This week, Autumn turned three months old. Based on my due dates, Nelle would be 22 months and Iris would be sixteen-and-a-half months. But Autumn is older than they will ever be. Once I passed 16 weeks, 1 day of pregnancy, and 21 weeks, 1 day of pregnancy, Autumn will always be older.
Nelle and Iris will forever be babies, trapped in the age at which I lost them. I will forever only be able to think of them in pregnancy, because that is the only way that they existed. I can think about the toddler girls that would be in our lives, but instead they are tiny shadows. A baby that would have fit easily into the palm of my hand upon birth, only inches long and weighing mere ounces.
However, yesterday I received the most amazing gift from a dear friend of mine. We had family photos done recently by Sara O’Brien Photography. My friend, Kim, is an artist and photographer herself at Paper Moon Photography (she did newborn photos of Autumn in the hospital). I asked her to take one of our family photos and add Nelle and Iris to the picture, as shadows, spirits, part of our family and depicted at approximately the age that they would be today. The result was stunning. I cried when I saw it.
It is very healing to have our entire family captured in a photograph. Having the photo on display in our home means the world to me.
As my family grows older and we continue to have photos taken, I don’t know how we will incorporate Nelle and Iris. Will they continue to grow along with my other children? Or will they forever be the little girls pictured here?
I will do whatever feels right at the time. And this photo feels so right.