September 24, 2015

Perfect Pregnancy Portraits – Trisomy 18

Reflecting on some of the incredible stories we have shared this year.

From March 17 2015

Samantha is now 39 weeks pregnant, and she and her husband Leon. Are fighting for their little son’s wellbeing. This is her entry….

“I would love to win a Sarre personal photo shoot because…: I’m currently 30 weeks pregnant with a very special baby, and would love to have a special photograph of myself with my baby belly. The reason this baby is so special is at 16 weeks my husband and I were given the devastating news that he has Trisomy 18 (or sometimes known as Edwards Syndrome). We were given the option to “interrupt” the pregnancy as the diagnosis is deemed “incompatible with life”, meaning we have no idea if he will be born with breath in his lungs or if he will be born sleeping. He is a very much wanted baby, it took my husband and I nearly 4 years to fall pregnant, and he is a very much wanted sibling to our first son who is 7 years old and desperate for a sibling. So with this in mind without a doubt we couldn’t interrupt the pregnancy. Instead we are leaving it in our unborn son’s hands to determine what his destiny is meant to be. We are celebrating this pregnancy, and thankfully all our family and friends have joined with us to celebrate each day that I carry him, and we will honour his life no matter how short it may be. So that’s my story, and I would love to be one of the lucky winners so that I have a beautiful photograph of my “Nate bump” to keep forever xxx”

For more news and information about this brave family, they have created a Face Book page called “Celebrating Nate”… https://www.facebook.com/pages/Celebrating-Nate/814920561864691

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Samantha Shaffer Yay! How exciting! Thanks again Garry and Odelia, I had a wonderful time, and so happy with the images, can’t wait to pick them up

Jodie Atkinson I am so glad Sam is one of the Diva Dozen!! You will have a beautiful photo of you and Nate to treasure forever xx

Nat Scali What an incredible story. I wish your family well Xx

Cindy Kelly Good luck and. God bless our little angels Samantha.

Linda Cutts Oh good luck

Angela Young What a beautiful story, Samantha Shaffer what a blessing you are to humanity.

Laura Robertson beautiful x So glad you have this session to look back on heart emoticon Go Nate!

Leanne Bauerle Beautiful story Samantha. Wishing you much live and happiness and praying for the best outcome

However things turn out for their family, Samantha dearly wanted a pregnancy shot with her Little Nate tummy. If you asked a pregnant woman why she wouldn’t want to be photographed. She’d probably say…’I feel huge. I look bloated. I have stretch marks.’ She doesn’t feel that attractive. However, it’s great when women come to us and say something like… ’You know what? I’m lucky that I DO have a bump and stretch marks and fluidy, lumpy bits. I’ve tried hard to get the thing that’s caused them. I think I’ll just trust you to make sure I look reasonably good…. Just make sure you do a damned good job’. So with that kind of pressure, we do.

I was lucky with Samantha, because she is little…and we could concentrate of doing some elegant, curvy poses. I may look like I am towering over her here but Sam’s face is very petite so this angle reduces the belly a bit.

The studio is not as pretty as the make-up room, but it’s private and comfortable. Odelia says she notices the change of energy in it after a shoot. It’s more ‘charged’. She, me and it churn out some nice work in it.

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Samantha is now 40 weeks pregnant, and she and her husband Leon. Are fighting for their son, Little Nate, who has the rare condition, Trisomy 18. We started our pregnancy shoot with a bright, sunny, happy smiling set. I thought it would be good to see Samantha’s pregnancy in purely a positive light. And it is. However, is it ‘really real’ in Sam and her family’s case?

When Sam saw the happy images, she didn’t warm to them. She liked the more ‘internal’ feelings that this image gives. It’s more real for her. And of course, she is right, and courageous… and honest with herself.

Sam and her family are experiencing something that few do. This forty weeks is the first part only of a massive life experience for their little family of four, of which little Nate is about to join. They do not know how long he will be with them, and are preparing for that even before he is born.

Life’s priorities re-arrange very quickly. We’ll follow up soon with Samantha’s favourite image, which we have framed for her in silver leaf.

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‘This is how I feel’.

Sam was teary during her viewing. I doubt that is unusual for her these days. I just can’t appreciate what she is going through. And of course, I won’t.

This image was the first of the shoot. It’s how she came across to me straight away. Who is Samantha, if not elegant, thoughtful and demure? So, I’m glad she chose this.

Wearing a dress for a pregnancy shoot can be a bit like expecting a potato sack to show your elegant curves. Bunnings clips were the answer, tightly pulling the dress under her breasts and around the tummy.

The gemstone on Sam’s neck was chosen by Sam and Leon’s seven year old son. It signifies unconditional love. Something that this family doesn’t just give voice to, it lives out.

I loaded Sam’s frame into her back seat, we thanked each other. Anything I could say was not enough, so we just smiled and thanked each other. I know she is feeling the support from her group and family.

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