My heartfelt thanks to Nadine, Steve, Isaac, William and Isla for allowing me to share their story..
My first meeting with Nadine was when she was heavily pregnant with her first child. She had rich amber hair, a beautiful smile and carried herself with natural confidence which I greatly admired. Isaac arrived into the world a few weeks later and I photographed their little family of 3 when he was a newborn. A few years later they welcomed their second son William and I was privileged to take images of their ever growing family. 3 years had passed. It was a regular day at work and I was scrolling through my emails when a familiar name popped onto my screen it was Nadine! I smiled thinking it was that time again to update their family photos but instead I received news that she was 30 weeks pregnant are her baby had life threatening complications. Nadine shared that her baby had a rare condition called Edwards Syndrome/Trisomy 18 and everyday was uncertain. Survival for babies born with Edwards syndrome were poor, 1/3 would survive to birth and only 5% would live to 1 year old. Knowing that every day and every minute of her pregnancy was precious, we agreed that a maternity shoot would need to be done asap. We would include the whole family in the session especially the baby’s two older brothers. The shoot was filled with love and laughter, the boys were their cheeky selves and gave lots of love and attention to their mum and their little sibling inside. Once again I looked at Nadine with admiration, she always carried herself with grace and calm. Even though the future ahead was uncertain they were happy at that moment.
Since Isaac and William had baby imprints done as newborns, the same was to be done for the new baby. After some careful planning I was prepared for multiple situations once the baby arrived, one scenario was that I would be at the hospital within a few hours after the delivery if they needed me urgently. I waited anxiously for a call as Nadine was expected to deliver via c – section. The day came and went and there was no phone call, I felt a sense of relief wash over me as no news was GOOD news, the baby had survived delivery. Beautiful baby Isla arrived into the world on Friday the 27th of April 2018.
A few weeks had passed and I received news that Isla was finally home and doing well! I was overjoyed to hear the news. Even though Isla had some setbacks after birth it was decided that we would not take any chances and arranged for the family photos and Imprints to be done straight away. Isla would be visiting me at the studio which was a miracle in itself as I thought our first meeting would be at the hospital. She arrived asleep in her beautiful pram, precious and perfect, the shoot was effortless like she knew what she was there for. Nadine strong and confident, smiling as always just amazed me. I remember taking photos of her and Isla and seeing the twinkle in her eye as she gazed proudly at her little girl. Steve her husband playfully rubbed noses with Isla’s which made her smile with delight. William would happily cuddle and kiss her all day long if he could, while Isaac played the more protective big brother role. Towards the end of the shoot I noticed that Nadine was wearing a bracelet with the word “believe” engraved on the silver band. I asked if I could use it and I placed it around Isla’s tiny toes. I thought what a powerful image and message that would be to share, to believe and be reminded that anything is possible. I was so moved by the experience that I asked permission to share their story for this blog which I am so grateful for. Nadine was overjoyed at the impact her daughter has had on so many people, she even mentioned that a cake was baked by her friend to celebrate Isla’s 1 month birthday which I thought was brilliant. The future is still uncertain for Isla but she has taught me yet again that life is a gift and everyday is our present.
To Nadine thank you for showing me what courage, trust and fierce motherly love looks like, may you be given strength every day to keep on going. Isla, thank you for showing us that miracles do exist and to never ever stop believing..
If you would like to leave a message for Nadine and her family you are invited to do so as I am sure she will be uplifted by your words of support and love.