For my December 2016 Mother of the Month, I want to talk about Seattle newborn photography and introduce Danielle.
I have been doing newborns since I started my business. I like to keep it simple and hunt for expressions. I don’t dislike the other types of newborn photography with the props, it just isn’t my style. When you start to observe newborns, you can see so much about their personality and the child they will become.
Danielle and I met six years ago when she came to me to capture her first pregnancy and subsequently newborn photography of her little boy. I was impressed with not only her strength and determination, but also how honest she was about what she was about to take on. She was going to have this baby all by herself. It was a timely meeting (as most of them are) because I had been thinking of having a baby as a single mother and was starting to do the research. I was terrified of doing it on my own. I couldn’t see how I could do it because of all my travel. But Danielle had it together and she was doing it all.
When I heard she was pregnant for the second time, I was so happy for her. She and I had grown closer because I had my son and we started to talk and text to check in on each other. I knew she wanted another child and she had important reasons. We talked at her maternity session and she confessed she was having some doubts about what she had done. But when she brought her daughter into the studio for her Seattle newborn photography session, she glowed. Self-doubt was replaced with the strength of knowing she had done the right thing for her and her family. She was firmly planted in her role as mother and sole provider to her two children and confidence, and beauty, just emanated from her. I feel she has a lot to teach women who are single and wondering if they can have a child. She has both a special needs child and her new daughter. She is an inspiration that I hope many women can draw inspiration and strength from.
- Tell me a little bit about yourself. Why you decided to have kids. Was it an easy process? Why did you have a second child? Sometime in my early 30’s a switch went on and having children became very important to me. My first child was a surprise but became my anchor into motherhood and building my family, even as a single mother. My amazing son ended up being diagnosed with Dup15q/Autism/ADHD. Over the years as I watched his development evolve I came to a point when I had to make a choice due to age on whether a sibling would be something that would add to our family and could I handle it all. I wanted to experience motherhood with a typical child in addition to a special needs child and I also wanted to have a blood family member around for my son when one day I’m not here to be his support. I used a donor for my daughter and she’s been so easy and amazing since her birth it makes me really happy to have made this choice. I’m so grateful to the donor for making this possible for our family. A part of me has also been healed in the experience of interacting with her as an infant that is different from the experience I had with my son.
- What is your secret to happiness and holding your family together?
Babysitting/Childcare?! Honestly, that’s been a very important aspect to single mother self care so that I can show up for my children. I’ve also learned that now that I’m finished having children, it’s important to reclaim parts of me that faded during the path to family/motherhood. Engaging in these activities that make me happy allow me to bring that happiness back to my children and also serves as an example to them both to pursue their dreams and interests and find their voice in this world. If they see me consistently running/cycling/swimming, drawing/creating art, fostering friendships, acknowledging gratitude for what we have and always striving to advance my career, my hope is that they will both have the security, love and encouragement to become anything they want in this world and lifetime.
- Tell me about why you decided to have professional family or maternity photographs, and why you trusted me to take these special photos. This one was something I had contemplated but was never planning on doing while pregnant with my son as I was very self-conscious of my belly and body. My old cycling coach actually convinced me to take the leap and get them done reminding me that I’d always look back on them as an investment in my family and capturing the moment. I showed her Jennifer’s website and she confirmed that her work looked most promising to make a first time mother shine and feel beautiful during the maternity shoot (which was accurate). From that first shoot I’ve gone on to have Jennifer document my family from my son’s growth into having my daughter just this year. It’s so special to walk around my house with the walls of black and whites reminding me every day of the journey I’ve been on to be exactly where I am today.
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