I'm not sure there have been any moments in my life when I've felt closer to Heaven than when I have held each one of my newborn babies in my arms and stared in awe at their perfect little features.
That feeling is indescribable.
I have a mountain of thoughts I could share about the relationship between pregnancy, motherhood, and divine love,
but suffice it to say that I am confident that much of the reason I have felt so deeply bonded with each of our children from the start is because I have sacrificed so tremendously for them.
Last week, I met my precious, brand-new baby nephew.
I'm looking forward to taking his newborn photos this week,
but today I wanted to share a few images from my sister's maternity photo shoot.
The day we had planned to do it was overcast and rainy and we nearly called it off.
We decided to try despite the poor weather, and the sky worked in our favor!
The rain stopped, the clouds spread and let in some beautifully filtered light, a pink glow tinged the horizon even though we were hours away from sunset, and the beginnings of a rainbow even appeared off in the distance!
We set up the photo shoot with the rocking chair my dad gave my mom as a wedding gift (and in which she rocked and sang to all seven of her babies) and a quilt my great-grandmother (born in 1900) completely hand-stitched. (Even the pattern on it is all cross-stitched.)
The photos represent the heritage of selfless motherhood we share and hope to continue.
Pregnancy is difficult and often feels far from glamorous.
My sister has particularly difficult pregnancies--and this is her fourth!
I love these images because I feel that the combination of the natural elements, the props we used, and the simple background depicts the beauty of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood in general.
It's hard, it's heart-wrenching, it's physically and emotionally exhausting, it requires a great deal of sacrifice and selflessness...
And yet, it is simultaneously beautiful and heavenly.