Jenna Oesch, a really neat woman I know here in St. Louis, placed an order for her brand-new baby girl Emma a few weeks ago, and she pinged me to make sure it could be delivered in time for Emma's first photo session. I said yes, but didn't have time to look closely at the order and promptly forgot about it in my own hubub.
Though I don't know Jenna well, I have been staying on top of her amazing story of battling breast cancer during her first pregnancy. Jenna and I worked together back in 2007/2008, and she was always on top of her team and ahead of the game when it came to deadlines and deliverables. I was impressed by her professionalism and her ability to keep everything calm and on track, regardless of what was thrown her way. So it was no surprise that she attacked this cancer with the same fervor and organization that she attacked work, and I imagine, life in general. She has been sharing her story and I know she has inspired so many with her positive attitude and humor in the face of an unimaginable challenge.
So I would have been thrilled to see the photos in any circumstance, but their timing happened to hit even closer to home: they appeared in my Facebook feed as I was waiting for my mother to get out of an emergency surgery stemming from complications from a mastectomy. My mother had already had cancer in the same breast once, eight years ago, and its return meant a full mastectomy, but thankfully, no chemo. I had shared Jenna's story with my mom, and when she was awake and not groggy, I was able to share these photos with her - photos that celebrate birth and renewal in the face of uncertainty and human frailty.
It just drove home again why I started this business. I think it's pretty neat that every day we get to help people celebrate life - help them welcome a new being to this magical and crazy place, and mark the passage of time for the little people in our lives who will one day become big people. That Makaboo gets to add a bit of flair to the remarkable journey that Jenna, Rett and Emma are taking makes me smile inside and out.
I want to thank Jenna and her fantastic photographer Kelly Ferguson for letting us share these photos on the blog and on Makaboo. And I also want to give Jenna and Kelly credit for creating a whole new genre in infant photography - the bum shot! We love it so much that it is now the sales photo in use for Personalized Bloomers on the site.
I should thank my mom too, for bringing me into the world so that I could start this little biz! She is healthy and cancer free, and recovering in the Caribbean, the lucky duck.
To Emma, I wish you a lifetime of happiness, health - and RUFFLES!!