Now that I’m about halfway through my pregnancy with our newest bundle of joy (see the sweet feet above!), this Mother’s Day has an extra special resonance for me. I’m now contemplating what it means to be a mom of two, and I find myself in awe of the numerous women who have loved and nurtured me throughout my own life – my mom, the women in my family, my friends, and my mentors. I recognize myself in all of them, and how profound (and humbling) it is to think that my children may one day see themselves in me.
As a mom and filmmaker who captures family stories for a living, I think a lot about the sacred role a parent (and any nurturing figure) plays in a child’s life. I keep returning to the importance of recognizing beauty in the present moment – both the more challenging moments, and the happier ones – and the supreme power of sharing our stories to help lift each other up.
One such story was told by my mom, when she shared with me her plan for having a family when she and my father were just newlyweds. She wanted four children, all before age 36. At 36, she would tie her tubes, whether or not those four children became a reality. As it does, life had other plans. By age 35, and three pregnancy losses later, she had two children – my older sister and brother. That is, until one month before her 36th birthday, when she found out that she was pregnant with me. I was a very welcomed surprise. And the fact that I would never have been born had it not been for her three pregnancy losses, sticks with me in a very profound way. You see, I was meant to be here. As we all are.
Whenever I lose my way and doubt the grand design of things, I keep returning to this story. It held extra special meaning for me when I navigated my own pregnancy loss last fall. Fortuitously, the day I found out I was miscarrying, I found myself saved by yet another story – this one told by a friend I greatly admire. In one of the most emotionally honest interviews I’ve ever listened to, she shared her own experience of pregnancy loss. I cried with her. I saw myself in her. I rejoiced in the authenticity of her voice.
The realness of these two stories and the stories of countless others helped to liberate me. They lifted me out of that place where grief, guilt, and self-doubt feel like an impenetrable fog. They made me see that I am not alone. That – as in many of life’s challenges – there is a path through the fog. That there is a sisterhood of women who can hold my hand to show me the way. That we as mothers are incredibly powerful and resilient. We carry the circle of life within us. We birth families. Fathers. Brothers. Sisters. Grandparents. Future generations. And much of that strength is passed on when we share our stories boldly, without shame and without reserve.
So I dedicate this Mother’s Day to all the women in my life who have inspired me with their real life stories, with their honesty, with their presence. You are constant reminders that we are all connected in this messy beautiful thing called life. And you all inspire me to continue documenting stories about families and the human experience in the most authentic way I can.
I am very blessed to now be safely past most pregnancy tests and milestones with this new pregnancy. My confidence is rising, and I’m beginning to trust the radiance of my now-visibly pregnant body. I’m letting myself feel the joy. And I realize how incredibly lucky I am that all of this gets to be a part of my story. I get to experience the journey of motherhood a second time around, a litter wiser and a lot more present – allowing me to more easily soak in the mischievous grins of my 3-year old as he tries out wearing his underwear on his head; to really hold space for him, recognize myself in him, and listen to what he’s trying to express when he’s overcome with strong emotions; to luxuriate in his nervous hugs when my growing belly gives him pause; to lie down and really feel the miraculous flutters of life as my husband’s and my toddler’s hands rest lovingly on my belly.
How incredibly lucky I am that I get to play a part in preserving the complex, layered beauty of family moments like these through The Baby Mini Doc Project!
This Mother’s Day, give the gift of preserved family stories to a mom in your life!
We’re offering $200 off to the first three families to book a baby mini doc filming session (or purchase a gift certificate for a mama you love) by 6/16/19! To redeem, like/follow @babyminidoc on Facebook or Instagram and use the code MAMALOVE200.