When my husband and I got married in 2015, we knew we wanted kids immediately. I had these visions of how I would tell him I was pregnant, and at 26, I was praying for a “honeymoon baby”.
The months drifted by, and our trying became more planned, with ovulation kits, early morning temperature checks, and charting every symptom under the sun. Every “two week wait” I would convince myself that this was my month until the dreaded day came that my temperature dropped and my period started.
After 10 months, I met with my OB, who told me I was still within the realm of “normal” for trying, but prescribed me Clomid. In my eleventh month I got something I hadn’t been expecting – two pink lines! Unfortunately, they didn’t stick around long, and I had a very early miscarriage.
My twelfth month brought two lines again, and what had hoped would be our “take home baby”. That pregnancy had many issues, including preterm labor, and then PROM (premature rupture of membranes) at 34 weeks. After 30 hours, Brennan John was born via C-section. Immediately we all knew something was very wrong, and it was discovered that he had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and passed away peacefully in his father’s arms at just two hours old. We received a NILMDTS session shortly after, and the images I received I will cherish forever.
After our devastating loss, all we wanted was to have another baby. We immediately started trying again, and at the six month mark saw a Reproductive Specialist. Some blood work revealed that I had Diminished Ovarian Reserve, and at then 28, was close to menopause.
After discussing success rates, we decided to do IVF. Our first round ended in yet another early miscarriage, and no viable embryos frozen. Three months later we did our second round and were blessed to be pregnant with our second boy, Brayden James. His birth was thankfully uneventful and he arrived November 15, 2018.
While preparing for a potential embryo transfer and yet again tracking cycles, we unexpectedly got pregnant for a fifth time, completely naturally, and I now have my beautiful three month old, Benjamin Jacob.
Photograph courtesy of Carr Studios
After receiving the images of my son Brennan, I made it a goal of mine to become a photographer to give back and honor my son. After two years of practice, acquiring equipment, and figuring out what I needed, I applied and was accepted in October of 2019 as an affiliated NILMDTS photographer.
Photograph courtesy of Tara Cieszynski
I have photographed 10 NILMDTS sessions and will always remember and honor each baby, I have a remembrance tree that I write all of their names on. Since initially joining NILMDTS as a volunteer, I also have become a dispatcher and an Area Coordinator. I’m hopeful to be able to share this gift with many more families and support other photographers to do the same. My infertility journey and the loss of my son have helped mold my future, and I’m grateful now to be a NILMDTS volunteer and to help run a local support group for infant loss.