What I love about this photo shoot is what you can't see. You can't see the car trip to the cute little flower shop our photographer thought would make a nice backdrop for the pictures The car trip where my 16 month old nearly clawed her way out of a five point harness, outsmarted the child-safety locks on the door, and escaped my moving Civic to achieve her ultimate goal of "Up Pease, More Elmo, Outside, Juice, Mommy, PEEEEASE!!" I just watched her in horror and amazement while my stomach competed with my face for the Source of Greatest Discomfort. I was fighting off a cold that was making my sinuses want to die, while my pants were undoubtedly suffocating my unborn child. Meanwhile, I was trying to get last-minute directions from the photographer, which is hard for me because I have some sort of disorder where things like "North, across from, before, intersection" just blend together into some cacophony of, "you will never find this place, just pull the car into a ditch and cry." I wanted to just quit and never leave my house again. During the way-too-public-for-my-comfort-level shoot, I felt like everyone was watching me and judging me for some crime I was oblivious to committing. I was so traumatized by the whole thing that I had trouble falling asleep that night just thinking about it.
But when the photographer sent me the proofs, all I could see was the culmination of 38 weeks of love I'd already put into being a mom of two sweet little girls. I saw my little family captured in the moments before we would meet our newest member. I saw what was really important: not the every day stress of being a parent, not the doubts and insecurities, not even the "no, mommy!'s" that Hannah has so recently perfected (serious face, finger shake and all). What I saw was just the overwhelming love and joy and sweetness. What I love about these pictures is what I love about parenting, the way the difficulties can just melt away in one beautiful moment, leaving behind nothing but giggles and hugs and love.