There are two amazing things about these photographs. 1) My high school best bestie's little girl turned one and I got to squeeze her and love on her and 2) My appendix was trying to explode (while I was 16 weeks pregnant no less!!) during the making of these images. True story. Can't make it up.
My first glimpse of little Eva was when she was a little tiny thing at her newborn photography session when she was only a couple of weeks old. Fast forward a year, and she is alllllll grown up (but still a tiny, petite little thing)! It is crazy to me how much babies grow and change within that first year of life. Literally CRAZY! Like magic! Doing first birthday milestone sessions are so fun for me for this very reason. I love being able to capture all the changes, progress, and growth during this special time. The first birthday is always an emotional milestone for families because it kind of signifies the end of 'babyhood' and the beginning of 'toddlerhood' and celebrating with a photography session is the best way to capture this stage forever...although we all know that no matter how old or how big, they will ALWAYS be our babies, right?!?!?
To celebrate Eva turning one, her parents, Katie and Joe, decided to do some outdoor shots around Charleston, SC where they live and some inside their beautiful home. We had a lot of fun recreating one of my favorite photos of all time with them on their couch with Eva and their two dogs, Daisy and Walker. This same pose, one year earlier at Eva's newborn session is on the landing page of my website! Afterwards, we left for Pitt Street Bridge to take some outdoor images by the water underneath the beautiful palm trees. Don't let those palm trees fool you though!! It was an uncharacteristically cold day in Charleston and we were all trying not to freeze our buns off!!
It was about that time that I noticed a pain in my back that kept nagging me. I thought that maybe it was just from being pregnant and carrying around my gear, but it only got worse as the day went on and started to spread to my upper right side. Long story short, we walked around Charleston and went to dinner but I didn't feel like my usual self, felt pretty nauseous, and went to bed not feeling great.
The next morning I felt a little better though so I thought things had maybe turned the corner. We took some ADORABLE images of Eva getting into a delicious cupcake (with her doggies on standby for clean up duty!). I loved the dress and diaper cover that Eva wore for this portion of the session. It was extra special because her grandmother, Katie's mom, Linda, made it for her! She is SO talented! Eva was definitely a fan of cupcakes!!
After wrapping up and lots of hugs, I was off to the airport to head back home to Northern VA. My tummy and back were hurting and I felt exhausted, but I just thought that maybe I had overexerted myself a bit. I kept saying that I felt realllllly pregnant even though I was only 16 weeks at the time. After arriving back home, I could barely roll my suitcase up the ramp or pick up my youngest, Lila.
I called my OB just to touch base about my symptoms and they told me to go to the hospital to get everything checked out. I reluctantly went and ALMOST walked out of the ER because I didn't really feel terrible enough to warrant a visit to the hospital. Good thing I didn't though!! After an MRI, the ER doctor said, "Guess what?! You have appendicitis!! And we are taking it out right now!"
Excuse me, WHAT?!?!?!?
haha, I can laugh now, but it was super stressful at the time. The surgeon was amazing and understood my nerves at having to go under the knife while being pregnant. He told jokes and made me feel at ease. They wound up taking my appendix out laparoscopically and, although the immediate post-surgical period was NOT FUN, two weeks later I couldn't even tell that I had abdominal surgery and baby boy was perfectly fine!
When I look at the images from this session, I will always think of my sweet little Eva girl and how much she had grown and changed...
....and also my appendix, may it rest in peace.