March 17, 2021
Around the holidays last year, I reintroduced my Compassion Session initiative on social media. The initiative was borne out of a desire to come alongside a fellow mother to celebrate her life, and her story: to help her feel seen, valued, and loved.
Maggie Spann was one of many deserving mothers nominated, and her family’s story, like so many others, is worth telling…
As we’re nearing the one year anniversary of the announcement of a global pandemic that has not only taken hundreds of thousands of lives, toppled businesses, and created national and international divides, it’s sobering to think of how this year has reminded us all of what’s truly important: the relationships we cultivate and the people we love. As we inch forward towards a life resembling “normal,” may we not quickly forget the lessons we’ve taken to heart this past year.
I am so honored to share Maggie’s story with you, and to have had the privilege of photographing her and her family.
Maggie and her husband Mik are originally from Michigan and moved to Los Angeles in 2018.
“We love living in California – it is so beautiful and a much more open minded place which we appreciate as a bi-racial family. Before having our daughters, we lived in a few places that were extremely segregated and places where we didn’t always feel safe.
We have had people come up to us and express their distaste in seeing us together. We have been yelled at and stared at by people we’ve never met…”
“We knew that our children would inevitably experience the harsh realities of racism in America but we wanted to give them the chance to grow up in a place where they could experience many different cultures and different people.
Of course racism is still very much alive here, as it is across the country, but there is so much more here too. It is important to us to have a household that has open conversations about race and discrimination.
We hope, ultimately, to instill in our children the ability to lead with kindness and an open heart. Our home is a place where they can feel and process their emotions and have raw conversations without holding back. We want to be their safe space.”
– Maggie Spann
Maggie found out that she was pregnant with their second daughter, Amara, just 2 weeks before the pandemic hit.
Her second pregnancy was spent entirely in quarantine and came with a new set of realities and difficulties. Not only were they in a brand new state far from family, friends, and a community, but they also had to navigate job loss, empty grocery store shelves, caring for a 1 year old, the anxiety of being pregnant and having a baby during a pandemic, and were also still recovering from the grief of losing Mik’s mother, who passed four weeks after Sophia was born, and who never had a chance to meet her granddaughters.
“She was so genuine and full of love. During my pregnancy she called me every single day at lunch time to make sure I ate a good meal. She kept up with every appointment and we had long talks most days. I don’t think she loved anything more in the world than being a grandmother.
Losing her felt like our entire world was turned upside down. Pain and anger that we had to go on without her and that she would never hold her new, sweet grand baby.
We were feeling the most powerful emotions we had ever felt. Unmeasurable love and pain. Our daughter was our light in the darkness. We had never felt a love so deep and on our hardest days she brought us back to the present as we tended to her...”
Light and Airy Candid Lifestyle Family Photography | Tiffany Chi Photography
Natural Light Orange County Photographer
“It felt so unfair to have a huge piece of our world taken from us in an instant. And it felt unfair that our beautiful baby girl would never know the person who dreamt of the day they would meet.
Grief is very complicated and it is something we are still working through everyday.
The one thing I do know is that through all of the joy and pain, our love for each other and our daughter (and now daughters) has grown even greater.
Both of our girls resemble their grandma. It is beautiful to see her so vividly in her granddaughters and watch her spirit live on through them.”
– Maggie Spann –
Light and Airy Beach Sunset Baby Photography | Tiffany Chi Photography
Natural Light Orange County Family Photographer
And despite all of the grief, pain, and adapting to a new reality, they pressed on together. Amara was born at home last November: safe, healthy, and loved.
“Transitioning from one baby to two has been challenging. My firstborn will always be my baby but now she has to share us with her baby sister. It’s like a balancing act trying to breastfeed a newborn and care for her, while also giving my two year old the time and attention she needs and deserves. Mom guilt is hard. I am probably too hard on myself but I worry my toddler isn’t getting enough of me and then worry my newborn isn’t getting what her older sister got at her age. So I do my best to love on both of them as much as possible.”
– Maggie Spann –
“Being a mother is such an immense gift. I look forward to watching my daughters personalities blossom. It’s bittersweet, but so amazing to watch them grow and their personalities begin to really shine through.
I have always known that I wanted to have babies but being a mother is so much more than I could have ever imagined.
It has given me so much purpose and I have never felt a love as strong as the love I have for my daughters or between my husband and I as we grow our family.”
“My wish for my children is that they go into the world with strong self esteems, lead with love and grow up having a childhood that they won’t need to heal from. I want to keep bettering and healing myself so they can feel safe and secure while figuring out who they are and where they will go in this world.
I don’t want them to ever feel like I have expectations for who they should be, but that I will support and love them for being who they truly are. I hope they will spread love and kindness into a world that needs it so desperately.
You never know what someone is going through and how much a little kindness can truly mean.”
– Maggie Spann
I am truly humbled to have had the opportunity to share Maggie and her family’s beautiful story with you. It is a story filled with so much hope, redemption, and love with so, so much left to be written. I’m thrilled to see what’s in store for them, and sincerely grateful to have seen just a glimpse of their tender and unbreakable love for one another.
If you’d also love to capture some love-filled images of you and your family to remember for years to come, contact me for details!
I can’t wait to hear from you.
Did you enjoy my COMPASSION SESSION initiative and may have a mother in mind to nominate too?
Be on the lookout for another Compassion Session Giveaway later this year!
Tiffany Chi Photography is a Newborn, Maternity, Baby, Birth, and Family Lifestyle Photographer based out of Orange County and serving Southern California, taking dreamy, romantic and ethereal photographs.
Natural Light, Bright, Light and Airy Baby Family In Home or Outdoor Location Photography Sessions.
Orange County Light and Airy Newborn Photographer, Orange County Natural Light Baby Photographer, Orange County Light and Airy Baby Photoshoot, Orange County Natural Light Photographer, Orange County Natural Light Family Photoshoot, Orange County Natural Light Maternity Photoshoot, California Lifestyle Newborn Photographer
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My Motherhood Sessions have been featured on prominent Online Publications such as La Peche Journal, The Fount Collective, ShoutOut Los Angeles, and The Motherhood Anthology.
From California, to Paris, to Motherhood. This is my story.