I've gone back and forth over the last year, trying to decide whether to share these pictures. My hope in sharing them is to inspire other women to capture this magical time as well.
Exactly one year ago today, at 37 weeks pregnant, I went to Sarah Prall's studio for a portrait session. I gave birth to our daughter just 9 days later.
When I was pregnant I remember saying I became a mother the moment our daughter was conceived. I look at these pictures and see that mother held within me like a spring bud. I see the devotion, the contentment, the nurturing, the intimacy, the joy, the vast unknown.
These portraits capture that liminal time as I stood on the cusp of the full flowering of motherhood, before I first held my girl in my arms and felt my heart swell and overflow and crack open in a way nothing could have prepared me for.
It is the me not of my girlhood, nor the me of today, but a mysterious in-between place of ripeness and possibility.
We have thousands of photographs of my daughter and me, beginning when she was only a few seconds old, the two of us still connected by a pulsing umbilical cord. I pause and laugh and cry as I look back through them now, forgetting and remembering all those tiny, precious moments that make up a whole year.
These portraits have shown me the sacred vessel I've become, as a mother, to hold the enormity of all those moments...and go on holding them for the rest of my life.
Poetry and Musings of an Interfaith Minister on the Journey of a Lifetime.