I’ve debated this post for a long time and was pretty sure I’d never write and actually publish it. And then my gal pal, Amy Champagne, sat with me over a yummy lunch and looked me dead in the face and told me I “had to blog this because my blog is so important to me + my business and it’s just how it should be.” And so here I am, sitting in front of my computer, without a clue as to what to write.
So many of you have read and commented on personal blog posts of mine – times where I spilled my soul about love and marriage and my main man, Jeremy. I’ve never minced words either; our going-on 7 year marriage has been one of so much joy, but it’s not been without struggles and stressful times. Anyone who pretends marriage is easy is lying. It’s a constant effort that’s worth every.single.minute – especially when you plow through tough times and come out together on the other side.
And so here we are … on the other side of the hardest struggle our marriage has known. We were going to try and have a baby. Needless to say, things didn’t work as we’d hoped. The last year and a half has been a whirlwind of stress, tears and doctors. I promised to keep a brave face but as of last summer, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like it was easier to walk around with a giant sign around my neck that said, “I can’t seem to get pregnant and my heart is just breaking about it.” So if you encountered me in the last few months and asked me how I was, you probably got a bigger earful than you wanted.
What happened once I confessed this news somewhat publicly was an outpouring of support – from family, friends and clients. And it continued intensely over this winter when I completely shut down my business – no bookings, no photo shoots and not a Facebook post to be found. The real reason I feel so strongly about writing this post is that recently, I’ve had a lot of friends + clients who didn’t know our circumstances ask me why I was so MIA from everything. It seems only fair that my ‘open-book’ attitude about my life continue into this, too.
I’m really proud (and not the least bit embarrassed) to share that this past winter Jeremy and I went through IVF in hopes of making our dreams of having a baby come true. I’m also not embarrassed to admit it was a terrifying experience for me (I’m a giant wuss). Our first day of injections will forever haunt me as I remember the panic in thinking I just couldn’t do it. It was such a mind over matter moment for me and I was sure my mind was going to win! I’ll never forget the evening in my in-laws basement as I sobbed and stared my sweet husband in the face- our eyes locked and it’s literally a moment that still stands still for me when I think about it. I’ve never felt so helpless + desperate in my entire life. (small side note – to my mother-in-law, our injection angel, who gave me all 41 injections because I just didn’t have the guts to do it. This baby is here because of you.)
To those that will read this and went through struggles far greater and more painful than ours, I promise you that I know how lucky we are in the scheme of things. Our journey will IVF was short lived + successful. So many friends and fellow IVFers I’ve encountered have worked longer and harder for a happy ending and I don’t take our ‘easy’ situation lightly. I pray for your hearts at night. The pain of wanting to be a mother and worrying you may never be is a pain you cannot explain to someone who hasn’t been through it. But it’s like that with all things in life – you can’t begin to understand something truly that you haven’t been through yourself. I’ve found this experience has helped remind me that EVERYONE is going through something and compassion is a really important part of life; a lesson I needed to learn and remember.
And so the hallway I walked down daily and it’s wallpaper I ran my hands over as I walked it. The 48 steps it took me to get there and the carpet I’d scuff my boots along on each step. Pitbull’s Timber song always played, too, and the hallway never smelled like anything – not even a hint. The good and the bad of this entire ordeal – I don’t ever want to forget a minute of it. My angels – Lynn, Casey, Amanda, Jody, Christine, April and Lena – you are the reason Jeremy + I celebrate today. The times you wiped my tears, held my hands, promised me that it was going to get easier, made sure to have butterfly needles ready for the 1043054 blood draws, put my IV needle in (Lynn – I swear, I couldn’t have made it without you that day), cheered me on as we headed into procedures, greeted me with a giant smile each time I arrived, called to check in on me, saved me on meltdown day (Casey – I still feel bad about that morning!), the day we watched the embryos transfer and my heart just died with love … my keyboard is soaked in my tears as I type all the incredible things you all did for us. And on the best day ever – when I came in and we jumped up and down together celebrating; I was so afraid to dream a happy ending that it was a million times better than I could have ever expected. And to Dr. Doyle and Ed – thank you for making us our baby, a baby that’s been wrapped in so much hope and love before it even came to be.
So today we celebrate – out loud – for the first time really … and it doesn’t even seem believable that we could be lucky enough to have all this. The other good news – business is back to usual as our baby arrives in the late fall – well after my season ends and with enough time to wrap everything up and rest a bit. I’m taking a full season of weddings, maternity and family/kids sessions, wrapping up in mid-September. (make sure to contact me if you want to secure something!) There are so many people I’d love to call out and thank for the calls, emails, text messages, food offers, prayer groups we were added to … just so many I’d worry about leaving someone out. Just know our hearts are so thankful for the love + support and I personally know we couldn’t have gotten through it without you all.
(I was crazy and iphone documented EVERYTHING – I’ve been kind and removed the TMI photos! haha.)