This week my beautiful daughter, Myla, will celebrate her 2nd birthday! What an eventful 2 years it has been. Before you read this, please know that I have not written it to create pity, but to share with you the amazing strength of Myla and the qualities that she has taught me both personally & as a professional portrait photographer.
On January 30th, 2013, Myla Kate was born without any complications. After the initial first day home, her brother, Riley, took to her immediately.
Within a few days, Dave and I realized that something was wrong with her eyes. Her right eye looked cloudy and slightly smaller. After many assessments we found out that Myla had a detached retina and microphthalmia in her right eye and an optic nerve coloboma in her left eye. Which basically means her right eyeball is smaller and she is completely blind in that eye, and her left eye has a damaged optic nerve. The doctors told us that she would probably only see light and shadows from her one eye. As I’m sure you can imagine, we were heart broken. Nothing prepares you for it, and I especially had an extremely hard time processing it, as everything I love is very visually creative. Photography, interior design, crafts, party planning. I couldn’t fathom my little girl not being able to see, and every time I saw the mountains, or a beautiful sunset I would burst into tears. But with the support of family and amazing friends we slowly came to terms with it. We began to “see” the world in a different way. Through smells, and touch and music. We have always loved music as a family and soon realized that Myla loved music too! Even now she dances like crazy to music, especially techno, which makes Dave very happy! And then Myla smiled for the first time, and the whole room lit up!! I know that’s a cliche, but she has the most beautiful smile, that pretty much gets her out of trouble every time.
At a couple of months old, after some ultrasounds, they found a potential cancerous lump on her liver, which they monitored. After many visits to Bc Childrens Hospital, 5 days before Christmas 2013, they decided to operate to remove it. It ended up being benign which was the best Christmas present ever! Little Myla had been through SO much in just one year and yet she was still so happy (most of the time!) and was amazingly good for all the doctors during their testing. Can I just say that all the doctors we have dealt with both here in Chilliwack, and also at BC Childrens Hospital have been amazing! So efficient, compassionate and sympathetic.
As if that wasn’t enough, Myla also has very low tone muscles and hyper mobile joints, so it takes her a lot longer to build muscle strength and is extremely flexible. This makes it hard for her to reach the “normal” physical milestones like sitting up, crawling and walking. This does not faze her though, she was determined to move around and so she started rolling to where she wanted to go, then she eventually started to crawl at the start of summer last year and she was off!! She is WAY more busy than Riley ever was.
So to fast track to where Myla is now and how she’s doing. She is so close to walking, and I’m pretty confident that she’ll be walking by the summer. She has very few words yet, but they are coming slowly. As for her vision, she is doing amazingly!! Surpassing all the doctors first opinions. She can most definitely see shapes and colours. She even saw the smallest piece of Lego on the floor and proceeded to pick it up and put it in her mouth. Her most favourite game by the way, and when you warn her off it she just turns around and gives you the biggest grin, little monkey! She crawls around rarely bumping into anything. She received a prosthetic eye, which is absolutely amazing! It fits over the top of her little eye just like a contact lens. She is still so beautiful without it in, but it makes her look more “normal” when we’re out, which makes life easier for her. Here is a photo with it in, you can’t even tell it’s not real. I regularly get compliments on how pretty her eyes are and her crazy long eyelashes!
So why I am sharing all this? Well Myla has taught me a lot in her two little years. She has taught me about bravery and amazing strength. Determination, no matter what the challenges are that you face, and to see peoples inner beauty and not be “blinded” by how they look.
All these lessons have and will make me a better photographer. I can look at you and see your inner beauty shine through, and I know how to convey this into your portrait so that you can see it too. I am more determined to make my business a success and not let the challenges I face hold me back. My biggest business block is fear. Fear of nobody liking my work, fear of rejection, fear of not succeeding. Myla has taught me that if you really want something you have to get past the fear, be brave and go for it! Determination will get you everywhere. Don’t let the little knocks and stumbles stop you. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful little girl in our lives.
Here are the photos of a mini session I did of our little princess. We love you so much!