'A cultural rite of passage': Photos from this mum's maternity shoot are breathtaking

When she was just a teenager, Christina Couture's left leg was amputated from the knee down due to bone cancer.

And then when she became pregnant, Christina dreamed of having a maternity photoshoot but, due to a lack of photos featuring disabled women, she struggled to imagine what it would look like. 

"I’ve viewed that kind of photoshoot as a cultural rite of passage; the opportunity to celebrate a turning point and its anticipation," she wrote in an article for CBC

"The trouble is, I struggled to imagine my own maternity photos when I couldn’t find any examples of them with a body like mine. I only have one leg."

It wasn't just the lack of amputees in photoshoots – it was the lack of disability, in general. 

So Christina decided to create her own, and got in touch with photographer Jen Squires, who has Vitiligo.

"I’m a performer and have had hundreds of photos taken of me over the years. I wasn’t always comfortable in front of the camera, and it took time to get used to seeing myself. In the last few years, I’ve felt more at ease, and I’ve started to enjoy photoshoots and to trust that I’m just one part of the result, in tandem with the photographer.

"But even with these experiences, on the day I was nervous. It wouldn’t be my first time getting practically naked for the camera — that’s no problem. It wouldn’t be the first time I showcased my prosthetic leg; its floral features have become my favourite accessory. But it would be the first time I’ve ever taken the prosthesis off for photos."

We're in awe of Christina for putting herself out there to help others who find themselves in a similar situation. 

"I hope that the next person to do an image search for “disability and pregnancy” finds these photos and feels empowered by them. I hope they know: your difference is powerful, beautiful. And being a parent? You can do it. Go get all glowy with your pregnant self, whatever body you’re in."

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