When your sister-in-law and best friend
just gave birth to your baby via surrogacy,
you can't help but happy cry.
Behind every birth is a story...
I met up with Mallory at a coffee shop a couple months back to get to know her and see if I'd be a good fit for her. She wanted to hire me to photograph the birth of her first baby, who would happen to be born via surrogacy by her sister-in-law and best friend, Brooke. I sat there overwhelmed with joy as she shared how she and her husband, Brian, would finally be parents after years of struggling with infertility and how Brooke selflessly offered to be her surrogate. It didn't fully sink in, but I knew photographing the birth of Mallory and Brian's son would be nothing short of a miracle.
Flash forward to last week, I finally got to photograph their birth story (a week earlier than their planned induction date). While every birth I photograph is special, Mallory, Brian, and baby Luke's story especially spoke to me. Since getting married, babies have been on my mind as the next logical step. I'm married, in my thirties, but in my mind, essentially "running out of time." I wonder what it would be like to have a child, if I will even have children, how crazy a mom I'll be, whether I'll have enough time, how expensive adoption really is, when I'll be "ready"...etc; I've considered every worst-and best-case scenario. Some people get pregnant quite easily while others don't. Unfortunately, a lot of factors prevent people from having children, and I often wonder if I'll be one of those people. Speaking with Mallory, I'm more aware how much of a reality infertility is, but being a part of their amazing birth story in a way gives me hope in my own future fertility and birth stories. I feel like in photographing their birth story, I gained more than anything I could ever give them in pictures. They gave me the hope of children of my own. They gave me assurances of God's providence and plans. They've changed the way I see love and sacrifice and the preciousness of bringing a baby into the world.
After ten hours of shooting at four in the morning, I finished photographing this incredible birth story, completely exhausted and sore all over, yet I went home utterly euphoric. Even now I can't put into words how beautiful it was to witness such an outpouring of love in this gift of surrogacy. I'm so overwhelmingly thankful to Mallory and Brian and all of their family for sharing this unforgettable, precious moment with me. Baby Luke is soooo blessed to be born into such a loving family.
Brookwood Medical Plaza, Birmingham, AL. July 11, 2016 | Canon 5d markii 50mm 1.2L+ 100mm 2.8 macro