinking?” I asked.
“I was wondering if you’d like to photograph a birth,” she said.
It didn’t click. I thought she was sending a birth photography client my way.
“Sure, I’d love to talk to them,” I replied.
Pause … ***I continue sipping my coffee*** …
“I’m pregnant! It’s MY birth!” she laughed.
Photography rarely makes me nervous. In fact, it does just the opposite ~ it calms me. But as I walked to Jen and Brett’s hospital room minutes before the sun rose a few weeks back, I suddenly felt butterflies. Why, I asked myself. Jen and I have been friends for 15 years. She and her husband, Brett, are two of the coolest, sweetest people I know. Jen is an incredibly talented photographer and we have worked countless weddings together through the years. We’ve lived together, we’ve traveled together, we’ve laughed and celebrated together, and we’ve cried together. She’s someone I just couldn’t live without.
I think my nerves surfaced because I realized this long-awaited day finally had arrived. Jen and Brett’s journey to parenthood hasn’t been an easy one. Gresham has the most beautiful, perfect older sister, Navi, who was blessed with an extra chromosome. Their story hasn’t been without bumps, but whose is, if we’re all being honest. J+B have walked their road hand-in-hand with love, grace, thankful hearts, openness, awareness and courage. Pure courage. As parents, Jen and Brett face challenges I know little about. But I couldn’t feel more thankful to be by their sides ~ listening, learning and loving these two sweet babes along the way.
Welcome to the world, you beautiful baby boy. You are the luckiest.