Kacie is a dear friend of mine, and funny enough, we met during our prenatal classes at the Lethbridge Hospital prior to the birth of our first babies. She is tall like I am, and we bonded over the fact that neither one of us was short enough to fit into the bathtub comfortably before or during pregnancy.
As I have watched her first born son Noah grow into the witty, adorable and fun-loving 3.5 year old that he is, I have also watched her grow too. We have swapped advice, stories and easy play activities for our kids, and have shared our very common anxieties and worries as parents. I still remember laughing with her over the fact we both thought that there was such a thing as "professional" parents, ie. parents who'd had a lot of time in and knew what the hell they were doing. As if anyone really knows what the hell they are doing when it comes to Motherhood.
The joy that growing your family brings
Kacie's journey to and through motherhood has been a winding road that I've been honoured to walk alongside her, sometimes up close, and other times from a distance. When she shared with me that she was expecting again, I was elated. I was so excited for her, her husband Luke, and their son Noah all to experience the joy that growing your family really brings. I patiently waited for her to get closer to her due date in May, and then asked her if she'd step in front of my camera to capture this season in her life.
When she revealed to me she never had photos taken of her when she was pregnant with Noah, I audibly gasped. I wanted her to remember this time in her life because I knew it may be her last pregnancy, and although her and I both didn't absolutely love being pregnant (hello aches and pains, etc, etc, etc) we both loved being moms, and this was one of the rites of passage on the motherhood journey, even for a seasoned pro (or professional parent, as we call them).
She was transformed right in front of my eyes
We decided just to do a session of Kacie alone, without the family, to honour pregnancy in all it's beauty, and because the dress is so long, there's no way anyone is chasing a toddler in it. We got to the location just before sunset, and as Kacie put on this dress, my jaw hit the floor. She was transformed right in front of my eyes, from an anxiously awaiting second-time-mama-to-be, to the very definition of pregnancy glow. The dress lent her this calm, majestic zen and motherly warmth that I was in awe of. I almost dropped my camera.
As I began photographing her, my heart recalled how I felt to be a new mom to my second child. That feeling of "I've done this before" meeting "yet somehow it's entirely different this time around" that you live in with your subsequent pregnancies after your first child. I recalled how incredible it felt to know that my body could create this actual miracle of life, and that I would love this new being with every part of my soul. But I also remembered something I hadn't experienced with my first: the breath-taking, beautiful, amazing joy of having two children. Of watching them grow up together, learning from one another, and just plain loving each other.
The next great adventure in motherhood
Knowing that Kacie is about to experience her heart literally doubling in size, filling with more love than she ever thought possible, honestly brought a tear to my eye. Seeing her have a radiant beauty that only the beginnings of new motherhood can bring, and photographing it for her so she could see it too, brought me a joy that only living in your true purpose can.
So Kacie, if you're reading this, thank you so much for agreeing to have your photos taken. You stirred within me a memory that, although not so distant, is still far off and dreamy when I recall it, and brings a warm smile to my face. You are about to embark on the next great adventure in your motherhood journey, and I am so grateful to walk it alongside you. You are a truly beautiful gem of a human being and I can't wait to meet your little one when they arrive!