Celebrating a baby’s first birthday is a wonderful milestone, but I never quite understood the significance until we reached it with our little one and safely welcomed the beginning of another precious year of life. In our home, birthdays have always been a time for celebration, but Rafa’s 1st birthday was especially meaningful for a number of reasons.
Most of you do not know that at 7 weeks old, he was hospitalized for a month with bacterial meningitis. And, despite the heroic efforts of the team of amazing clinicians who saved his life, we spent much of his first year wondering if he’d be okay, what we did wrong and how we could keep him safe. If you have any knowledge of the effects of bacterial meningitis in infants, then you know that prognosis is generally not good. And, our already painful situation was made that much more complicated and uncertain with the introduction of the pandemic just as he was being discharged from the hospital. Needless to say, it has been a terribly hard and at times, dark year.
Despite it all, this last year has also brought some of the sweetest and most beautiful moments. And in some strange way, I guess I am grateful for having experienced what we did so we could truly appreciate how fragile life is, how strong we are and how much I love my husband.
As baby’s 1st birthday neared, I knew that we couldn’t celebrate as I had always envisioned – surrounded by family and friends at the liveliest, most extravagant first birthday soirée – but I wanted to do something to commemorate this truly special milestone in his life. So, at a safe distance, on a gorgeous winter morning, blessed with unseasonably warm weather, we headed to the grasslands by our family’s shorehouse for an outdoor family portrait session.
This may sound a bit silly, but this session represented more than just an opportunity to take some pretty pictures. It marked the culmination of a very trying year, the celebration of our little one’s life and health, our ability to finally enjoy some time outside of the confines of our home, and Bugsy’s very shocking willingness to entertain a photoshoot at all – wins all around!
To create a cohesive family look, I opted for subtle shades of blue for all of our outfits to compliment the natural grassy scenery. There were so many beautiful photos from this session, but here are my favorites.