The Babymoon Photographer community is full of so many inspiring mothers. The common theme: strength, grace and love. Meet Carli Hamilton, of Lehi, UT. We shot her and her husband Jared in the Utah Salt Flats.
Tell us a bit about you.
Jared and I have been married a little over two years. We were friends for about a year before I decided to give him a chance and I am so glad I finally did. I had had bad luck with dating and was fine with staying single. So it took me a while to open up. I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disability called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) when I was two years old. It is a deterioration of the muscles and can lead to premature death. SMA is the leading cause of infant deaths. It can cause those diagnosed to need breathing/feeding tubes, wheelchairs, oxygen. I found out I was pregnant with B on Feb. 12th. I was terrified. Many people with SMA do not live long, let alone have children.
When I told Jared that we were having a baby, his first question was, “Are you scared?” I burst into tears. Literally 4 days beforehand, I had talked to Jared about settled on the idea of never having children on our own, and to focus on adoption or surrogacy. I didn’t think my body could handle pregnancy. Jared reminded me that we were in the Lord’s hands. If He thought I couldn’t do it, He wouldn’t have given me this baby. After that I realized if anyone could get through pregnancy, it was me. And I did. And the whole process was true magic. I never ever thought I would be able to carry my own child and I did. I cannot believe the beautiful baby girl that my body made.
Your wheelchair is a prominent part of your shoot. Tell us about the decision to shoot with it.
Shooting with my wheelchair isn’t really a choice. I can only stand for a short time and the more pregnant I got, the less I could walk and stand. When my legs get tired, they give out and I just collapse.
Was the experience what you expected?
It was even more beautiful than I thought. The dress, the setting, the feeling of love for my husband, Cydnee working her magic. All of it was truly just a wonderful experience.
What tips would you share to other expecting couples on a babymoon shoot?
It’s important to hire a photographer who is more worried about YOU than about their photos. If the photographer is focusing on you and making you feel more beautiful, the photos will turn out. Cydnee gives direction and positive feedback that makes you feel like you are a queen.
What’s your favorite photo?
The one of me in my chair with Jared standing behind me with his hand on my belly. It truly shows Jared’s tenderness. Jared has always wanted to be a father and I am so grateful that I gave him that chance. I also love how empowering it is for me. That no matter my circumstance, I DID create this baby and I carried her with grace and love.