JAIME'S STORY

GUEST BLOG

(Written by Mrs Jaime Marama-Smith herself)

Her maternity photos were taken on the 5th of June 2017 at Fortrose (Southland -NZ). We returned a year later on the 4th of June in 2018.

(todays date 23rd April the 4th 2020)

I don't know about you, but when I look at Maternity Photos I instinctively think how beautiful and exciting a new baby on the way.... However when I look at my last collection of maternity images, my breath is literally taken away, and thinking back to this I shake uncontrollably while I write.....

 

I haven't told a lot of people this, but in one photo I am lying on a cliff top and you know in that moment just for a moment, I thought to myself if I just rolled.... this pain would end and I wouldn't have to face what is ahead.....

 

You see just 4 days prior to these being taken my husband and I had been told our unborn son would not survive past the weekend.. I was 27 weeks pregnant..... I loved him..... how could this nightmare be happening to us... why.

 

We had just been to Christchurch hospital, all we knew was our baby had fluid in places where babies shouldn't have fluid, in his lung cavities, in his stomach and under his skin over his entire body, he was diagnosed with a condition called Hydrops Fetalis (Fetal Hydrops) its a rare condition that affects around 5 babies each year in NZ, basically the condition our son was in we were given no hope of survival... none.

 

We came home to tell our family including our 3 other children aged 15, 8, and 2 at the time, that their brother, grandson, great grandson, nephew and cousin would not be coming home... one of the hardest things I have ever faced and trying with every fiber within me to be strong for them.

 

That night my husband gathered everyone's mattresses to set up in our lounge, we played our favorite songs and sang and talked, when my children fell asleep I lay beside them so their brother could hear the heartbeats of his siblings one last time... The next morning I messaged Awhina, as a photographer myself, I knew I needed photos of myself pregnant while my son was still alive...

 

Awhina arrived that day, with her talented sister who had a mammoth task of trying to fix a face that had cried more tears in 4 days that it had in my entire 35 years of existence. All the while holding my pregnant belly waiting and praying that I would feel just one more movement, one more flutter just one more sign that he was still here with us...

 

Awhina and I didn't know we were going to Fortrose, we just drove off and she said we had to go to this place that was extra special and you can see why. I cried the entire photo-shoot, I forgot Awhina was there...

 

I stood on a cliff face with a rainbow behind me, my Turangawaewae Bluff and Stewart Island where both of my parents are from in the backdrop and the most incredible warm golden sunset that warmed my freezing skin, I was heaving, my whole body cried its the only way I can explain. The emotional pain was incredible like nothing I have felt or ever want to feel again, you see I had no hope.....

 

Until this shoot with Awhina. I told Awhina not to rush getting the photos back... she didn't listen I had them the next day.... Awhina I am so grateful for this, when I saw the photos it restored my faith, my Wairua was lifted I saw myself as strong, I had not felt strong, I felt powerless, I felt like nothing, I felt like I had failed my son and my family.

 

The photos made me sit up and say to myself I WILL NOT GIVE UP, I won't give up, look at us we can try we can't give up on him and neither did our unborn warrior.......

 

You gave me Hope Evander and I went through a lot of medical procedures, amnio reductions, fetal draining, amniocentesis, micro array testing, blood tests, flights, millions of scans, hospital stays and a shunt insertion procedure done over two days in Auckland Fetal Medicine. We were told numerous times that things weren't looking good and expect the worst after undergoing painful and risky procedures.

 

We were so incredibly blessed to have had two of the greatest Fetal Medicine Specialists in our country on our side willing to TRY.... and so many friends, family and our community supporting and praying for the best outcome for our Baby and our Family.

 

I need you to know Awhina you were the one who gave me what I needed to not give up and I don't think you will ever know truly how much gratitude I hold for you. You are truly an Angel here on Earth.

 

Today I look at this cute wee blonde blue eyed, crazy and funny boy, he has this energy surrounding him, he lights up any room instantly. I am fiercely overprotective of him and the joy he brings is indescribable.

 

He has no idea what we went through to have him here, he sees his little scars where his shunts were and we tell him they are your superman scars and you Evander are the bravest boy I have ever known......

Photos can mean so much more to a person, and over time they increase in value.....

 

Our son Evander Everlee Metua Marama-Smith31 July 2017

 

Loved beyond Measure.

Thank-you my friend for sharing your story.

LOVE to you and all your family.

Feena.

© 2020 Awhina Russell Fine Art Photographer Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand.

awhina@awhinarussell.com / 0279206482