References prior to reading this post:
Amber's maternity session can be found here.
Amber's birthstory can be found here.
On a windy day in May I drove out to the gorgeous little town of La Broquerie, Manitoba, to visit the Klassen family who, by this time, had had almost 2 weeks at home with Ruby after her birth. She was born about a month early due to complications in pregnancy for Amber... including pre-eclampsia and severe swelling. Once born, Ruby needed some extra monitoring and a bit of help with jaundice. They experienced some challenges with latching and breastfeeding, but later got a lip tie corrected by a specialist, and ever since have had great success in breastfeeing. Until that procedure, however, Amber spent a lot of energy pumping and giving Ruby the bottle, in addition to trying to getting her to latch on a regular, persistent basis. The postpartum period was not easy (are they ever, truly, easy? I don't think so) but it was never, for a moment, lost on Amber or Mark, just how hard it was to get to this point. Just how much of an emotional and physical and psychological rollercoaster it had been for them for so many years, just to get to this point. They were grateful for every single moment of these hard, long days and nights. They were in shock as they gazed at their precious daughter - unable to truly grasp what her existence meant to them. Certainly, no words could ever articulate the depths of their feelings towards and about her.
Ruby was created via in vitro fertilization. Go ahead and read about Amber & Mark's long, hard road of infertility and conception of Ruby here. You will gain a greater appreciation for this whole story if you read both her story about getting pregnant, as well as her birth story, which I also documented. Amber (and her life partner, Mark) went through so much... SO MUCH.... during every leg of their journey. Each chapter truly deserves its own moment.
Spending these hours with the Klassen family: Amber and Mark, along with their gentle, bright, mature sons, Corman and Ethan... and their 6 cats(!), I was continuously touched and moved by the outpouring of love and gratitude they all had for little Ruby. I could just see it in their faces, just how special she was to them. I could see glints of happy tears in Mark and Amber's eyes throughout my visit. There were no pretenses, no posing, no performances. Being with them in their home was as authenthic as I could hope for. I just asked Corman and Ethan to each take some time being close to their baby sister. Asked them to lay down beside her. That was it. They did the rest. They snuggled her, held her, looked upon her lovingly, and all sat together in Amber and Mark's bed in the most natural way.... Nothing was forced, everyone wanted to be there, genuinely and wholeheartedly. It made my work quite seamless and smooth, I have to admit... but that's okay because I have been involved with the Klassen's story for months now... and I was so moved by it all, and so wrapped up in bliss and happiness for their happiness, I took many moments, holding my camera at my waist, just looking at them and cooing at Ruby and snuggling her myself, and exchanging stories with the family, and just enjoying her all together.
When I finally looked at my watch and realized I had to head home and cook my family dinner (I completely lost track of time being in their midst), Mark made me a cup of coffee in a travel mug (which is sitting on my drying rack, and I'm giving it back to him this week!) and after hugs and squeezes, I was sent on my way with so much love in my heart, I could burst. I drove through farmers fields, beneath a gorgeous prairie sky, feeling like there was hope and love in the world.
Thank you Klassen family for being the light this world needs. You inspire me in everything that you do and are. I wish you all a lifetime of happiness and togetherness. Mark & Amber, you are incredible parents, and are an incredible couple who stand for love, acceptance, patience, wisdom, and big open hearts.
I document the connections between people. I look for the vulnerable and the authentic. I search for light in the darkness, and I gravitate toward the shadows within a lit space. I love real truthful stories about people living their lives, and overcoming great obstacles to reach their goals and dreams. I love shining a light on parenthood and the trials and triumphs that lay within that journey, and how different and unique it looks for every single family out there. I would love to tell your story. Connect with me, and we will begin a beautiful, surprising, healing relationship you weren't expecting.
Thank you for reading!
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