A woman never forgets the day she finds out she's about to become a mom for the first time. I remember the day I found out, I remember what I was wearing, where I was standing, and the expression on my face. I have the video to prove it too. I was overwhelmed with excitement floating inside a warm cocoon of naivety bliss. I had no way of knowing just how much my life was going to change. No woman is able to comprehend fully until she is immersed in the realms of pregnancy and finally holds her baby for the first time. That is the moment her world, as she knew it, is no longer. She will spend the next two and a half years in a compete sleepless haze of love, snuggles, smiles, and giggles as well as endless diaper changes, tears, stress, worry, fear, and mind altering exhaustion.
I'm not certain if you begin to come out of the sleepless haze or you just become so accustomed to it that you've lost all memories of what it was like to be fully rested and functioning, that the continual groggy state becomes your new norm. It's at this point when most women's biological clock begins to tick once again and she soon finds herself back in a blissful state, only less naive this time. The anticipation of holding, kissing, and snuggling a brand new baby again sets in along with the fear of having two precious innocent little people who are depending on you to keep them safe and smothered in love.
Unless of course you are the Smiths. Meet April. April is pregnant with quadruplets. Yes, four babies. Not two, not three, but four! Four times, the love, snuggles, kisses, smiles, giggles and four times, the feeding, diapers, fears, tears, and worries. Four months into her pregnancy and April is already exhausted feeling as though she's in her 6th month. Until a few weeks ago April was an elementary school teacher and has since had to stop working to take care of herself, her four little miracles and her two and a half year old son. I went with April to her classroom the Thursday before her last day. April shared with me some "teaching moments" she's encountered throughout her career. She points to a collage of pictures by her desk, remembering a time when April became the student and a young girl became her teacher.
The lesson this amazing young lady taught everyone was never say to someone, "you can't do this". The child had a non-functioning arm and wanted to participate in a wheel barrel race. She was told those very words, but proved to everyone that she "can" do it and anything else she set her mind to.
Although April is leaving the classroom for now to embark on a journey that will take her and her family places only few people will ever experience, she hopes someday to return to education. I believe April and her family will learn a new kind of strength in the many months and years to come and those wise words from such a young person will take on an even more personal meaning to April.
Now that you've met April, meet her adorable two and a half year old son, Mason and her wonderful husband, Shawn Thomas.
At the time of this shoot April was 18 weeks along and is now 24 weeks and counting. When you are carrying multiples the goal is to make it to 34 weeks which brings us to May. I hope Mason wants a sister (or 3) cause that's what he's getting! He'll also have a baby brother to help balance things out.
I can't tell you in words how much love and positive energy exists in this family, it's just something you have to experience for yourself.
I'll leave you with my favorite picture which I cannot take credit for. Mr. Mason got a hold of my camera and snapped this shot.
I think I may bring him along on all of my shoots!