This blog post contains graphic images and words about a premature baby being born and passing. Hudson's mom was 16 weeks pregnant when he was born and these pictures were taken. If you are pregnant or have had a miscarriage in the past, please proceed with caution.
I never thought I would be writing this post.
Before I start... I have to warn you. This blog post is heartbreaking.
When I made the decision to pursue birth photography as a career, I knew I wanted to go into it ready for the good, the bad, and the ugly. I genuinely believe there is beauty to be found in EVERY situation... and when it comes to my business, I specifically believe there is beauty to be found in EVERY birth. Those of you who have been following my photography journey know that I am open and honest about life. So it only makes sense for me to share about the really horrible days alongside of the wonderful days.
I thought long and hard about whether to share Hudson's story on my blog. I weighed the pros and cons... and ultimately I decided that my philosophy has always been to share it all. And then when his mama asked me if I would be willing to share his pictures publicly, I didn't hesitate for one minute in my response. Yes. Yes, the story of Hudson's birth deserves to be told... just as much as any other of my client's stories deserve to be told.
Below are a few words from his mom and dad. Please join us in celebrating Hudson's life by leaving encouraging words for his parents on this post.
I never intended to share these pictures with more than family. They are raw, personal, some may even say disturbing. But as I started sharing a carefully selected few and saw friends' reactions, I realized that they are also breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and beautiful. They are stigma shattering. No one ever foresees themselves in this situation. It's terrifying and heart wrenching. Despite having an amazing and large support system, despite knowing countless couples have been through it before, despite being told "you aren't alone", it's lonely. I hope one day I am able to share full our story, to put it all into writing in a way that is worthy of shattering that loneliness. But for now, we felt led to share our story through rarely seen pictures.
Liz is an amazing woman and artist. With little forewarning or time to mentally prepare, she dropped everything and was able capture the raw emotion, the heart break, and the awe inspiring beauty, oh the beauty. This is our story...
I've heard stories before, through social media, or that my wife has shared - About the family that has had their world turned upside down with tragedy, or heartbreak. I can remember hearing myself tell her "I have no idea how I could handle that", or "could you even imagine". I can say there is still an emptiness there, like something is missing and that if I look far enough I will find it. Its a terrifying feeling to know I may never reach what I am seeking. It is still hard to process most days with words, even after hearing the same line that others "have been there before." When I look at the pictures of my beautiful boy, it reminds how precious he is as I held him for the first time. How much I want everyone to see just how beautiful he is, and not hide away the scar that I have. What Liz was able to capture, was the rare sight of pure love and heart break at the same instance, and for that I could not thank her enough.
Thank you to the incredible staff at Virginia Baptist Hospital, the wonderful midwives at Centra Health Women's Services, and mom's unrelentingly supportive home birth midwife and prenatal care provider, Emily Friar from Rockbridge Midwifery.