For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
A woman can't help but feel a miracle in the works as a life grows with perfect precision in her body. And those who have felt the agony of infertility and miscarriage appreciate more fully how precious life is. I watched my friend and her husband, Hillary and Dan, go through the repeated process of excitement and then despairing disappointment as baby after baby didn't make it through the first trimester. They longed for another child, but it didn't seem possible even with the help of specialists. For that reason, the baby that continues to grow healthy in Hillary's body at 32 weeks feels like a beautiful miracle.
I jumped on a plane to the Bay area on Wednesday for a long list of reasons:
- this is the last opportunity I have for a long time to travel without baby in tow,
- I needed a break after a summer that seems to have been harder emotionally and physically than any other,
- my dear friend needed a photographer for maternity photos,
- and my wonderful husband said to go and he would worry about the girls.
I haven't traveled by myself since 2003. It was surprisingly effortless to navigate the airport, security, and boarding with just me to worry about. I didn't miss trying to close a stroller with one hand while hefting it onto a moving security belt while holding a wriggling, shoe-less child in the other weary arm. And what does a young and free 36 week pregnant woman do on vacation? The highlights:
- being with my good friend who I haven't seen in over a year and solving all the world's problems, one long conversation at a time
- gorgonzola, roasted pear, with sauteed onion and walnut pizza
- sleeping in and afternoon naps
- Hillary's healthy and delicious food that I didn't have to make
- sitting pool side on a hot afternoon
- the beautiful coast of the Peninsula on a windless and warm evening for the photo shoot
- finishing 2 different novels just because I could. The last page closing as I taxied and landed back in Portland
We couldn't have planned for better weather on the coast. It was a beautiful evening and I enjoyed my first ever beach photo shoot. I love the shot above as the sun was setting. It was an honor as a friend to document this miraculous stage for Hillary. She is such a lovely person, inside and out and I hope the photos capture her beauty. See more pictures on my photography blog: click here.
Thank you, Hillary, for inviting me to come on such short notice and for your hospitality, even in the crazy heat wave. Thanks also to my adventurous sister who took me to the airport and then took our 4 kids to the zoo; Lisa, for watching the girls for another afternoon; my wonderful mother-in-law who cleared her schedule to watch the girls all one day; and last and most importantly, my husband who greeted me with, "I don't know how you do it. We missed you!" as I arrived home today to a clean kitchen. I very much enjoyed this refreshing break.