Sometimes you don’t have to travel very far to capture a beautiful image. Very recently I was lucky enough to create a portrait at home of two people who have a rather extraordinary story to tell. A local friend told me some months ago that she was pregnant. I gasped of course, (she already has three young children), but before I could draw breath she revealed that it was her sister’s baby and that she was acting as a surrogate. I was taken aback. And then begged her to let me photograph them together.
Here she is at 9 months pregnant with her sister. Theirs is a story of generosity, trust and above all, love. Love not only between the sisters themselves, but from the family all around who are now supporting both women as their journeys continue in different directions.
“I’m really pleased that everything is going so well. I am overwhelmed by the support that we have had from family and friends. I feel very hopeful as we are so close now to the due date. It still feels very unreal, like the stuff of ‘other people’s stories’. “
As a result of health-related events, my friend offered to be a surrogate and to carry the biological child of her sister and her partner. When the time came, she explained what she was doing to her own children who were very accepting and understanding and are now very excited to have such a special cousin.
These photographs were taken at my home just days before the baby was safely delivered, and again just days afterwards. A healthy baby boy was delivered at the Whittington Hospital by planned C-section, and both families were present at the birth, so that the new parents were able to bond with their son moments after he was born, and my friend’s husband was able to give full attention to his wife after the delivery.
“I feel incredibly positive and reflective too. I’m just so happy that it all went well. I still feel overwhelmed and very joyous too. I’m now at home, recovering, enjoying the peace (the children are at school) and spending time with my husband who has been so supportive. “
“How can we be so in love with a little person that we’ve only just met. It’s unbelievable.”
These two sisters are quite a pair. They were bursting with enthusiasm and excitement at both photographic sessions, and seemed to be taking the whole experience in their stride. I feel really very lucky that I was able to capture this very special part of their story, and indeed look forward to photographing this little boy and his family over the course of his first year. Hopefully through sharing their story, they will provide inspiration for many others too.