That photo session or package that you’re hesitant to buy because it’s too expensive is worth it.
Spending an hour with a photographer who captures your child’s adorable smile—the one you miss because they always seem to stop smiling the minute your phone comes out—is worth it.
Forcing your husband to participate in a photo shoot, when you know he hates smiling for the camera, is worth it.
Making memories with your family is worth it.
I’m not saying this because I am a photographer. I’m saying this because I’m a mom.
A mom who won’t get to see her daughter take her first steps, graduate from high school, or marry the love of her life. My time with my daughter was cut way too short, and now all I have left are the pictures I took of her.
Becoming a mom was always a dream of mine—even before I met my husband. I didn’t know much about what I wanted to do in the future, but I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to feel the love that everyone talks about, but no one can really describe.
When Nate and I found out we were going to have a baby, we were beyond excited. Our path to pregnancy was full of obstacles, which made this moment even more special for us. We were going to be parents!
We both knew the journey to parenthood wouldn’t be easy, but neither of us expected the struggle we would experience after 19 weeks. Five months into my pregnancy I was already dilated and put on bed rest to prevent early labor. However—at only 24 weeks—Kara Mckenzie was born.
Yes, you read that right. We had our baby 16 weeks early.
We were in complete shock. How could this happen? She wasn’t ready. We weren’t ready.
For the next 28 days, we were in the NICU learning how to take care of a baby who was less than two pounds. I thought being in the NICU would be the hardest burden we would endure. But nothing prepared us for what happened next.
Kara was doing really well. She had good days and she had bad days. She was a fighter. But one day the fight was just too much. Her little body couldn’t handle the infection she had, and on March 18, 2017—one month after she entered the world—she was taken from it. Just like that she was gone, and there was nothing we could do about it.
Six days prior to Kara’s passing I brought my camera to the hospital. I was struggling to find the strength to take these pictures, but I knew I wanted to. We had a lot of cell phone pictures, but they didn’t capture her little fingernails or her tiny little toes like I knew I could.
I had no idea these pictures would be all I have left of my precious baby girl. I had no idea these pictures would become my entire world.
If I had waited another week to take these pictures, I’d be devastated. I am so grateful I found the courage to capture Kara’s little details and the room where she lived. I will cherish these photos for the rest of my life.
My daughter is gone but she won’t ever be forgotten, and I have these photographs to thank for that.
So to the moms and soon-to-be moms:
Photography is worth it. Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise.
*Thank you to Brittany of Brittany Gidley Photography for editing the photos for me*