December 2014 I had the honour of meeting a Mom who’s courage and strength filled my heart with so much gratitude! She’s since empowered many other Moms to step in front of my camera this past year. I’ve asked if I could share her story & she graciously agreed with hopes that others may be able to relate to her story, or at least feel a sense of peace with where they are in their own life’s journey.
During pregnancy with her third child Jillian developed a bad cough. She couldn’t seem to shake it & at 27 weeks pregnant she was admitted to hospital for further testing. After being transferred to Mt. Sinai in Toronto she spent 3 weeks while they figured out what sub-type of Lymphoma she had. With the diagnosis of Stage 4 mediastinal large B-cell non-hodgkin’s lymphoma she starting treatments right away, & after the second treatment of chemo her hair began to fall out. I can only imagine what it’s like to have your husband shave your head for you. My husband shaved my legs for me once while I was pregnant, but to go bald would be an entirely different experience.
At 34 weeks, she had a c-section & gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who was perfect in every way! As a Mom of three myself, I can’t imagine how scary it is to have no choice but to go through treatments while pregnant. What a sigh of relief to finally hold her baby after all they’d been through together! We scheduled Laken’s newborn session & I was very excited to meet them!
When Jillian walked into the studio you could tell she had been through so much more than the normal labour, delivery, & recovery that all Moms are healing from when they come for a newborn session. She’d fought one heck of a battle, but the smile on her face told such a different story. She was beaming. She was so GRATEFUL to be here; holding her baby girl in a moment of true gratitude. There was not a dry eye in the place as she sat there holding her miracle baby while fighting for her own life. It was raw, & it was real, & it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL.
Jillian’s story, & the photograph of her holding Laken while bald & vulnerable is so powerful because it’s more than a photograph of strength & courage, it’s also a wake up call to all Moms. You see. So many Moms come into my studio reluctant to step in front of my camera with their children. Why? Maybe because they’re upset about the few extra pounds they’ve gained after having children; or they aren’t happy with how they look, so they’re waiting to loose a few more pounds before they embrace their children in front of the camera.
Over the past year I’ve had so many Mom’s look at Jillian & Laken’s photograph & agree to step in front of my camera with their children. Right where they are in their own life’s journey. Regardless of those few extra pounds & how they feel about them. Your kids LOVE you unconditionally. Exactly how you are, for who you are. No matter what!
I’m so happy to tell you that Jillian is in remission! What a celebration it was to have them back in the studio for Laken’s 1st Birthday! I hope you enjoy these priceless images of courage, strength & LOVE…
One year later…
Together during their Reveal & Order Appointment we created these beautiful keepsakes!
Jillian’s family & friends have been so supportive through this incredibly difficult year & she would like to thank everyone for the many way’s they’ve helped her through this!