It’s May 9th. Today was my original due date for the sweet little 3-week-old resting across from me. This post is a flashback if you will. Before I had Yuri, we took some family/maternity photos. One of my sweet coworkers, Aimee, conspired with some other coworkers and arranged for a photo session with an amazing photographer and covered all the costs. No strings attached, well except for she wanted an 8 x 10 glossy, and there may have been some talk about me not wearing anything on my head and maybe doing some shots exposing my scars. We joked about how awkward it would be if I had my boobless belly shot on a huge canvas over the mantle when people walked into my home.
I was sincerely overwhelmed by her kindness and thoughtfulness, but to be honest, I cringed at the thought of taking pictures bald, and with my belly and scars exposed. I’d seen plenty of breast cancer survivors and their powerful photos showing off their scars and a few with scars and baby bumps. Pictures oozing with strength, pride, and fearlessness and as I admired their photos, I thought to myself, “Yass hunty, slay, fierce, take that cancer!” Me on the other side of the camera, exposed that way, uhm, I am not so sure.
I talked with Tabitha the photographer to work out a good date for the shoot and possible locations. I gave her the whole back story about my diagnosis, surgeries, and discovering I was pregnant. She told me how excited she was about the opportunity to photograph my family and I, and I told her I was still a little unsettled about the topless shots. She was completely understanding and even sent me some examples of what she had in mind for the shots that made me feel better.
The shoot was scheduled for the evening of Good Friday, and it just so happened my sister and her family came down for Easter. My niece and sister were on make-up duty, and got me all dolled up for my shoot.
Tabitha came to the house for the more personal photos of me, and then we headed downtown to scope out some spots for our family shots.
Aren’t these pictures incredi-mazing?!!! I am so happy with the way they turned out!! Tabitha was amazing to work with and we had fun discovering fun spots to take pictures. Tabitha uses film so I had to wait a little to get the pictures back. But it was nice to have actual pictures in hand. Towards the back of the stack of pictures, there she was staring at me super short hair, scars spanning her chest, hands cradling a baby belly. In the midst of my ugly cry, I whispered to myself “yasss hunty, slay, fierce, take that cancer!”
I debated about posting these pics, I mean even though there’s nothing there, it’s still weird having it all out there for the world to see. My hope is that maybe it will encourage someone out there the way I was encouraged by so many other women’s photos. Photos that reminded me I am not alone in this battle, cancer can’t steal my joy, or dull my smile, and life goes on, scars and all.