3.13.2014

Thoughts on pregnancy

It's hard to believe I've let so much time go by without writing down my thoughts about pregnancy.

At times it feels like I've been pregnant forever, and other times it's gone by so fast that I wonder what I've been doing all this time NOT getting ready for him to come. Nope, I don't have a nursery ready yet. He doesn't have more than a few outfits to his name, and I'm almost 31 weeks pregnant. (What have I been doing?!)

I was so focused on our house being built and moving, that I really didn't have much time to think about him coming. Plus, May felt so far away and I didn't really feel the urge to "nest" quite yet. I wondered if something was wrong with me since all these other moms who were due in May had nurseries set up and ready, carseats installed, etc. Along side that, running a business is so time consuming. I still haven't quite felt the need to "nest," but I do feel a sense of urgency with only single digit weeks left before he arrives. (Yikes!) It's suddenly mid-March and May is just around the corner. (YIKES AGAIN!)




I have really enjoyed being pregnant. Even though pregnancy comes with A LOT of changes, aches and pains, and things you frankly don't expect, I've had a REALLY great pregnancy. Everything has been perfect and right on track... tests, measuring, weight gain... all of it. And that makes me really grateful. I have constantly worried this whole pregnancy about him being okay, even though I have no reason to worry. I hope I have done much better the last few months since I can actually see and feel him move. The first 19-20 weeks were rough for me... I had anxiety, panic attacks, and worries every day. It didn't feel real for me yet until I started showing (around 22 weeks) and feeling him move.

Ask any woman who has been pregnant, and they will tell you those kicks and punches and movements are about the most glorious thing in the world. At times it still totally weirds me out imaging a little person wiggling inside me, but I feel such an amazing privilege to experience it. I don't know how anyone could ever doubt there is a God after feeling another human grow inside you. Thinking about how he started out as the size of a poppyseed and somehow develops into this whole little person, is an absolute mind blowing concept. And not only that, he was fully formed at about 15 weeks! He had all the right organs and everything in place and actually looked like a little baby. Since then he has been packing on the pounds and growing! And all I do is go about my normal life. And my body just does it! How could there not be a supreme being orchestrating all of this. To add to all of that, he has a unique special spirit with his own personality and looks. How can that not be divine?

As my belly grows and expands, I have learned to love and appreciate my body more than I ever have in my life. It's capable of something so miraculous. And I hope this doesn't sound conceded, but I feel... so beautiful. I know my body will never be the same as it was before. I may have "scars" of pregnancy, but I'm still so grateful for how capable my body is. It's growing and nurturing an entirely perfect, fully developed human! I can't help but love and appreciate my body.



I'm so grateful for a supportive, excited husband. He is going to be the most wonderful father to our littles. But I know this experience has been different for him. And that has made me think a lot about my role as a woman. I can feel Heavenly Father's trust and love for me and each of his daughters. We have such a special calling on this earth. Every time this little baby goes on a kicking spree in my tummy, I ask Lincoln is he wants to feel him move. I know for him it is really amazing to experience, but it's so different than my experience. The first kick probably feels a lot like the 500th kick to Lincoln. After a minute or two, Lincoln goes back to what he was doing before. But for me, I could sit all day and watch him kick and move. The movements never become less miraculous to me. It absolutely fascinates me every time. It truly is astounding! Now I'm seeing whole tiny feet move across my belly. It totally blows my mind! I am that crazy person who asks other people if they want to put their hand on my belly to feel him move. It's so amazing to me that I want other people to experience it too!

As his birth approaches, I feel a lot of emotions. I am honestly quite nervous and scared to be a mother. I've never felt "baby hungry" like other women do. And I haven't felt that connection some women say they have with their baby when pregnant. I am nervous about balancing it all--running a business and being a mom and wife... Nervous I won't know how to take care of a newborn. It's all really overwhelming. I often wish he could stay in me much longer. He is so easy and fun to take care of now. Haha! I know it will be much harder when he comes out.

I know that Heavenly Father will expand my capacity to be a mother. I felt incapable for a long time about even being pregnant, but He helped me and my body make that possible. I feel incapable about being a mother and loving this baby, but I know He has the ability to help us all expand and truly fulfill our callings on this earth. And it often surprises us just how capable we are.

It has been an honor for me to photograph birth stories. It's an amazing thing to witness a mother meeting her baby for the first time. It is almost too hard describe how beautiful that moment is. It is sacred and truly magnificent. I'm finally getting excited about that moment for me. Labor and delivery is daunting, but I've become less nervous for that part. Lately I've been wondering what he will look like, how big he will be, if he will have similar personality traits as Lincoln... I'm excited to meet him!




Well, that's all my thoughts for today... 9 (or so) weeks until we meet this little guy!

12.02.2013

The Taylor Baby

Thank you for all your love and excitement you expressed when we told everyone we are expecting a baby! We felt very loved and didn't really expect our silly video to get as much attention as it did.

I wanted to write about our road to conceiving since I often looked for similar situations to find comfort. I know that we didn't struggle with infertility as long as other couples do. I know how difficult and heart wrenching that must be to deal with years of uncertainty. I never wanted to give off the impression that our road was more difficult than another. I have many close friends who I wish could have a baby more than anything. Time is such a difficult thing sometimes. And we are all here to learn and grow from our trials.

I knew from talking to doctors that our situation wasn't the worst possible scenario out there, but we did have some issues that needed medical intervention. I can't say enough great things about our fertility clinic at the University of Utah. I was especially grateful for our doctor, Erica Johnstone, for helping us for 6 months. She was the perfect personality to match mine and was so patient and kind. I wish she could be my OBGYN too! All the staff there was absolutely wonderful! It made going to countless appointments every couple weeks bearable.

A little recap, we spent a few months trying clomid. After four months of that not working, we pushed to try IUI. I was able to get pregnant, but had an early miscarriage.  Once all the HCG was out of my system (I only had to wait a week for this to happen), she gave us the go ahead to try again when we were ready. She also told me to take a baby aspirin a day. She mentioned they did some study once that found women who had had a miscarriage and took a baby aspirin a day afterwards were able to get pregnant quicker and sustain the pregnancy. So I thought, what the heck! Not that hard. She also had Lincoln start taking 300 mg of COQ10 a day to help improve the quality of his swimmers. Even though we were devastated by the loss of a pregnancy, we wanted to try again the next month.

We assumed we would need to do another round of IUI (Artificial Insemination) since that is how we were able to get pregnant the month before. We had everything scheduled on the calendar and I started another round of clomid. I went in for my ultrasound to see how my ovaries responded to the clomid about two weeks later. It was a Monday morning, and when she started to look around she gave us the bad news that I had already ovulated. I most likely had released the two eggs (yes, two) either the day or two before or even hours before the appointment. We were so bummed!!! Since they didn't know exactly when I had released the eggs, we were told we couldn't do IUI that month. So beyond frustrating! So much time and money spent on medications and doctor's appointments and it was all for nothing. The last glimmer of hope inside me asked her if we could still try the "natural way" and she said yes, we could, but her best guess was we probably missed our short window. Somehow with starting clomid mid cycle because of the miscarriage, our dates got off and I should've had an appointment a few days before. (Weekends make fertility treatments really difficult!)

So ya know, we went on thinking we had missed out on another month. About 7 or 8 days later I started to get really sore breasts. This happened before with the other pregnancy. I waited a few days to tell Lincoln because I didn't want to get his hopes up. I was really hopeful it had worked, but was still thinking our chances were slim. We were set to leave on our cruise on Saturday. I knew I should really wait to test until that following Monday to be safe, since testing early can give you a false negative. But I also didn't really want to wait the entire cruise to see if my HCG levels were doubling. Waiting is torture. Thursday before our cruise I had a dream right before I woke up that the test was positive! Lincoln had already woken up and gone upstairs to eat breakfast. I couldn't resist testing even though I knew it was really early. I took the test... Waited about 30 seconds... and slowly started to see that other pink line appearing... I COULD NOT believe it! A huge smile spread across my face and I ran upstairs. I stuck the positive test in front of Lincoln's cereal without saying anything. He looked at me and replied, "What?! Are you serious?!!"

I went in a few hours later for my first HCG blood test. It came back at 61. "They" like to see it above 100, but I knew I was okay since I had tested way earlier than most people do. The number just had to at least double in 48 hours. And it was higher than any number I got last time, so I was stoked! We somehow managed to find a clinic open early enough Saturday for me to go in a get my second blood test just an hour before our flight to Florida. They told me they would call me with results that afternoon. That flight to Florida felt SO LONG! It was so painful and nerve wracking. When I got off the plane and turned on my phone, I had a voice mail message. (!!!!) I was soooo nervous to check it because last time this happened, the results weren't good. Luckily, the nurse congratulated me and told me my HCG levels were at 120! If my levels hadn't doubled, I'm sure our entire vacation would've been so awful. I finally could relax a little and we spent the next 10 days in the Caribbean. Being the person I am, I still worried the whole trip and kept over thinking every little cramp I felt.

Our first ultrasound was scheduled for a couple weeks later to confirm the pregnancy, how many babies, and to date the pregnancy. It was so hard to wait that long for the ultrasound and when it finally came I was so nervous. Mostly I just wanted everything to look okay. And we would've gladly taken twins if there were two in there. She was able to see the heart beating on the ultrasound right off the bat! Such a good way to start an ultrasound. And of course I cried when we heard it for the first time. She looked around and said everything looked great! And only found one little bean in there. We were absolutely filled with joy! It was time to move on with our OBGYN.



A few weeks later we met with our doctor's nurse practitioner. I should also point out that I took the baby aspirin every day until I was 10 weeks... (But please ask your doctor before you do this.) I don't know if that's what helped us, but it seemed to! Again, I went into the appointment worrying they wouldn't be able to find a heart beat. I suppose I will always worry about this. Pregnancy really hadn't (and still hasn't) felt very real to me. I did get nauseous the day I turned 6 weeks, which is a good sign, but a not so fun part of pregnancy. And that lasted until about week 13... but let the record show, I never threw up! Hallelujah! I hate throwing up more than anything in this world. I did have quite a few gag-fests and close calls, but no puking around here. Whew! Anyway, at this appointment, she was able to find the heart beat with a doppler right away at 9 weeks, which was so comforting. They sometimes have to wait longer to find it with a doppler. But that meant no ultrasound which is always a huge bummer.

A month went by and we finally met with our OBGYN, who I love! I was nervous about meeting her, but afterwards I felt so great about having her as my doctor. Since I had a horrible experience with another OBGYN prior to conceiving, I was glad to have someone I liked. Again, we heard baby's heart beat with a doppler. I told her how nervous I had been about miscarrying again and she told me after this point, I could relax a little. We were finally out of the higher risk weeks.

We are super impatient and couldn't wait until 20 weeks to find out what we were having, so we went to Fetal Fotos at 15 weeks. Again, me... nervous... worried that everything wouldn't look normal. And I had heard that same week of a girl due the day after me finding out she was pregnant with twins from her 3rd ultrasound! They only detected one fetus at ultrasound 1 and 2 and since I only had one ultrasound very early on, I started stressing they would find two babies in there! (I know, I stress about everything.)

She started the ultrasound and we were all smiles for the next 15 minutes. We finally got to see our baby who looked like a really baby! (And not a tiny blurry ball anymore.) She confirmed only one baby was in there... whew! I had thought the baby was a boy the entire pregnancy. Lincoln was sure it was a girl. The second she moved the wand to show his bum, I knew before she even said it. BOY! I could totally tell. We were (and are) so so happy! We got to see him do flips and move all around. He had his little ankles crossed and at one point, opened and closed his mouth a few times for us. He also got the hiccups twice, stretched out, and showed us a great shot of all five of his cute fingers on one hand.








I love him so much already!

I still worry everyday that he's okay and everything is progressing as it should. I suppose I will never stop worrying his entire life. I just want him to be happy and healthy.

I am slowly starting to show. I feel like I am lightyears behind all my baby due in May counterparts. I do have a really long torso, and I'm tall, so I figure he's taking his time to spread upwards instead of outwards. I know one day I'm going to feel super large, so I should enjoy these small baby bump days.

I also think I may have felt him move for the first time the day before Thanksgiving! It's so hard to know what is gas bubbles and what is baby. But I was sitting on the couch and it felt like a tiny long potato did a flip or two in my lower abdomen. I've never felt anything like it, so I think it was him! I have felt little swishes and pokes about once or twice a day since then. He was sure active on our ultrasound so I wouldn't be surprised if it was him!

This is a very long winded blog post, but this is mostly for my record and for anyone who cares to read about it. Praying and hoping everything continues to go well!

Also thinking, praying, and hoping for all those struggling with infertility. I think about my friends who are struggling every single day. Lots of love and hugs! 

7.31.2013

"Even miracles take a little time."


I was pregnant for a week.









Technically two weeks if you count before we found out.


No one ever tells you how much happiness two pink lines can bring you. You hear a lot of other couples describe fear, anxiety, and "oh, crap!"

But for couples who have only seen one pink line for the last 14 months in a row? Pure, tear-filled, laughing, hugging, jumping up and down happiness. Infertility is a beast, I tell ya.

I'll never forget the look on Lincoln's face... after we patiently watched the test on the bathroom counter and I finally saw another pink line appear on that pee stick...

"There's another line! THERE'S ANOTHER LINE! THERE'S FINALLY ANOTHER LINE!!!"

We wrapped our arms around each other and started to sob. And laugh. And shake from the adrenaline.

Then we knelt down together in prayer and thanked our Heavenly Father for giving us this gift. And we asked that we would have a healthy and happy pregnancy and baby.

Since Preston was leaving on his mission to Italy in a few days, we decided to tell our closest family and friends. Not that we could've kept it secret for long, since they all knew we had done our first round of artificial insemination two weeks earlier.

We gathered everyone around the breakfast table. We had learned how to stay "I am pregnant" in Italian and planned to have Preston try and figure it out.

So with nerves and butterflies in our stomachs we finally piped up and said, "Hey Preston! We learned how to say a new phrase in Italian and want to see if you can figure it out... Io sono incinta."

He knew "Io sono" meant "I am," but didn't know what "incinta" meant. So they all looked at us waiting for us to tell them. We told him they had to look it up.

While Preston was looking it up, the questions started pouring in and we had to fabricate some story about where we heard this phrase (TV show). Preston finally finds it and with a puzzled look says, "I am pregnant?"

I started to smile and nod my head. He said it a second time, "I am pregnant." I continued to nod my head and smile. Then Lincoln's mom said, "Who says that on that TV show?" Ha! They obviously didn't get it.

Lincoln said, "No! Jalene is saying it!"

...

Lots of hugs and congratulations continued to follow that day and the days after. I had my first blood work done and it came back with a "great" status from my doctor.

The thought of twins was always on our mind since we knew I had two mature eggs release that month, but we wouldn't find out until 6.5 weeks how many we might be carrying. Oh, the waiting!

Our due date was calculated, the calendar marked when the first trimester would be over to maybe indicate the end of morning sickness (although, I had none so far), and our baby's first outfit was purchased.

Then Thursday rolled around... I went in for my second beta test to see if my HCG levels had doubled.
I wouldn't know the results until Friday morning.

Thursday afternoon I went home and took a nap. You know all expectant mothers need their rest, right? I woke up realizing I had the most peculiar dream. I text Lincoln at work and said, "I just had a dream that my HCG test came back at 51." My first test was 46, so 51 was a bad number. It meant that the pregnancy wasn't progressing. I thought it was strange I would dream this since I didn't feel worried... beyond normal first-trimester worries.

The next morning as soon as I woke up, my dream was a reality. My levels only came in at a 55. My heart sank and I began to sob. Lincoln comforted me. He was still hopeful that everything would be okay. After all, the number didn't drop, so that was a good thing.

My doctor called me a few hours later and discussed the results. She explained that it didn't look promising, but it may have been early. And cautioned me with a chance of an ectopic pregnancy. Then she told me how we would have to do some more waiting... my most favorite activity of the past 14 months. I would get another blood test on Monday to see what my levels would come back then.

Friday was hard. I cried a lot. My spirit was shattered. Lincoln's too.

Saturday I woke up with a new perspective. I kept having the thought that "everything would be okay." I didn't know what that meant. But I felt at peace knowing it was in the Lord's hand. We went to the temple and had a really sweet, comforting experience there. We came away knowing that miracles can happen and not everything doctors say is absolute. Our faith was renewed and we had hope in our hearts. Pregnancy symptoms were getting stronger so I had hope something good was happening.

Sunday was met with more peace and assurance. But by Sunday evening, we could feel the weight of the burden we carried the last few days. We were exhausted and ready for a miracle.

Monday... One week after we finally saw two pink lines. I was back in the doctor's office giving another blood sample, with promise of results by the afternoon. The hours slowly moved by, but the second I answered the phone and heard the nurse's tone on the other end, I knew it wasn't good.

My levels had dropped to 37. The pregnancy was definitely not progressing. In fact, I was told I was miscarrying.


I am sad we never even had an ultrasound. Or heard a heartbeat.
I am sad we never got to tell this baby how excited we were when we finally got a positive pregnancy test. There will never be another first positive pregnancy test again. And I'm sad I never got to meet that baby that brought us so much happiness and excitement.
I am sad for Lincoln. It hurts to see his heart broken. He wants to have a baby so bad and I wish I could give that to him.
I am sad I will now worry more about miscarrying in future pregnancies.
I am sad all of this is such a long process.
I am sad we have to wait longer for a baby.



The hardest part is being back at square one. It is comforting to know we were able to conceive, but not knowing if it will take another 14 months in daunting. I was trying to be naive thinking we wouldn't ever have to deal with a miscarriage. Our trial was infertility... and we conquered it.

I'm not sure why we are being stretched and tried... I am not sure what were supposed to be learning. Maybe patience? I've learned a lot of that in the last year. But I do know we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows what is best for us and he blesses us daily. I know He has a plan for me and Lincoln and we trust Him. I know miracles are in store for us. And I know someday we will have a baby.

I hope in the future when I'm 9 months pregnant and uncomfortable and swollen and my ligaments are sore and I've had every pregnancy symptom in the book, that I remember to never take being pregnant for granted. Even though it's not always lovely and fun, it is a beautiful gift that I would trade any pregnant woman right now. I will gladly take the morning sickness, the constant need to pee, the weight gain... ALL of it, if it meant I could have a baby. And when my kids are running around the house and not sleeping at night and I'm tired and my house is a disaster, I hope I remember how hard it was to get them here and how nothing else really matters. I hope I remember how lucky I am to be their mom, because I know how it feels to be a woman who isn't a mom but wants to be one.




...



It couldn't have been more perfect for this to show up in my Pinterest feed this week:



Below the caption read: "No matter how your heart is grieving... if you keep on believing... the dream that you wish will come true."

I always knew Cinderella was my favorite Disney Movie for a reason.








5.09.2013

Infertility

I want to thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me the other day about my infertility post. I had no idea so many of you still read this silly blog.

I kind of felt silly afterwards for posting it because it happened to be a really bad, and highly emotional day and I ended up sounding really depressed, which I'm not.

I mean, I'm sad and frustrated sometimes with my body, but I'm slowly learning how to relinquish control and realize it's not up to me when and how a baby comes into our family. We have hard days of disappointment, but we are pretty happy and agree that we have really great lives.

I know there are others out there who have dealt with much longer and more difficult infertility struggles than I have. I pray that I never get there, but the reality is, it's a possibility. I want to give you all a big giant hug. I suppose we are all in this together even though our stories are all different.

Again, I suppose all of this is for a reason. I wasn't exactly quite comfortable becoming pregnant early on in our "trying" days. And I'm not sure if I will ever feel completely ready to be a mom. Being a mom opens up a whole world of anxiety for me. It's probably a good thing it didn't happen fast, because now my whole focus has changed to just actually getting pregnant. If that happens, then I can start worrying about being a mom.

My heart aches along with you... all of you who replied with your own infertility struggles. Sometimes I think how unfair it is that people who don't even want a baby can get pregnant so easily... And then I remember that life isn't fair... And then I remember the saying my dad always told me growing up, "If life were fair, we'd all be fairies." And that would just be weird...

In matters of that heart, it is never easy to let go of control of something you desire so much. 

The hardest thing for me to accept is that my body isn't working how it is supposed to. I keep blaming the birth control pill, and it may or may not be the actual reason... I don't know. Half of me wonders what the heck is going on with the world, because I swear, every where I turn, someone I know has complications with fertility. I know there are all these theories on environmental factors and our diets... and I wouldn't be surprised if it were all linked somehow. I've learned that our bodies are very sensitive. And even if no outward symptoms are present, other quiet problems could be affecting us and we may never know.

I just hope those of you who never struggle to get pregnant never take that for granted. It's not like anything else... You can't exactly practice getting pregnant, get better at it each time and finally succeed. We are just left wondering... "Why isn't this working?! It seems so easy for everyone else."

I feel kind of weird talking about where we are in the fertility process, so if that also weirds you out, feel free to stop reading here. But maybe talking about it will offer me some insight of what other people did and what worked for them, etc.

One doctor... my doctor I ditched and couldn't get any answers from... immediately told us we should try IUI based on some test results. It's not as expensive as IVF, but it's still a pretty penny, and I knew there were other steps before IUI that could help get my cycles back on track. So I ditched her... and for many other reasons, and by luck (or divine intervention) found the most amazing fertility doctor.

My fertility doctor, who I love, recommended we try clomifene (clomid) and was hopeful we could get pregnant without doing IUI. That's where we are now. We finally know exactly what is going on every step of the way. Our doctor is so thorough and does regular ultrasounds (luckily I am on two insurances) so we know exactly how I'm responding and everything. I am crossing my fingers I responded to the medication this month. If it's any indication I am responding with how many hot flashes I have been having, then we are on track!


There are really crappy days dealing with infertility... but I'm trying to keep my spirits up and not let it consume me.

Again, I thank you all for being so kind and reaching out. I really really appreciate it. Love you all!










4.23.2013

heart aches.

This has been a hard post to publish.

But I suppose if I start talking about this to the universe, some healing or miracles will occur.


We are struggling with infertility.


And everything that comes with that word is much deeper and more painful than anyone knows who has never struggled with infertility.

I have told myself over and over that sometimes it takes a long time... and that's okay... and it will happen... and I haven't really let it get to me. But today I cried. I cried while eating my Lucky Charms at breakfast. This kind of disappointment every single month is confusing. You tell yourself to expect the worse so you aren't disappointed again, but you can't help feel the sting of a negative pregnancy test cut deeper and deeper in your broken heart.

Your life completely changes when infertility is on your mind every day...



It means:

Patting yourself on the back because you're starting prenatals before you're pregnant. Then realizing you've gone through an entire bottle before you're pregnant... then two bottles, then three... Then you think you should just give up taking them, but worry about not taking them because you could be pregnant.

Feeling silly worrying about twins after being told by the doctor you don't have any (none, zilch) follicles ready to mature into eggs... There you were worrying about two babies and now you don't even have a chance at one.

You start wondering if you should start adding ovulation and pregnancy tests into the monthly budget since you've had to purchase them again and again.

Start questioning the accuracy of the absence of that other pink line. Then actually thinking you might see the tiniest resemblance of a line... moving it back and forth and in different light for ten minutes... then finally admitting there is nothing there. Then thinking you're crazy because you're imagining lines.

Wondering if you shouldn't buy a new piece of clothing because you won't fit into it when you're pregnant.

Realizing you should probably pull out that preparing for pregnancy book again because it's been a year since you last read it.

Feeling bitter towards those already expectant moms who complain on Facebook about morning sickness, heartburn, swollen feet, etc.

Passing the due date you would've had if you got pregnant the first month of trying.

Knowing others who have gotten pregnant and had their baby after you started trying. And you wonder how many pregnant women you know now will have their babies before you ever get pregnant.

Wondering how in the heck any teenager accidentally gets pregnant.

Feeling like taking birth control for two years was a waste of time and money, because after actively trying you still can't get pregnant. What good was that doing?

Unemphatic doctors who tell you just to "be patient." Feeling like something is wrong, but having doctors who won't do anything about it.

Receiving "abnormal" tests results that make you feel all hope is lost and getting no explanation of what they mean.

Thinking how fun it would be if you had a baby the same time as this friend/sister and realizing it is a lot harder to time those things.

Watching dates/holidays race by when you thought you could be telling family you are expecting in a creative way.

Feeling the strain infertility has on a marriage. And feeling the pain of seeing disappointment again and again on your spouse's face.

Worrying the name you have picked out will be too trendy and then realizing those kids with your same name are now one/two years old.

Accidentally peeing on your hand... again.
Getting really good at peeing in a cup/on a stick.

Questioning every cramp, spout of nausea, sore throat, sore boob, fatigue...thinking this could "the month."

Realizing you will now be (insert age) if you get pregnant now... and that number just keeps climbing.

Worrying that you might be "one of those couples" who can never have kids. That the possibility of becoming pregnant is no longer a "when" but an "if." Something you've always talked/thought about growing up always being a "when" and now has the chance of never happening.

Laughing out loud at yourself for naively thinking you would be "one of those couples" who gets pregnant the first month.

Not thinking people's fake pregnancy announcements on April Fools are even remotely funny.

Having apps and calendars specifically concerning your cycle.

Joining forums to find some sort of relief or answers... Getting obsessed with the forums... Realizing it's too much for your sanity... Leaving forums.

Not knowing how honest to be when at a friend/family gathering and someone asks, "So when are you two going to have a baby?"

Thinking every time you eat a Caesar Salad, that it might be your last.

Realizing you're the statistic out of your group of friends.


...........................................................................................................................


I suppose some day that all of this will seem but a short moment in our lives, but right now it's long, hard and frankly, it sucks. It's painful and depressing and disappointing.


I'm ready for it to be over.












11.27.2012

emotion

I've been thinking a lot about emotion the last few days.





I had the opportunity to photograph the birth of one of my good friend's second girl last week.  This is the sixth birth I have photographed this year.  I remember being really unsure if I wanted to photograph births for a long time.  Having never experienced this myself, I thought it might scare me away from having my own kids.

Luckily, it has done the complete opposite.  The experiences I have had this year photographing births have become some of the most special moments of my career.  

I know I write a lot about my business, but it is a huge part of my life.  I feel incredibly lucky to be where I am today.  Taking a GIANT leap of faith and pursuing my business full-time was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.  Not only have I made a lot more money, I've met some of the most amazing people.  I feel so lucky to spend some of the happiest moments of someone's life with them.

There is no question that I love photographing weddings.  I love love.  Emotions on wedding days are high and happy.  There are special moments that happen and I feel so privileged to capture those emotions on camera.

But there is something extra special about photographing births.  I am strictly an observer in these moments.  No directing or posing occurs.  I have witnessed emotions I'm not even sure the parents of the baby remember expressing.  
And let me tell you, it is one beautiful thing.
  
What I have been so lucky to witness is when someone is so overcome with emotion, it almost comes bursting out of them.  That moment, when nothing is withheld, is so incredibly powerful.  It only lasts sometimes for a second, before our voice inside our head tells us to compose ourselves, but oh, it is beautiful.

I completely believe that these are the moments that define our life.

The dad in the series of photos above inspired my thoughts.  You can see in the first photo how he is smiling, cheering on his beautiful wife.  Seconds later, when the baby was born, his emotions had completely changed.  He started to sob and was so overcome with emotion at the sight of his beautiful baby girl that you could hear it in his voice.  

When I talk about births to other people, it is really hard to explain how I feel about them.  There is no question that I am crying my eyes out behind my camera every single time that baby is lifted up and placed on mom's tummy for the first time.  They are one of the most miraculous things I've ever witnessed.  I can't even explain in words how incredible they are.  

I am so grateful to the couples who have let me be a part of that experience with them.  

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Now here is my desperate plea... if you ever even considered for a second... even had a little "maybe I would like that" thought pop into your head, PLEASE hire a photographer for your birth.  I don't think anyone has ever regretted it.  I'm not even begging you to hire ME (although, I would love it if you did.)  You know how people say, "The happiest days of my life was the day I got married and the days my children were born."  
Yeah!!!  
You should have that documented!  

Oh it's so incredibly magical and wonderful and I don't even know how to express to you how important I think it is!  

Please, please, please.

Okay, I'm done.  :)




You can find my photography website here:

11.21.2012

Poland-Part 3

This is the final post of our trip.

Krakow was definitely the prettiest city we visited. Too bad this is when Mr. E. Coli was in full-swing.

We still managed to make it out for a few hours. And then we finished our trip up in Warsaw.

11.20.2012

Poland-Part 2

This post is dedicated to Auschwitz. It's hard to really say how I feel about this place. It has a very eery, solemn feeling. Most Poles have never been there.  It's too hard for them. Most of the people killed here were Poles.

While we were there, the light was so interesting.

After we left, I kept thinking about the people who lost their lives there and awful they were treated.

To describe it in one word... horror.