a journey to baby & hope realized

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several weeks ago my client (& friend) who’s family session was only a few days away reached out to let me know her grandmother had passed away during the night. she’d need to cancel her family’s upcoming session ( which incidentally had been booked months in advance & already rescheduled once for a rain out). we had a rainy fall here in georgia & this caused several sessions to slide into late november/early december.   at the time she reached out i was pretty tightly booked but told her i would do the best i could to get them in later in december. ( we did. on a glorious balmy afternoon & the images are some of my favorite. i’ll share those soon.)

within a few hours i got another text that went something like this:

her. “i know this sounds crazy but i thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask. is there any chance you have something open in the next few days to photograph me & my husband?  we’re celebrating & want to share our news with friends through photos”

me. “i just had a cancellation sunday afternoon. can ya’ll make it it work?”

something so sweet & tender, bittersweet & a poignant reminder of the circle of life…the original client was driving to a celebration of life service & her session was replaced by a young couple who’ve walked the painful road of infertility, now celebrating the life growing within her womb.

we met at a tree farm out in the country. it was a gorgeous evening with a gorgeous sun setting over the pastures as i drove to meet them. i was listening to the tender lyrics from my favorite holiday cd and just couldn’t’ stop myself from being overwhelmed by the truth, Hallelujah, the lord has come…emmanuel ~our god is with us! in our celebration of new life, in our broken hearts as we say goodbye to loved ones. in our joy & in our grief. he is with us.

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you can you read more of sarah’s journey here, but for now i’ll share a little of her post:
“The story of this baby began on Easter Sunday. It marked the start of our in vitro journey. Thirteen days later, on Saturday, April 18, after two full weeks of injections, ultrasounds, and bloodwork, the teeny tiny egg that formed this baby was retrieved from my body. Five days after that, on April 24, I got a call from a nurse at RBA to let me know that this baby had grown into a beautiful five day old embryo (called a “blastocyst”). It was graded “A” based on appearance (tight cells) and after genetic testing showed no known chromosomal abnormalities.

Because we were doing IVF with a “freeze all” (to avoid hyperstimulation), it was June before we transferred our first embryo (also coming from this IVF cycle). Sadly, that transfer resulted in a tubal pregnancy (talked about here). We were in a season of grieving and waiting. Our hearts were sadden by another loss (I preciously suffered a miscarriage at sixteen weeks early in 2014 and a chemical pregnancy later that year). I was treated with methotrexate, a form of chemotherapy, two separate times for the ectopic pregnancy that meant we could not try to get pregnant again for at least three months.

With the first anniversary of our first baby’s due date, the due date of our second baby, and what we had hoped would be a healthy pregnancy with baby three all falling during this time, we looked for a way to honor and remember our little loves in heaven and found it in the Lancaster Garden of Hope in Pennsylvania. The garden was created as a place to remember precious lives lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, and early infant death with a memorial wall of plaques and those babies names. The focal point of the garden features a beautiful life size sculpture of Jesus, sitting beside a mother as He cradles her baby safely in His arms. We had a plaque made for our three and look forward to visiting the garden in a few months.

My prayer was a prayer for peace. For a peace that would pass all understanding. Peace for whatever would happen next on our journey. For peace when we tried to get pregnant again. For peace if we did get pregnant again.

I began to sense that peace all around me. I felt a peace about moving forward. I felt renewed. Excited. Hopeful. Following a consultation with Dr. Slayden, I began prepping my body for pregnancy with a protocol that included Lupron injections, Estrace, Crinone, Baby Asprin, Doxycycline, Medrol, and Folate.

On October 8 we transfered our precious itty bitty one. Much like our first transfer, I count it as one of the greatest days of my life. It was magical when they displayed our embryo’s photo on the television screen. Happy tears! Love at first sight! Adornment! The embryologist came in to talk with us and Dr. Robert Straub, who was on call this day, transferred the embryo to my uterus via a catheter, which we were able to watch on the ultrasound machine. An incredible experience.

…At 10 weeks, 3 days pregnant, God still surrounds me with His peace. And I have been able to celebrate joyfully this pregnancy. I’m human, and there have been moments, times occasionally, when I’ve allowed my wondering heart to stray with worry about things that have happened in the past happening again. But those thoughts have NOT consumed me. And through prayer, spending time being still in His presence, clinging to scripture, and encouraging words from family and friends, I’ve been able to focus on Him. His peace. And this sweet, sweet gift He has given us.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,

so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

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December 17, 2015 - 11:42 am

Emily - This made me tear up! Beautiful photos + words. I love this time of year … thankful for true Hope.

December 17, 2015 - 1:38 pm

chrissi - what a session. the photos. the story. the sweet couple♥ love it all!

December 17, 2015 - 6:14 pm

Lisa - Paige, This is just beautiful!

December 17, 2015 - 6:24 pm

Lisa Mothersead - You have a very special way of capturing true love. Beautiful.

December 17, 2015 - 10:41 pm

Lisa - You two are totally adorable! Congratulations!

December 18, 2015 - 11:52 am

natalie cooper - oh, paige! she is positively GLOWING. what beautiful pictures. love.