“The great motherhood friendships are the ones in which two women can admit [how difficult mothering is] quietly to each other, over cups of tea at a table sticky with spilled apple juice and littered with markers without tops.”
― Anna Quindlen

These photographs are so special to me.

They are of my best friend as she approached nine months , pregnant with her daughter.

Only a few people knew it was a girl, her sweet husband wanted it to be a surprise, so she kept it hush. But sweet Marianne Grace was born today and the tiny pink secret is no longer.

Between the two of us, we’ve welcomed four boys into this world. And pregnancy was not one of our favorite times. It was difficult for our bodies and took a toll on our minds.

Her husband and I talked her into taking these. I know how she felt. I didn’t have maternity photos taken with either of my boys.

I wanted so badly to give her a moment to feel beautiful and then show her the proof. But so much more came out of these quiet 20 minutes together.

As I moved around her, we both were savoring this new life, this incredible girl about to be unfurled into the world. Marianne even began kicking and we both stood there with our hands on Jill’s belly, pure joy radiating from our eyes.

Our love for each other and our children and each other’s children washed over us like light.