I am so happy to be able to introduce you to this special sweetheart, Donovan.
Donovan is such a cutie pie! He has the most beautiful cheeks, lips, and hair, and I love his gorgeous dark skin and the soft fuzz along his shoulders and back. So handsome! He was very sleepy throughout the session, and even gave me an adorable baby yawn to prove it.
He is such a precious little one and I loved every minute I spent with him and his parents and siblings.
Donovan and his family hold a very special place in my heart. I am honored to be a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a baby photography program for newborns who are diagnosed with a fatal illness, who are stillborn, or who pass shortly after birth. For more information about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep’s inspiring program, see their website here.
I first met Donovan’s mom, Sarah, and her family, when Donovan’s brother Theo was born just over a year ago, sleeping. I was privileged to take photos of Theo and his wonderful family at the hospital after his birth, and it was such a tender time. It is a precious and unforgettable experience to be allowed to share, in small part, in that deeply personal time of grief and love.
Because of my previous experience with this family, I was particularly humbled, excited, and grateful when Sarah contacted me to book a newborn photography session for her wonderful rainbow baby. (“Rainbow baby” is a special title that those of us in the baby loss community confer on a baby who is born after the loss of an older sibling.)
Having a baby after a loss comes with so many emotions—amazing, yes, but often bittersweet and sometimes difficult. Although my own five losses were earlier, both the experience of losing a baby and of welcoming a new baby after the loss of a child come with feelings I am familiar with. Along with Donovan’s family, I felt a resurgence of many of those emotions as soon as I found out about his arrival.
It was a wonderful experience to welcome Donovan’s parents, brother, and sisters to my photography studio in Eugene, Oregon, and to celebrate the miracle of Donovan’s birth together, as well as to honor the memory of Theo, who will always be a part of this amazing group of people. There was a wonderful feeling of joy, love, and healing during this session, and I hope I was able to convey a sense of that throughout these photographs.
I was touched that this beautiful family asked me to be the one to record Donovan’s first weeks of life. While no one will ever be able to replace sweet Theo in the hearts and minds of his family, Donovan is certainly bringing a ray of sunshine into the lives of his loved ones. Truly, “after every storm comes a rainbow.” And what a beautiful rainbow!