I thought that Saturday was going to be tough. I had anticipated the worst. I heard that she was battling from a brain tumour and was anxious because she had lost her hair. I guess, if have to admit it, I was scared. Mostly of my own emotions. I photograph babies that have passed away at birth and always find those so incredibly hard. I mourn the baby, the loss for the parents, but this seemed scarier.
I arrived to a quiet home, jazzy music playing and there she was serene, sitting feeding and I knew I was staring at her lack of hair, not because it made me uncomfortable but because I notice everything about a persons face and couldn’t help but look at the shape of her head and noticed how good of a head it is! She rocked no hair I kept on thinking it but didn't want to say, “Hi, nice round head!”
She introduced me to Plum, oh what a sweetheart of a child! She was at that time just 37 weeks, she had to come early so that Ashley could now continue to have chemotherapy for her tumour. Ashley told me about The night. She had gone to sleep like any other night and apparently made a strange sound that woke her partner. She was having a seizure. He called 911, she was whisked in for an emergency MRI and woke up to find herself being admitted and told that she had a brain tumour. She was pregnant at the time, she had to be strong for this little life inside. She said that she has cried a few times but mostly she is incredibly strong. She needs to be.
I came away from that photo shoot so excited for the possibility of their positivity. They all as a little family oozed this out of themselves and I kept thinking, “Wow, this is amazing”. They have all been through so much already, have so much more to go through… I mean we all know just having a new child is tough enough, but putting chemo and all that it comes with on top of that!
There are those Strong as a Mother shirts out there now and I think that this Mother has shown me what it is really like to be strong. She needs to be strong in order to be little Plum’s Mother. That strength and determination was vibrating in their home. Their love for each other is evident in the tiny things.
I thought that Saturday was going to be tough - instead, it was profound.
Paula Owen Photography
Squamish based newborn photographer