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!"
"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.
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.
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.
You had the the occasional tanty like the finest supermodels. You could cry like a baby.
But you took to the camera like a duck to water.
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.
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.
I feel like I haven't allowed you to shine often enough on your own, so today the focus is totally on you.
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.
You were a miracle, a surprise and a blessing; a wonderful addition to our already beautiful lives. We couldn't love you more.
|Christmas Eve 2006|
Even if you didn't always take direction well.
|May 2010 (image by Danny)|
|July 2011 (image by Danny)|
|November 2013 (image by Danny)|