Baby Cruella de Vil - A 101 Dalmatians shoot with Lorelai

I mentioned last week that Lorelai hit the five month mark on October 12th and it's crazy how every day she becomes more and more independent, mobile, and vocal. I take pictures of her every month to document her growth and personality, and I love doing themes. We've done Minnie Mouse, Harry Potter, Ash Ketchum from Pokemon, and now for October I chose 101 Dalmatians.

I joked when I was pregnant with her last October that for her first Halloween I would dress her as a puppy so she could be one of the dogs. In keeping with that theme I decided to elaborate on it and dress them all up. I love Disney, and I love 101 Dalmatians, so it seemed like the perfect choice for the month of Halloween.

I made her *my* version of Cruella de Vil for obvious reasons. Girlfriend loves doggies and would never wear real fur, or have crazy ass hair and green eye shadow.

When the Daily Mail and Metro articles came out with her Harry Potter pictures, a woman commented that, "Children are not toys!" I wanted to comment back to this woman and stoop to her level, but decided against being crazy, overprotective Mom. While I don't have to explain myself to her, I thought I would explain myself here just to give a little clarity on why I do it and what it means to me.

Bradley and I went on our honeymoon to Cabo San Lucas in July of last year. I just knew, and I don't know why or how, but I knew I was going to be pregnant by the time I got home. Part of our trip included staying in Houston with my SIL, and after we went horseback riding one afternoon I came back and had some spotting which, according to my calculations, was implantation bleeding. I didn't need a test to know I had a little souvenir from our honeymoon already growing inside me.

When we got back home I waited two days and took a pregnancy test that I could barely read at 5:30 in the morning. I woke up Bradley and had him look to be sure. There was a tiny, faint line. We were so ecstatic. I made him go to Walgreens and buy the digital tests just to be sure we weren't seeing things and they were both positive. Now, these tests and my hospital wristband are all I have left of this baby that never got to be.

After my miscarriage I was both devastated and determined. I was going to be a mom and I was going to give my husband a child. 5 weeks later, I took a cheap dollar store test at 10:08pm right before bed (defying all conventional wisdom that says you should do it first thing in the morning) and there was my 2nd BFP (big fat positive in pregnancy forum talk).

It's hard to rationalize my grief over my miscarriage and my love and adoration for Lorelai at the same time. I could never have had both children, and only one was meant to make it earth-side. God had plans for us that we didn't understand at the time and we could only place our faith in him and wait to see what he had in store. I will never forget about the baby I never got to hold in my arms, and I'll live my life always wondering who they would have been. But with Lorelai, I can hold her, kiss her and hug her. I can show her the world and teach her the importance of love and compassion. I can share her beauty, silly personality, and contagious smile with people, and when they look at her pictures, for a moment they are taken to another place. A happy place where the beauty and innocence of a child in cute costumes and funny poses makes you forget about your problems and how ugly the world can be.

Because that's what she did for me. Her existence helped me get back to my happy place after our loss. She doesn't fill that void or replace that child, but she put me back together and continues to shape me into a better person each and every day. I want other people to experience her inner light and magic. The themes, the costumes, the props and set ups, it's all secondary to her beauty and perfection. Those things capture your attention, but her spirit captures your heart.

So this is why I take so many pictures of my daughter and over-share these images any chance I get. Because I believe she makes the world a better place just by being in it. When I was pregnant, I would pray for her every night and ask God to help her grow and become someone who could change the world in whatever capacity he saw fit. Maybe this is it. Maybe her ability to captivate and connect in photos is her God given way to spread happiness and hope. I am amazed by how many people go out of their way to tell me how beautiful she is and how happy seeing her pictures makes them on a daily basis. It's nice sometimes to get on social media to see a pretty picture and read a cute story instead of always being consumed by all the negativity and destruction the world has become plagued with.

I am just a mom like most of you, who loves her daughter more than life itself. I am so proud of her, so amazed by her, and so in love with her. She is perfect to me in every way.


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