I’ve been putting this post off for a few weeks, because it hits me right in the feels.
My brain works in pretty mysterious ways, and I will come up with crazy ideas at 2am while trying to go to sleep. I will then spend the next 4 months kicking the crazy ideas around in my head, until they become a reality. This one turned out EXACTLY as I envisioned (which doesn’t always happen…).
Here’s how it all started. A lazy mom order of amazon fresh. No joke. I’m obsessed with amazon fresh, mainly because dragging my 6 & 8 year olds to the grocery store is TORTURE for my sanity. They aren’t “bad” at the grocery store. They just like to point out (and often ask for) literally EVERYTHING WE PASS. So. Amazon Fresh to the rescue. Another lazy mom hack? If you order something frozen to be delivered via amazon fresh…it will come in a bag with some dry ice. (NOTE of caution. Don’t let kids touch dry ice, its super cold and can do some serious damage with just a quick touch. also, adults shouldn’t touch it either. samesies) Dry Ice is super fun, and under strict supervision, the kids have a total blast with it.
Dry ice is frozen Carbon Dioxide (the stuff you breathe out). The cool thing about dry ice? At room temperature (or in warm/hot water) it will change phases from a SOLID (ice) to a gas. It skips the liquid step, which makes it super fun and bubbly and magical. *The actual name of this process is Sublimation…and it’s pretty cool. Anyway, the kids and I were using the dry ice in some 2L bottles and blowing smoke rings, pretending we were wizards, normal stuff.
That night, I was thinking about how cool dry ice would look photographed. Then I went to sleep.
A few weeks later, in the wee hours of the night, I was thinking about this super weird feeling I had just after my daughter was born. I don’t know if this is a feeling that other moms experience, but for the first week after having my first baby, I felt a sense of loss…as in I missed being able to feel her every movement in my belly. That constant physical connection was so suddenly gone, and it took a few weeks to shake my sense of loss. Of course, my daughter was healthy, happy, and snuggled up in my arms this entire time…but it somehow felt different. I remember feeling totally insane, especially because I didn’t particularly enjoy being pregnant…and I was certainly ready for her to be born. It was a totally unexpected feeling, and it was weird. This sense that you can be so totally and completely connected in one moment, and just…not in the next. She was suddenly her own being. I know, i know. crazy. Well, about two years after my first daughter was born, I experienced this very same feeling of loss. Except, this time I didn’t have a healthy, happy baby to snuggle. My husband and I experienced the most terrible loss of our second baby, at around 19 weeks into my pregnancy. I was knocked sideways with the very same emptiness, and baffled by how deeply that connection was felt…until it wasn’t. I can tell you the exact moment. In one second, she was gone.
I don’t have a word for this feeling. The fragility of the connection. The power of the bond. The mystery of it all. I’m willing to bet there is a word for it in German. They have the best words for weird stuff (don’t believe me? Look up middleschmertz or Kummerspeck ). Well, that night while I was pondering the wonderful, powerful, “feeling”…I realized that the way the dry ice smoke swirls and bobs through the air felt like a good description…and from there I found the most gorgeous mama EVER, and she totally rocked it.
To create this dress, I literally put dry ice in a pitcher and poured the smoke/gas all around Bekah. (for some giggles, I totally forgot to bring my camera trigger so I was literally running back and forth between my camera on a 5 second timer and Bekah..there are some super gorg photos of me mid run). I then put about 30 different smoke images together in photoshop to create the gorgeous dress. This was such a fun personal project, and an amazingly cathartic way to communicate my “feels”…even if nobody else gets it.