I believe in miracles, and before you break into song, you need to understand why. See, I have two beautiful friends in my life, more like family than friends, but even though there’s no blood connection, they have always been there and always will. These friends have had one of the most anguishing, heartbreaking and awe inspiring journey into parenthood and having a family. The heartache that these two have faced together is unfathomable in every sense, and each painful step forward that they were forced to take, it was like the universe was just making those steps bigger and harder and even more impossible. Unfair comes to mind, but even that word is too soft for what these two have gone through. But to their credit, they have never wavered in their passion, their desire and their love for each other. This is where the sense of awe is felt, when you are around them, when you speak to them and hear about their journey from their own lips, you can only sit back and rest in awe of them. I’m not religious in the sense of aligning myself to a god, but I do believe that there is a higher power in action in our lives and that somehow, someway, miracles can happen. I’m just lucky enough to witness one.
So, to cut things down a bit (because honestly, I could talk about these two friends for a long time!) you need to know that the fertility journey of Dave and Fabs has been incredible, and after such pain and heartache, they decided that they would stop trying all the things they were committed to, in order to extend their family. I remember the text from Fabs, she wrote something to me a little like this … “I have some news, Dave and I have decided to stop trying for a family and start living our life for us. Dave asked me the first thing i’d do and I replied with ‘get rid of my big family car and buy something sexy’… so Dave came home the next day with this…” And, along side this text was a photo of Fab’s new car – a sexy egg shell Mini Coupe! It was gorgeous! And the sense of calm and peacefulness that she expressed in that tiny little text was wonderful. Az and I cried for them. Cried tears of peace – that they were able to push through their unimaginable pain and make this choice. We were proud, pleased, calm and hopeful for them. And what an amazing gesture from a husband to a wife – a mini coupe! Fuck yeah!
Weeks later, they were driving through our town and wanted to pop in to show us the car… or so we thought. They turned up, we poured over the car for literally about an hour. Took it for test drives and were genuinely thrilled for them both. They looked happy in life, and they had a snazzy new glow about themselves. It was bliss to see. Eventually, I offered Fabs a cuppa and standing there in my kitchen she just calmly holds my hand and says ‘So, we’re pregnant!’
I think she nearly had to pick me up off the floor – I was in shock. We can both laugh about this moment now, but geez at the time, my world was shaken and stirred! Bond style!
We hugged, she showed me scans and I don’t think I let go of her. Dave told Az, and that in itself was just as precious.
So, we were with them on this journey, just like everyone around them. We knew the risks, we were petrified for them and everyone had every ounce of hope, love and strength going their way. I prayed that night. I prayed to the whole universe that this will happen. It was going to be a long 9 months, but we were there with them.
Fast forward 36 weeks and I congratulated Fabs on finishing work and being on maternity leave. She sent me a series of almost panicked texts messages saying she was feeling like she had so many things to do and so little time and energy to do them. She said she’d run out of time to organize a maternity photo shoot and she was really sad about it. So, I offered to do that for them, making it explicit that in no way was I a professional and I didn’t have a studio with soft lighting. I just had me and my camera. They jumped at the chance and I shat myself with nerves!
But you know what – magic happened that day. Magic, or a miracle – whatever or whoever it was that was sharing that day with us, they knew. They knew how important this was for Dave and Fabs, they knew how nervous I was.
Before the shoot, Fabs and I had shared some ideas, none of which were awkward like these but boy we had a laugh over them. It made the start of the shoot a little less nerve-wrecking for me because we could laugh about them.
So, after a lot of moving of furniture, a few coffees and shots of scotch (for Dave!) we got started. Dave and Fab’s home is beautiful, and the moment you walk in you’re surrounded by a sense of calm. There was a beautiful window that we dressed in a sheer curtain, a gorgeous timber floor and that was about it. We moved around the room a lot, using the window light as much as we could. We laughed at the start and then we just got into a groove and with Az in the background talking away, we managed to get some beautiful photos. I say ‘managed’ but really, it was more than that. I think a bit of magic happened. The light was right, we had time on our hands, we were calm and it all came together.
The point of photography for me is to try and tell a story. I struggled with the task of trying to ‘tell’ this story through photos because when sometimes there are no words, how can an image portray such strength, love, hope, anguish and inspiration.
But, here are some examples of what happened that day – a day that will stay in my heart for ever because they let me witness their love, their strength, their family bond and their magic. The magic of Dave and Fabs – one that you really need to witness to understand. They are going to be amazing parents, they have such wisdom and strength that this little miracle that we are about to meet, has chosen them for a reason and I hope they know just how special they all actually are. We are in awe of you both Dave and Fabs and as your family grows, I hope you can both step back for just a second and be proud of who you are, and what you inspire in others. We love you dearly and thank you so much for letting me tell this story.
At the risk of sounding arrogant, I know that Dave and Fabs love these photos – it was a simple text from Fabs that confirmed it. She wrote to me after I sent through some photos and she said ‘WOW – This is really happening isn’t it?’… Yes Fabs, this is and you are going to be a very special mother.
Fabs is just stunning… breathtakingly stunning! And THAT bump… x
The most cliché of our photos – but still precious! x
Lucy in the sky with diamonds – our girl with kaleidoscope eyes! x
Their love is pure bliss. x
Thanks again Dave and Fabs – we love you dearly and can’t wait for this next phase of your lives.
Thanks to my big bro Nick for lending me some extra camera gear – it means the world!
Thanks to Stu and Di for playing with Archer for the hours we were away – he loved it!
Thanks to Az for being my camera ‘assistant’ – you’re the best in the world! x
And Thanks to you guys for reading my blog – hope you enjoyed this story!
These Days are My Days and I’m Surrounded by LOVE! x Linz