It Will All Be Worth It…


For the sake of every partner, every child standing in the shadows while their spouse or parent gets through medical school and/or residency…

I don’t ask for sympathy. I simply ask for breathing room. For the chance to feel anything other than the glowing gratitude that society seems to expect of us.

There are times when we don’t know how to deal with the stress of raising our babies on our own. Or navigating a new city with no friends or family, or hell… even any knowledge of where to buy cereal. Moving states away from family, friends, everything we knew.

Residency made this life feel heavier, but also more empowering.

I feel stronger. Bolder. More brave. Less full of fearful anticipation and more full of bring on all the shit shows, buddy, because I’ve got this.

Except for today.

Today, I was working in the garden that was recently bulldozed by a heavy rain, and taking breaks in the 90-degree weather to play “lazer tag” with my boys with squirt guns. I forgot this morning that he (my husband) was not going to be home for a day and a half, even though we only live four blocks from the hospital where he works.

This morning, I forgot that he had a call shift because when he said “goodbye, have a nice day, I love you”, he hugged me for much longer than normal.

I assumed it was because he was feeling the weight of the fact that we are now down to one more night. One more night of waking up as a team that pulls little Henry into bed with us when he wakes in the middle of the night. One more night of “which one do you want to get to sleep tonight”.

Today, in the middle of the epic water gun battle, he called to let me know he had three minutes to get home and pack his overnight bag for his call shift. I scrambled to find what he would need, then just before he drove away, I frantically called to our oldest son James (little Henry was napping - a true miracle). I worried that James would be upset about missing his chance at an extra Papa hug.

Fortunately, James is at an age where Papa hugs and Digimon episodes weigh out pretty evenly. He was hidden away safely in the basement play room when my husband drove off.

This “see you tomorrow morning” hurt more than usual. Just yesterday, I was at the annual picnic that is held for a huge collection of people who work in coordination with my husband’s surgical residency program. I recall speaking to the partners of this year’s intern class about my experiences over the last year, and how I felt like a pro. I felt/feel stronger and more capable and ready to take on more challenges that come with being the spouse of a general surgery resident…

But that was last night. Today, I don’t feel as strong. Today, as I hugged my love and kissed him, and breathed in his semi-sterile smell (still lingering on his scrubs after his short 2-minute commute to our home), I had a difficult time remembering to breathe and not cry. I’m sad.

I’m sad. And uncertain. And feeling maybe a little bit scared.

Two months without him. Our boys will be without him for two months. His hugs. His dirty socks on the floor that drive me nuts and his nightly ritual of having a bowl of cereal after dinner, or FOR dinner. Because you know… life. And in his case, more often than he’s willing to tell me because I’m an empath, death.

I guess through all this, my friends, is that more often than not, those around you are going through more than they’re willing to say. Please be patient and kind.

Dear Marie Kondo…

​Sioux Falls South Dakota Newborn Photographer Autumn Hope Gallagher


…I didn’t need your advice to help me see what matters most. 

Motherhood helps a lot of us see that.

So. Here’s to all the women out there who obsess over every. Single. Detail. Every toe, every yawn, every nose wrinkle and singular eyelash. Here is where you are safe. Here, wrapped in the sisterhood of motherhood - we see you and understand you and will never tell you that your priorities are cluttered.

​Sioux Falls South Dakota Newborn Photographer Autumn Hope Gallagher

​Sioux Falls South Dakota Newborn Photographer Autumn Hope Gallagher

​Sioux Falls South Dakota Newborn Photographer Autumn Hope Gallagher

​Sioux Falls South Dakota Newborn Photographer Autumn Hope Gallagher

Hello, Sister.

Since you were a little girl. Before you had your first boyfriend. I’ve been there, watching you grow (in a totally non creepy way, before you call me on that comment). 

I’ve been in love with your brother since he and I were practically babies ourselves. You loathed me at times… Understandably. But eventually was our goal. Eventually we grew. All of us. And now. 

We are sisters. 

Never more have I felt this than the moment I sat in your recovery room with you, helping you learn about teaching your sweet little girl how to latch correctly, while coaching you to breathe and reminding you to not stress - you were both learning these new roles at the same time. 

Helping you understand self advocacy. Being with you while you asked questions and waited for the okay to go home… 

Your first seconds at home with her. I could feel your stress, knew your physical pain. 

I don’t have words other than thank you. Thank you so much, for letting me be there to witness that.

And welcome. 

Welcome to our tribe. 

You’re doing better than you think you are. 


Mommy & Me Photo Sessions

Mommy & Me Photo Sessions

Mommy & Me Photo Sessions

I’ve opened up some dates for Mommy & Me sessions! These sessions are in-home and include a super simple, crisp, (your choice of black/white/gray) classic backdrop to put the focus on you and your love(s). They’re super quick, and are meant to be simple - minimalist. No fussy outfits, no props. Just you and your babes, lovin’ on each other. The ONLY discounted sessions I do are these sessions, so if you’re looking for a great way to celebrate you and your babies this Mother’s Day, let’s do this! 

Message me for availability, or click the link below to purchase your session now - I’ll contact you to help you choose the date/time.

Click here to purchase

Third Annual Sioux Falls Women’s March (Rally) #WomensWave

There’s nothing quite like a rally with a ton of amazing people around you- diverse, powerful, and focused on progressive change.

I missed a lot of the first speakers, but made it in time to hear some incredibly powerful women share their wisdom. Being in a room with that many (likeminded) people - people who simply want everyone to be treated with love, respect… kindness. It had me covered in goosebumps and feeling weepy… but in the best way possible. 

If you are in any of these photographs and would like to use them, please feel free to click here - you'll be able to download the images in high resolution.  All web/print rights released to users. 

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