I have been trying to find the words to put to an amazing project I have been working on for the last year. These pictures have to have one of the best stories behind them, they show a powerful woman, emotional photos and capture the beauty of the gift of surrogacy.
Last year I was approached by my friend Carmen, a mother of 3 who told me that she had decided to become a surrogate. She was just starting her journey and asked if I would want to document her journey through it all. I don't think I could have been more thrilled that she had asked me. What a miraculous and incredible experience to be able to follow Carmen as she selflessly changed another families lives. She has given them the most incredible gift , the gift of fatherhood to two dads.
I am so excited that it is finally time to share her story.
I think it was so important to start documenting the first day that Carmen had her Progesterone injections . The injections were hormones for IVF she had to inject them every day until she was 10 weeks pregnant .... Carmen and her husband learned together to do the injections and he was sweet enough to even administer the first one. Her children were so supportive of what she was going through and even held her hand to calm her through the pain.
Carmen then flew to Texas to have the embryo transfer on June 30th and also got to spend some time getting to know one of the dads who met her there for her appointment as well.
Then came the day for the pregnancy test, it was such an exciting moment to be part of. Carmen spent some time explaining what the test was to her youngest daughter who was really interested in the whole process. And then the exciting moment of finding out that....... she was pregnant!
The waiting to find out the gender of baby seemed like forever after the pregnancy test because we were all so excited to find out if the baby was a boy or girl. The gender reveal day was such an exciting event, Carmen gathered with her closest friends and called the dads on Skype to do a live reveal to them. She had the most creative idea to dip her kids hands in either pink or blue and have them place their hands on her stomach to show the dads. It was such a beautiful moment to include her children in and even better to see the dads faces when they found out they were having a baby girl.
After the gender reveal Carmen came to my studio so they I could capture her tummy as baby grew each month.
I was unable to be part of the birth but I am so lucky to have had an incredible photographer be there in my place. Katie with Soul Focus Photography did such a beautiful job capturing the birth. One risks the fathers took, was living so far away that there was always a chance that one or both of them would be absent for the birth of their daughter. Fate worked in their favor as both fathers were there to witness her coming into the world. Not only were the fathers present but Carmen's husband was there to hold her hand and help her through it all.
I believe that our idea of parenthood and families can forever be changed thanks to surrogacy.
I read a quote the other day that really stood out to me as being the perfect way to describe what Carmen has done for a family.
“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”