In my previous post, I was very open about my struggle with stagnation. But that post only scratched the surface. I now feel more ready to be completely honest about what has been going on in the past 3 years, causing me to lose so much focus.
In 2014, my uncle and grandfather both died within 6 weeks from each other. I have written about that before, but what I didn’t write about is that shortly after those two losses, I also went through a devastating miscarriage. All of this caused me to spiral into grief and subsequent depression and anxiety – it took me about a year to work through that. I struggled with fertility problems, had surgery & was diagnosed with endometriosis, and my beloved grandmother died in 2015. We needed medical assistance to achieve pregnancy in early 2016, which was both stressful yet something I was immensely grateful for – a recipe for emotional conflict. After another pregnancy loss, we finally conceived Rosalie, who was born October 28th 2016. My pregnancy wasn’t the easiest as I carried a large baby due to undiagnosed gestational diabetes, and the delivery was hard, but we made it. Two became three.
She is now almost 6 months old. I can’t believe it. Rosalie enjoys eating, riding in the car, attempting to eat her socks, chewing on her butterfly toy, playing with mommy, going on walks, and grabbing daddy’s beard.
You can follow our lives together on my personal instagram account @kaatzoetekouw! She even has her own hashtag #RosalieHannahElisa, which I made so I have quick access to just-pictures-of-her.
All of this changed me, immensely and intensely, but for the better. All that pain, all that loss and all that loneliness – because it is so, so lonely to go through all of that – brought me the love of my life. And I hope I can now use all of that to once more be an impassioned photographer. I tried to work on photos for those years, but my heart was never really in it because my heart felt empty for so long.
Now my heart is full <3