I’m inspired by Meghan at Expecting the Unexpected today. Some of you may have seen the series of photos that seem to have gotten popular lately of women before and after having their babies. The first photo is usually a maternity photo with a big, pregnant belly, and the second photo is the same as the first, but re-staged with the baby where the belly was months prior. To most people, these pictures are adorable. Brutal honesty: I resent the hell out of these pictures. I don’t ever seek them out, but they pop up in my newsfeed on facebook or in random places around the internet from time to time. Sometimes I wonder if feeling bitter at these types of things is something I should work on, but that’s an issue for my therapist and future me to work on.
Meghan made her own set of before and after photos as a baby loss mama and issued a challenge of sorts for others to do the same. I had maternity photos taken while I was pregnant, but I was so darn excited about this that I used a cell phone picture Zach took during the Georgia snowpocalypse and recreated it when I got home from work last night, so forgive the cell phoney quality. I may recreate my maternity photos later on because I think it would be neat to have ones with Zach included, especially the ones where he’s holding Owen’s little dinosaur shoes on my belly.
Putting on my old maternity clothes was not as emotional as I thought it would be, but looking at that old picture was. During all of this snow, I remember talking to Owen about it–how fun snow in Georgia is, how it shuts the whole city down. I wrote his name in the snow and took a picture, thinking that if he lived I could show him he had gotten to enjoy the snow in-utero and if he died, well…I had proof that we had always included him, always loved him.
I loved recreating this picture. While I haven’t seen very many of the slide shows Meghan linked to on her blog yesterday, I had assumed that some of them included empty-armed mothers like us. Surely, there was some acknowledgement that there are women who carry their children but don’t bring them home. Apparently, there wasn’t, so here’s to us.