I’ll never forget the moment I found out Toni was pregnant. I walked into the waiting room for one of my final OB appointments before having Milly. My belly was large and in charge – I believe I was almost full term. Will had dropped me off so I wouldn’t have to walk from the parking deck, then had plans to join me in the waiting room.
In walks my husband Will, along with two of our dearest friends – Chris and Toni. “What are you guys doing here?!” was my first question. And then, I knew. My eyes got as big as saucers and I said, “Wait! You’re pregnant!” They smiled super big, and I kid you not – I began jumping up an down in a waiting room full of people with a giant belly, screaming in excitement. I was approaching the end of my pregnancy, while hers was just beginning.
I have watched Toni on her beautiful journey to motherhood for 3 years now. To be honest, we’ve traveled this road together. We are so similar – neither of us were ready for kids, we are both business owners and artists who loved our independence and our husbands and our lives the way we knew them. Over time and through much prayer, our hearts were softened. We’ve prayed together, agreed that we just weren’t ready, talked about trying for babies, then got to experience being pregnant together for a short time. We even took the same birth classes!
To be in the room with Toni and Chris when their sweet son arrived and wrecked their hearts forever was something I’ll never forget. Toni was in the room with me when I delivered Milly, so we’ve been part of one another’s lives during our toughest, most vulnerable moments. As I captured Elijah being born, I also watched a beautiful, strong mother being born. Toni delivered him 100% naturally with no drugs or interventions – proving how strong she is. Chris didn’t leave her side for a moment, and when tears finally came as they held their son for the first time, it was surreal and beautiful and raw.
I am incredibly grateful to have been there to capture the arrival of sweet Elijah John.
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