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The alarm went off at 7:40 a.m., although it was unnecessary, as Olivia, my almost-3-year-old, had already barged into my room waving her bottle in her hand, demanding her milk. I first looked at my phone, as I always do, to make sure there were no emergencies. With bleary eyes I read the WhatsApp message from my friend and colleague Gaia Pianigiani, a New York Times journalist with whom I often work in Italy.
The shoot was supposed to be the next day, Thursday, but the co-working space for moms had given the green light for me to photograph a day earlier, and I knew everyone was anxious to run the story ASAP. My stomach sank as the dreaded question surfaced: What am I going to do with Olivia?