I can still remember first meeting Lyndsey and David in 2010 – two first time parents-to-be who booked me for a Grow With Me package for their baby on the way, Savanna Ray. I’m pretty sure after that first maternity session I couldn’t wait to hang out with them again every three months for the next year. Lyndsey and I hit it off right away, and after a hilaaaaaaaaarious prank where David introduced himself to me as “Bruce” (to which I still lovingly refer to him as two years later) I knew not only would they be awesome parents, but great clients to work with.
Savanna made her debut and was an incredibly beautiful and very easy newborn. I once again felt more like I was hanging out with college friends and gushing over someone’s baby for fun rather than doing an “official” photo shoot.
For Savanna’s three month session, we met at a local photographer hot spot for outdoor pictures, and I distinctly remember the moment that Lyndsey looked at me with her beautiful smile and said, “So, do we get a special deal on another Grow With Me package if we have babies less than a year apart?” It took a second or two for what she was saying to register but when it did I was ecstatic. Over the next nine months, I watched Savanna and Lyndsey grow. I marveled how she was managing to juggle work, a 6 month old, and being 3 months pregnant. I’m one of “those” people and sat there at Savanna’s 9 month session with my hands on poor Lynds’ belly waiting to feel a nudge (and I did). Then we combined Sav’s one year session with Lyndsey’s maternity shoot and it is to this day one of the most gorgeous family/maternity/one year sessions I’ve ever done. Both Bruce/David and Lyndsey were smitten with Savanna and giddy to meet her little sister, Taylor, in just a couple weeks tops. The sun was shining and Savanna refused to touch her First Birthday smash cake.
Around a week later, I got a call from Lyndsey’s mom. She said she was at the hospital and before she could finish I was was squealing and my mind was already lining up sitters for her impending newborn session. Anna stopped me before I could get to excited and said, “Taylor wasn’t born alive” or something along those lines, and for a second I felt like the earth literally stopped spinning. All I could think of was, “What can I do. Tell me what Lyndsey wants and I can do it.”
Less than an hour later, I was holding a completely perfect, chubby cheeked baby girl and praying to God that He would work through me to capture images of this sweet child in a way that would soothe her parents’ souls in the days and years to follow. The Worst had happened to them and like everyone in that room, I just wanted to make the pain less. Do something. The picture of Taylor below is actually a picture I didn’t edit the first time through (a year ago) and I’m so glad that Lyndsey wanted this picture of her second daughter shared, because the whole world should be able to see how amazingly beautiful she was.
To be a part of the small number of people on this Earth to get to see her and hold her was an honor.
One year and a week later, Savanna and Taylor’s little sister was born. Yes, Lyndsey had *three* full term baby girls each one year apart! A peanut compared to her big sisters (weighing in at 6 lbs 12 ounces) and every bit as beautiful of a newborn as they were! Lyndsey and I had talked about me coming to the hospital when Greta was born, and when I got the text Friday morning that it looked like that was going to be the day, I made sure I was there. Since Lyndsey was having a c-section, I had to wait until they were in recovery, so Lyndsey and Bruce/David had the anesthesiologist snap pictures for them (the first two images below).
I can’t tell you how therapeutic Friday was. Entering that same hospital for the first time in a year made my heart ache a little, but the second I walked in an saw Lynds’ radiating smile, Bruce laughing about her hitting on her doctor while she was semi-sedated, and that wonderfully tiny but feisty little Greta, a joy that I can’t describe in words just radiated through me (and through the entire room it seemed). There were a few seconds of misty eyes, but overall such a relaxed and happy day.