The Problem of Maternity Photography

17.5 weeks
Eve and I at 17.5 weeks, August 2011

Today I had am having a bit of a freak out.  I realized that we are now in the time period of pregnancy that is ideal for getting maternity photos taken.  I have a lovely but sizable bump, clothes still fit and look attractive, and we don't have to worry about imminent labor.  And -- I haven't researched photographers or sent inquiries, and I certainly haven't scheduled any photo sessions.

So why the freak out?

Because today I came to a second realization -- that I desperately want photos taken with this baby in my belly, and I want them done within the next few weeks. 

With Eve, we had a maternity photo session scheduled for November 19, 2011.  Complimentary sessions were offered to every couple in my birthing class, and we planned to take full advantage of that.

On November 17, I went shopping for the outfit I planned to wear for the photoshoot.

On November 18, we found out that Eve was dead. 

On November 19, instead of getting happy maternity photos taken, I got pills put inside of me to ripen my cervix and prepare for labor. 

On November 20, Eve's body was born.

I only have eight photos of me from when I was pregnant with her, including the above.  Eight measly photos of when she was alive within me.  Eight photos that have to last a lifetime.  Eight, because I didn't schedule a maternity shoot enough ahead of time.

And now I feel like I have made the exact same mistake again.  Even though I know that the stakes are higher.  Even though I don't feel like we have the luxury of passing on maternity photos and waiting for the newborn photos, because I know too well that there might not be a newborn. 

Even if nothing bad happens (a hope that I am daily disciplining myself to hold with faith), I still don't want to miss the chance to have photos taken of this sweet time when our son is physically a part of me, when we share the same body.  I don't want to miss this opportunity, and am afraid we have.

I am afraid that we only have until 31 weeks, the gestation that Eve died at, and that's just a month off now.  Or even worse, that we have less time, that this boy will die just a suddenly as his sister and never outlive her.  And I am afraid with a superstitious, stupid, illogical fear that if I schedule a maternity photo session, then that will cause our son to die. 

But mostly I am afraid that we have missed out.  Again.

The tears hover behind my eyes as I write. I am trying to trust that it's not too late, because really (for any sane, normal pregnant woman), it's not.  I'm nearly 27 weeks along, which means that I have at least a good ten weeks in which to secure some photos.  But the tears, ready to fall, tell a different story.

And again that same word as before comes to mind -- that it's reckless to think like that, to assume that we have decades or years or weeks with our son, when really all we have is now. 

I have no choice, I suppose.  I will make my plans the best I can.  I will inquire with photographers and schedule a session, and try to leave the rest where it belongs -- in God's hands. 

I will try not to snatch it all back from Him too often.  

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