This maternity shoot took place in Canmore and holds a special place in my heart, the lovely mother in these photographs is an old friend from when I was a teenager in Ontario and we were camp counsellors together, writing ridiculous songs for around the campfire. Also, we went out to dinner together after this session and had a blast, they are such happy, hilarious people.
The shoot took place well over a year ago, but I never got around to posting it (I’ll be playing catchup here for a while!), and Brigitta’s answers to some personal questions involving their journey through infertility are too beautiful not to share.
YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOME PREGNANT WAS A DIFFICULT ONE, WHAT GAVE YOU STRENGTH AND HOPE THROUGHOUT?
I knew in the deepest part of my heart that we would be parents, I just didn’t know how or when it would happen. This was but a period of time in our lives, and we could choose to wallow, or make the most of it. We changed our perspective and began focusing on the moments of beauty. This provided hope and strength. As a couple, we were in this together 100%, as equal partners. Our struggle was no one’s “fault,” it was our circumstance and it allowed us to draw closer together.
The things we could change and work on, we did, then turned our lives over to a power far greater than our own and went on the adventure of a lifetime. We had support from family and friends who were aware of our circumstance, and never judged, or thought less of us. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that heartache was involved, because it was. However, we always had the power, the choice, to choose happiness and joy. When we did this, the darkest days always had light. We allowed infertility to refine us, rather than define us.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU FOUND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
I almost fell over – for real! I couldn’t believe it. Although I felt different than I ever had, I thought it was all in my head. When you take so many tests and they come back negative, you tread lightly, so to speak. After taking 3 tests in the space of 24 hours, I assured myself that it was real and I wasn’t going crazy and was so excited, nervous, and couldn’t wait to tell Keaton! I thought I was going to burst it out to the whole world! The moment we had waited for was finally here and it was amazing! I took a moment to be still. I thanked God for blessing our family with this little soul, and felt indebted gratitude for his power and mercy.
HOW DID YOU TELL KEATON THAT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
If you know me, I am terrible at keeping a secret! I lasted 24 hours so I could take a couple more test to confirm, and it almost killed me not saying anything! When Keaton comes home from work he always gives me a hug and kiss, first thing. That Friday when he came home, he looked at me and the first thing he said was, “What’s going on?” Of course I lied and said “Nothing!” He immediately knew I was lying, which I repeatedly denied. He let it go, gave me a kiss, and got ready to go out on our date.
I waited on the couch downstairs, for what felt like hours, until he came downstairs. He was still super suspicious, and asked me again what I had done, and what I was hiding. I said, “Come and give us a hug.” He looked confused at first, and as soon as he figured out what I was saying, tears filled his eyes and we hugged and cried and it was such a tender moment for us to experience together.
WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH OTHERS WHO ARE DEALING WITH INFERTILITY?
Keep holding on. The one that is yours will soon be in your arms. You are not alone. You are brave. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are resilient. You are inspiring. You are not your infertility.
You are going through one of the hardest challenges this life has to offer, it is painful, it is raw, and it is very real. It hurts because it matters. I see you. You are not invisible. You can do this. Take one day at a time. The struggle is part of your story, and makes you stronger to turn another page. Remember tears have the power to heal. Never be ashamed of the beautiful book you are writing.
You don’t have to go this road alone, because you are never alone. There are others out there cheering you on. Surround yourself with your people: the ones who lift you, hold you, and will carry you when you feel like you can’t go on one more day. You are loved. Just keep going.
PREGNANCY WASN’T EASY FOR YOU, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU LEARNED FROM THAT EXPERIENCE?
I learn the most from being challenged. I had wanted to be pregnant for so long, I tried my best to remain positive, in all things. I learned that my body is beautiful, amazing, and far more powerful than I had ever imagined. Being pregnant and giving birth was the most intuitive and spiritual experience I have ever had. I learned to surrender control, and let just let it be.
Aren’t Brigitta’s words incredible? I love her spirit of not only surviving this challenge, but thriving and allowing herself, and the two of them as a couple, to grow. Don’t forget to scroll down to the very end of this post for some amazing pictures of the two of them tobogganing! I love that it’s the one that made it onto their living room wall.