Strength in Motherhood, Beauty from Within.

My name is Caroline & I am a mom of a beautiful, witty, carefree, and curious 19 month old little girl. I am a survivor of an ectopic pregnancy where I had emergency surgery to remove my left tube. I conquered hyperemesis gravidarum while pregnant with my little girl and was also deathly ill because of (undiscovered at the time) secondary adrenal insufficiency. I have fought Hashimoto’s Disease and other autoimmune conditions for over four years and have been drowned by my body that, for the first 30 years of my life, served me so well.

In becoming a mother to my sweet girl a little over a year and a half ago, I have learned more about grace and love than I ever thought possible.

I have always been an athlete, but I have also always been very self aware of my body image. Like most women, I am hypersensitive to what makes my body “not up to par” or different from the standards that society sets for us. Upon my diagnosis of secondary adrenal insufficiency, I also learned that I’d be on steroids for most likely the remainder of my life. First thoughts? My body. I won’t be able to lose the baby weight. But what about those last 20 pounds? Coming to terms with my diagnoses and treatment plan was, in a lot of ways, my worst nightmare.

Moving into the second year of my daughter’s life, through another hospitalization and a whole lot of reflection, I finally decided to shift my focus. I was going to make a solid effort to put my negative-self-talk-body-shaming-attitude to rest.

I’m part of an incredible mom group on facebook that is local to Charlotte, NC where I reside. I decided to post one day about doing a shoot for other moms like me. Moms, who in a world of superficial, have found their strength and beauty through this new chapter of their life. I offered to do a free shoot to celebrate moms and their bodies and all that they have accomplished. I opened the shoot up to moms from all walks including adoptive mothers, moms who have struggled with infertility, moms who bottle fed, breast fed, natural or medically delivered- you name it. I was completely and utterly blown away at the response. One hundred sixty seven people responded. I wasn’t the only one who felt like we needed to be celebrated.

I didn’t want to turn anyone away. By selecting the date, location, and time I knew that this would limit the availability of these women. This past Saturday I had the privilege of shooting 17 women, from all walks of life who have found strength through motherhood and who were brave enough to celebrate their bodies through picture for the sacrifice and blessing that they have given them.

You go, girls.

XO,

Caroline

Belle, mom of a ten month old. Struggled with milk production and milk never came in. Son has been formula fed since 2 months. She used to have guilt but knows that he is happy and healthy and that’s all that matters! Belle has struggled with her body image in the past and had an eating disorder in high school and pre-wedding. After gaining 50 healthy pounds during pregnancy and finding her way back to her pre pregnancy weight, she has learned to love her body, build her confidence, and embrace her stretch marks!
Miranda, mom of two daughters, 13 and 10. She models body positivity to her girls in a really difficult day in age for teenage girls. She tries to not speak negatively about her body and teaches them to strive for health, strength & self-love always.

Faye, mom of 3 young girls. Embraces her body and the life it gave her during pregnancy! ❤

Christina, mom of two. Promises to raise her two little boys to make a positive impact on the world.

Jess, mom of four. Celebrates her body for all that it has given her and is grateful for healthy children.

Erin, new mommy to a baby girl. Had an emergency c-section and her daughter is celebrated as their perfect rainbow baby, after losing one child before.

Catie, mom of two. Recognizes the sacrifice that she has made through breastfeeding her children and wants to celebrate it by capturing these last couple of months through photo. She is proud of her labor of love she has given her children.

Courtney, mom of two. Courtney has learned to embrace the changes in her body after gaining a lot of baby weight but wears it with grace and pride! She has finally found her voice as a mother and a woman.

Victoria, mom of 2. She has finally found appreciation for her body and all that is has done for her. She has been pregnant and/or nursing for four years and is so proud of all that she has accomplished through motherhood. She is READY for her close up!

Brittany, new mom of twin boys . After battling preeclampsia and a month stay in the NICU, she is loving being a mom. She feels more confident in her body and more beautiful than she has ever before.

Melissa, new mommy of a sweet baby boy. Has a newfound strength through motherhood.

Elizabeth, mom of two. She is grateful every day for her son and her baby girl who will be here so very soon! She is grateful for a community of moms who empower each other & finds magic in embracing each other and the changes in our bodies.

Leigh, mom to two! Celebrating her body through this pregnancy and can’t wait to meet her sweet newborn.

Katie, new mom to a sweet baby boy. She is humbled by the new life that only a mom can bring and is celebrating the changes in her body, and is finding courage and strength from within.

Michelle, mom to a sweet toddler boy! She is grateful for her body at 41 and the life that it gave her.

Caroline, mom to a 19 month old little girl. Has found a renewed strength and appreciation for her body and all of the changes that it has been through.

Shannon, mom to a beautiful toddler girl. She is finally accepting all of the amazing things that her body has done for her!

Elizabeth, soon to be mom of two. She is so thankful for her body and can’t wait to add her baby girl to the gang!

It was a good day.

Welcome Baby Rowen!

Welcome Baby Rowen!

A couple of weeks ago I got to spend time with Jennie and Derek, a sweet local couple full of heart and genuine love. I met Jennie several years ago when I opened Pure Barre in SouthPark, we quickly found ourselves to have a lot in common. Both of us had a teaching background a zest for life and helping others. Jennie is a sweet soul and an avid supporter of doing all things good for humankind.

Peeking in on the sweet new family from the dining room

Fast forward a couple of years later – Jennie still runs her tutoring company, but my life drastically changed by adding in a little girl and switching career paths. Photography has always been a life long passion, but after becoming a mommy I decided to dive head first to make it a full time business. Jennie reached out earlier this Spring and asked me to take maternity photos for them. I got to meet her super cool hubby and we talked all things mommy hood, nursing, lack of sleep, and all of the exciting adventures that were at their feet in just a short time.

Tiny toes!
Derek has a love for reading. I loved capturing him open his book while Jennie and I took some photos of her and baby Rowen. Their calm and gentle spirit radiated during the session.

I was thrilled when Jennie reached out to me after she delivered her baby, asking me to take newborn photos and welcoming me into their home during such a special time. I pulled up to their sweet home and spent around 90 minutes with them to complete our session together. Being relaxed and flexible during newborn sessions is super important to me. I make sure the couple knows that we work on their time, and that its my job to make it a fun an peaceful session. Baby Rowen did not disappoint. He is absolutely precious. I am so genuinely happy for these three – they are the perfect match for each other.

“Sometimes the littlest things take up the most room in your heart.”

Find more photos below of our session. ❤ XO, Caroline

Book your session with Caroline York Photography by emailing carolineyorkphotography@gmail.com

Blog Post- Newborn Session