First there was Bear and then came Thumper - A story of surrogacy in Brisbane
If you have been following my work for some time now you may remember a very special boy named Hugo.
Hugo was born on the 19th of September 2016 via surrogacy. But Hugo's story started a long time before that day. His parents Marian and David met and fell in love with Rachel (in a non sexual way..haha) and an epic friendship sparked. They chose Rachel to carry their baby for them, and let me just tell you, this was not her first rodeo.
RACHEL'S WOMB STATS
Three children of her own.
Five surrogate children
Three of those surrogate children were created with her own eggs
One set of twins
Three donor babies where she donated her eggs but did not carry them
Basically, she is super human. The amount of love and happiness she has brought to so many families is more than any one person could ever experience in a lifetime.
Hugo was born with a condition called nemaline myopathy, I bet you've never heard of it. The chances of it happening are the same as being hit by lightning. Basically it is a very rare genetic muscular disorder meaning that Hugo could not move and he could not breathe on his own.
He lived for four beautiful days surrounded by love from his parents and Rachel and her family, and even his Grandma known as "Bunty" came to visit from the other side of the country.
Hugo was lovingly called "Bear" throughout his day's inside Rachel's womb.
Everything with these three is decided as a team, so when they were all ready they tried again for a baby. Marian had one request, I want this one to move, and so this baby is lovingly called "Thumper" just like the bunny rabbit in Bambi.
It feels very surreal to be now almost two years later taking maternity photos for Marian, David and Rachel, knowing that in a few short days time they will meet their precious "Thumper".
There are subtle hints of whether "Thumper" is a boy or girl ;) But if you want to know for sure here is the link to their gender reveal
I did a lot of research before this session since I had never photographed a surrogate maternity session before. What I found was that there is no way to not make it look a little bit like a threesome or foursome and a little bit creepy. haha. So we embraced it.
If you have ever met Marian, you will know that she is always the life of the party. She is absolutely a goofball and is going to be the best mother ever yet again!
There has never been a closer friendship that can stand any test than this one. They lovingly call each other wifey.
Marian then proclaims LOUDLY to passersby "We aren't lesbians she is just carrying my baby."
Yep I think that made it less awkward Marian, haha!
Here Rachel said "I'm leading you into parenthood." Then promptly fell over, and I feel that is an excellent representation of parenthood. lol
Here is the entire gang "Team Kundaberg" a mash up of their last names together. Surrogacy is not just a huge gift from the woman willing to carry the baby, but it is a commitment of everyone in her family. Here they stand where they had Hugo's memorial knowing he was with them.
These two are about to get a whole lot more tired, but their hearts are about to explode with love and happiness. I can't wait to see it!
Let's just take a minute to admire this beautiful woman and all that she has done selflessly for others. Or as her eldest recently described her "My mum has had a lot of babies but she isn't a slut" - Brittney
"Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where trouble melts like lemon drops,
High above the chimney top,
Thats where you'll find me."
- Over the rainbow