Although I didn't realize it until recently, I've been crushing on Jade Beall's photography ever since I started my Instagram page nearly a year ago. Her gorgeous photographs of human beings, particularly mothers, have been circulating social media outlets as the topic of women's empowerment has become mainstream dialogue. So when her Facebook post about her cancellations in LA crossed my screen as I was laid up in bed with the stomach flu, I knew that my vision of creating art with her was now a reality. She skipped the handshake and went straight for the hug and kiss on the cheek. Jade is a lover of humanity, of every living being and the stories that come with them. One needs only to gaze upon her work to understand that Jade doesn't just photograph the body, she photographs the naked, bare soul.
And no experience in my life has ever stripped me completely bare and raw quite like the birth of my third son last June. With a professional film crew on stand-by to capture what was supposed to be an unassisted home birth, I found myself being cut open in the OR after 35 hours of progressive signs of distress. Knowing that were it not for the emergency cesarean we both would've died, I found myself deeply changed by the experience. It was ugly, brutally painful, and yet profoundly beautiful.
These photographs were taken in celebration of the last nine months of healing and personal growth. We have arrived full circle, at least in the context of time, as we have now been two separate beings for a long as we were one. So here we are. Raw and stripped bare as all birth really is. I have developed such love and appreciation for my new postpartum body. When I step back and look at it just the way it is today, my insecurities fade away and become insignificant. Because my baby and I are alive, we are loving, we are fluctuating and changing with every life experience. With every breath. And so I share these photographs with you to share the beauty of motherhood, which is really the beauty of all humanity.