Friday, 22 August 2014

Una Bella Vita (A Beautiful Life)

The first time I saw you I think you were about six weeks old; a nebulous blob on an ultrasound. It was early January of 2005 from memory; I was sitting in my office at Mount Tamborine when I got an hysterical phone call from my bestie. I knew she was having some sort of routine scan of her ladyparts that morning but I never expected the conversation to go like this.

"ANNA, it says GESTATIONAL SAC!"
"Wait? What?"
"I'm PREGNANT!!!!"
"Don't be stupid. You can't get pregnant."
"It says SIX WEEKS!"
"Ok come here and buy a test on the way. In fact, buy two."

And two lines came up. On both tests, because I made her pee on them both. No wonder the ultrasound technician had been unusually quiet during my bestie's scan. My bestie was pregnant naturally at 37, after many years of fertility treatments and 3 previous children all IVF. 

I first met you when you were an hour old, waiting in your mum's hospital room while she recovered from a caesarean.

August 2005
You looked so much like your dad it was scary. Of course we joked that no one in your household ever had to ask 'who's your daddy' because it was so obvious. From the start you were meant to be here; we wondered what we had ever done without you. You fit into your family as well as if you had been planned, sprouted and planted, like your twin brothers and sister before you.
August 2005
August 2005
August 2005
September 2005
September 2005
You travelled a lot in your first year. Before you were even born you went to Hawaii with your mother and I for some R&R. Then you went to Disneyland when you were four months out with your family.

April 2005
On the first New Year's Day after your birth we brought you before your parents' God and christened you, and I officially became your godmother. Though I am a complete dyed-in-the-wool atheist I'll stand by the promises I made that day, both to you and whatever god you might choose in the future.

New Year's Day 2006
Like the rest of your family you adapted to having a photographer on hand like a pro. In fact, you met the camera before you were born. Each month I lined your mother up against the wall in the lower rumpus room at your home and took a progress photo. I know I'll die if I blog any of those so here's something from your first professional photo shoot, two weeks before you came to meet us.

August 2005
You had the the occasional tanty like the finest supermodels. You could cry like a baby.

May 2006
But you took to the camera like a duck to water.
Christmas Eve 2006
March 2007
Even if you didn't always take direction well.

April 2007
The camera, like me, was never far away, and I spent a lot of time capturing both elegant and inelegant moments in your life and that of your siblings.
October 2007
May 2010
May 2010
I feel a little guilty that in most of my photos of you I have one or another of your siblings in it as well. Sometimes I think as the youngest you got lost in the chaos that is a family of four; always an entourage.

May 2010 (image by Danny)
July 2011 (image by Danny)
January 2012
August 2012
November 2013 (image by Danny)
January 2014
I feel like I haven't allowed you to shine often enough on your own, so today the focus is totally on you.

April 2014
April 2014
April 2014
My beautiful godchild, happy birthday. Over these nine-plus years I've watched you grow from that tiny ultrasound speck into a smart, outgoing and confident young girl.

March 2006
May 2010
April 2014
You were a miracle, a surprise and a blessing; a wonderful addition to our already beautiful lives. We couldn't love you more.

August 2014


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