willow. in my life

A photograph that tells a story.

This is the day Willow was welcomed into the world. It was a gift for me to be there and to photograph her birth. There are many more photos of these precious few moments but this one tells so much…it was taken just seconds after her birth and in those few intense and emotional seconds everyone in the room was forever touched by this tiny new life.

You can read the full story of Willow’s birth at the bottom.

I can’t watch this video without tears and I think you will understand why (just a note though, if you’re nervous about the idea of birth you may want to skip the video).

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Willow’s story as told by my daughter Michelle.

“…And there she was, tiny, purple, wet, wrinkly Willow. And this is the part where I should wind down my labour story by describing the flood of love that washed over me as I held my long awaited baby in my arms.
Unfortunately the story wasn’t over yet.

HEREDITARY SYNDACTYLY

As she was placed on my chest my relief turned to shock and disbelief. I knew there was a risk that this would happen, but I never thought it would be so severe. Three fingers on both hands were completely joined together. Syndactily runs in my family, I have a 50% chance of passing it to any of my children and so far I was batting 100%. Where I should have been feeling elation as I gazed into my new baby’s eyes, I felt sad, disappointed and apologetic. It was like a bad dream. All I could think about was her hands. I had already failed her…Eventually everyone said goodbye and Taylor, Willow and I were set up in a room for the night. And there we were. Just us and her. I didn’t feel like I thought I would feel; not better, not worse, just different. I had become so attached to having her inside me that she almost felt like a stranger now that I could see and hold her. I started to feel momentary gushes of love for her that I had heard so much about, but I also missed her intensely. I missed my belly and feeling her move against me. The space she had occupied for the last 9 months felt like a void in my body.

LOVE . HEAD OVER HEELS

After a couple days in the hospital we took Willow home. My love for her was growing in leaps and bounds and I had gotten over my initial feelings about her hands. I knew she was perfect and my guilt and disappointment faded away quickly… It’s not all about me any more. It’s all about Willow. And as difficult as the transition has been at times, it’s been the most important, humbling experience I’ve ever had. It took a little while to fall head over heels for Willow [but] I’ve loved and cared for her all along. I’ve spent hours gazing at her in wonder and amazement and craved the feeling of holding her in my arms while she sleeps just inches away from me.

The other day, just when I thought that I had reached the climax of this love, my daughter looked right into my eyes and smiled. An overwhelming feeling gushed through me with an intensity I had never known and couldn’t have imagined. My love for Willow poured forth and it hasn’t faded since.”

 

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  • Lyndsay CampbellNovember 14, 2011 - 9:04 pm

    Oh man this is so beautiful! I love the photos and your story Michelle! You are an amazing person and mother! Thank you for sharing that! I totally cried haha brings me back to the day Owen was born!ReplyCancel

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