Have you ever come across a picture that just takes your breath away? An image that seems to capture all of the emotions that we can’t quite put into words?
Well, this picture — captured by Marek Dziekonski, 34, of his wife, Anne, 31, right after the delivery of their twins — is definitely one of those images.
When I saw the picture, I gasped out loud — it’s a picture that seems to capture all of the emotions of motherhood, from the joy, love, relief, pain, and beauty, all in one perfectly preserved moment. Of course, it might help that Marek is a professional photographer and owner of Dziekonski Photography, but still, the image is one that I wish every mother could have captured at their own births.
Marek and Anne, who live in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan, are the parents of four children, Domnik, 6, Leo, 4, and twins Lucy and Ian, who are 8 months old. The couple actually didn’t find out that they were pregnant with twins until Anne had her first ultrasound of the pregnancy at 18 weeks and 4 days. Because she had suffered a miscarriage prior to this pregnancy, Anne explains that she had written off her extra morning sickness, fatigue, and rapidly expanding baby bump simply because she was grateful to be having a healthy pregnancy.
“I didn’t have a clue,” she says. “In fact, just days before [the ultrasound] I was telling friends that I couldn’t imagine how moms expecting more than one baby do it, because my belly was torpedoing out so far at only 18 weeks.”
Twins didn’t run in either of their respective families, so hearing the news that they would soon be the parents of two babies at once was a total shock to both Anne and Marek. Despite the fact that Anne is actually the 13th child in a family of 14 children, she laughs that she thought twins was something that “only happens to people in the movies!”
Anne had what she calls as an “incredibly healthy” but “rough” pregnancy, consisting of a hard first trimester, skipping right over that second trimester respite, and hopping right into a big, uncomfortable third trimester that somehow had to extend into an even bigger and more uncomfortable fourth trimester. She credits staying active through exercise, Blanqi support tank tops, and her faith for helping her make it through.
“After our miscarriage, it was so humbling to realize that God’s plan was greater than either of us could have imagined,” she notes. “We were going to have two babies after all.”
Understandably so, Anne describes that she had a lot of worry and fear through her twin pregnancy about the health of her babies and the outcome of her pregnancy, which is exactly why her husband’s picture of her captures the beautiful relief on her face for making to a healthy 37-week, 5-day term delivery. Incredibly, Anne was able to deliver her son and daughter vaginally after little more than an hour of pushing.
Although he is a photographer by trade, Marek notes that he actually spends little time behind the camera during his personal life. Not only did he transition his business from wedding photography to high-end commercial photography for a more flexible work-life balance, but he’s also intentional about staying present in the moment with his children instead of snapping a picture. But his wife bringing twins into the world was one moment Marek just had to capture. And that first after-delivery photo has become a tradition in Marek and Anne’s family, as he made a point to take a photo after each of her other deliveries as well.
“The first time Anne sees her babies is one of the moments that has always been extremely important for me to capture,” he explains. “[It’s] the mystifying, incredible miracle that is motherhood. That moment Anne sees her babies for the first time is pure love. Pain and exhaustion take a back seat during that moment.”
Despite the fact that he did bring along his professional camera to the hospital, Marek snapped the gorgeous photo of his wife on his iPhone, immediately after she had delivered their daughter Lucy, and 23 minutes after Ian had been born. The image forever captured not only a beautiful moment between a mother and her children, but the many faces of motherhood, from joy to pain to relief to all-encompassing love, all seen through the eyes of a husband in awe of his wife’s strength.
“That image captured one of the happiest moments of my life,” Anne says of the photo. “Once I was holding them in my arms nothing else mattered. It was all worth it. They were mine and I couldn’t imagine how I ever lived a day without them.”
Side note to all husbands everywhere, even the non-professional photographer types: Take a picture of your wife after she brings your child into the world and preferably as gorgeous as this one. Love, moms everywhere.