We got to see photos that were taken from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep after Calvin was delivered. I am so grateful that we were able to have a photographer come in and capture a few precious moments with our son. These photos will be treasured forever.
But I am broken all over.
And I am disappointed. In the weeks of waiting, expectations managed to creep into my subconscious convincing me that these photos would be of something that didn't exist. That somehow our baby would look less like he did on August 17th and more like he should if he were full-term and healthy. That somehow within the past ten weeks, our reality that day consisted of a baby that the girls could have visited, should have visited. That somehow our photos would conjure the same warm-hearted feelings I get when looking at professional photographs of families walking hand-in-hand through falling leaves, little hands pressed with eager anticipation on a mother's round belly, moments of happiness and joy that I am so used to being posted everywhere I turn.
I look at these photos and a numbness settles over me. Is this really us? It is so strange to vividly remember sitting on that hospital bed posing for that picture, yet feeling a disconnect to who that person was. I know that these are the exact people we were, he is the exact baby that I remember delivering, and yet it's like an entirely different universe. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.
I am ripping in two.
I think part of my disappointment is simply grief. Looking at all these photos opens the wound that was scarring. It is fresh and raw. I have been so eager to get these photos back that I didn't stop to think of how hard it would be too.
But I am incredibly thankful for what our photographer gave us. Even if she could magically make our photos different, I would never want her to. The photos are perfect, I know, because they capture our reality. They capture our time with Calvin just as it was. They capture the three of us in the moments we shared. They capture our heartache. And our love.