and this is one of them.
I've known Stefani for years. She is a fellow mom (we met on an online mom's group) and a fellow photographer (she does our family pictures when we have time for them!). I have done maternity pictures for her, gender reveals and family pictures. I love watching her family grow and her kids grow up.
Last year, I did a session for them and she didn't know it at the time, but it was their first session as a family of "7". Stefani was unknowingly pregnant at the time! For the next few months, she and her family prepared for this unexpected blessing. Stefani and I talked about maternity session ideas and first family photos. She found out she was having a girl and her name was to be Wren. With their family initials, that spelled A.W.E.S.O.M.E.
Then, sadly, the unthinkable happened. Stefani became one of the one in four women who experience a miscarriage. Precious Wren was gone at 19 weeks. It was a devastating blow to this beautiful family.
Since then, Stefani has been incredibly brave and outspoken in her grief. Having a miscarriage can feel lonely and isolating. Stefani has used her grief to be a light to other women and to let them know they are not alone. I personally had a miscarriage at 10 weeks during my second pregnancy. It's not something that ever leaves you. Even something as simple as a doctor's visit brings a painful reminder with the questions, "How many pregnancies have you had? How many births?" Those two numbers are forever different.
As Wren's due date approached, Stefani contacted me so we could do a family photo shoot. Her little ones happily posed and Stefani brought a special sign so they will always remember how their family is forever AWESOME.