Meet new mommy, Sharon, new daddy, Ian, and their beautifully basking twin daughters, Lillian Ada (in dad's arms) and (in momma's arms) Matilda Eliot:
The moment Sharon contacted me about doing a newborn session for her family, I knew it be a special session for me. Couple things made me extra enthused about this session:
A. Lillian and Matilda are TWIN GIRLS (for any of you who don't know me well, my go-to fun fact is that I am a twin, with older twin brothers, AND have twin daughters)
B. these two beauties were born on July 17th, which happens to be my mother's birthday.
Pretty cool, huh?
When it comes to parenting newborns (twins to boot), Ian and Sharon seemed to be total naturals. Not only was the nursery perfectly prepped (it was friggin' adorable too), but they were at ease with the girls in a way that I rarely see with brand new parents. There was a jam session, a first bath (Ms. Matilda's umbilical decided to come off just in time), lots of good music (thanks for that!), and lots of laughs. The overall sense of peace in this home helped to create a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere. It was ideal for documenting a true depiction of the early days of life for Lillian and Matilda, along with their devoted, adoring parents (and maternal grandparents!).
Our time together was great. While I most-certainly relished in the session itself, it has been through reflection after the fact that I've found myself contemplating, "How the hell did they stay - and continue to stay - so positive/determined/undaunted... in the face of the setbacks life has thrown their way?" And, I keep coming back to four words, tattooed on Sharon's arm; a permanent reminder of the power of positive thought in times of hardship:
And I Feel Fine.
Sharon writes a blog (as well as contributes to others), "Ova Achiever: Our journey through baby-creating science." In it, she details her and Ian's five-year roller-coaster ride of infertility (see the full timeline here). With zero frills, it sheds light on not only what it is like to go through the trials that come with conceiving a baby after being diagnosed with "unexplained infertility," but also the amount of fortitude it takes to withstand the surprise twists and turns that make up that roller-coaster ride.
Exemplified in the excerpt above, this ability to reflect on the good; on the things that bring happiness, rather than dwell on the negative, in my opinion, takes a very special kind of person. To have the resolve to step back, look at the big picture, and make the choice to not feel sorry for yourself, but rather, realize, despite all the shit, life is good; everything is fine.
What can I say? That's just plain inspirational.
Not long after our session, the family feline, Bella, passed away. I was saddened to hear the news but glad that she made an appearance (quite photogenic one I might add!) in what I referred to Sharon as "The Bella Sessions."
And in one of my favorite family photos to date:
All in all, this indeed was a very special session for me. I look forward to seeing this beautiful family continue to thrive and, hopefully, documenting them along the way.