These babies are miracles. 4 and a half years in the making. Clients will often open up to me through the months I get to know them. Some are funny stories of how they found out they were pregnant and others are about the struggles to get pregnant. Rachel and Justin are letting me share the cliff notes of their struggle. When I asked Rachel if I could share her story, she said, "I have always prayed that out of our "struggle" I would be able to help someone else, maybe telling the story would help give someone else hope!". Rachel and Justin, high school sweethearts, married many years, tried for two years to get pregnant. Then finally they got the news they had been praying for, they were pregnant! But like so many times (and often never spoken of), they miscarried at 12 weeks. One thing I pray my readers and mommas know is that miscarriage is so much more common than most people know. You are not alone. And another thing, that baby was here on this earth, you were a momma, if even briefly. Give yourself time to grieve that loss. Rachel and Justin tried for another year to no avail, when she was finally diagnosed with endometriosis. She underwent surgery to try and correct complications, but was told In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was their best bet at becoming pregnant. At the end of their IVF journey Rachel and Justin had 3 embryos, 2 of which were implanted resulting in these precious miracles. Shortly afterwards they found out that the 3rd embryo did not sustain... So for now, precious Carter and sweet Mason have made their world's complete. So when you watch this video, and you see these expressions. Understand, this is what 4 and half years of hopeful, joyous anticipation look like. This is also what God showing up looks like... moving mountains. And faith, endearing faith in the face of adversity.
I am so incredibly thankful I was able to shoot this birth. This was my last job before going on maternity leave myself, unsure if I could handle the physical strain... she was 35 weeks and I was 34 weeks. I ended up having my own son one day after her would be due date.
Rachel's water broke, and her scheduled c-section date went out the window! I had to rush to the hospital, as she was having regular contractions. In triage she was told she was already at 5 cm, Baby A was head down, but Baby A was transverse/breech, making a c-section necessary. What makes her birth story unique, was although it was a scheduled c-section, with her going into labor I was able to get some beautifully intense labor shots. And as crazy as it sounds, I think she was happy to know "what labor felt like".
Rachel was wonderfully supported the whole time by her husband and family. Both of the babies arrived safely thanks to the ever amazing and supremely dedicated Dr. Stephens. He also happens to be the first hands to ever touch my babies, as he welcomed both of my kiddos into this world. I adore the doctor he is and the level of care he gives his patients. It's inspiring.
Ok, back to the delivery details. Baby A was rocking along nicely, but Baby B needed a little help and went to the Special Care Unit for some oxygen for a few hours. Unfortunately they wouldn't let me in, so I got the settings squared away and handed daddy my camera. Thankfully he was able to snag a couple while in there to at least tell that small portion of his story.
Rachel has a sister, her expressions will make your heart burst at the seams. It's seeing their relationship that makes me wish I had a sister (don't worry Josh, a sister in addition to the awesome brother I have). It's also their relationship that made me daydream about these precious boys, and how close they will be as they grow up.
And the song, uh, the song... Hold Us Together by Matt Maher. Listen to the lyrics as you watch the images. This was Rachel and Justin's anthem through their journey with infertility, up to the joyous arrival of their perfect boys.
"Love will hold us together Make us a shelter to weather the storm And I'll be my brother's keeper So the whole world would know that we're not alone
This is the first day of the rest of your life This is the first day of the rest of your life 'Cause even in the dark you can still see the light It's gonna be alright, it's gonna be alright"
In the weeks following their birth, I've watched these two amazing people mould into phenomenal parents... wearing it so well, so naturally. Being parents to twins, is no walk in the park. But knowing what it took to get these boys, even the days/nights in the trenches, I'm sure, have glimmers of radiant joy for the craziness and love they have brought to their lives.
A special thanks to the nurses and doctors that allow me into their space. I am always grateful for the opportunity, but even more so when I am allowed to share the operating room, and with premie twins no less! I may have a "cool job", but I wouldn't have it without the trust and relationships built with the medical professionals in our area. I'm eternally grateful I get to do this job I love!
For more information on hiring me for your delivery, click HERE.
Song 2: Matt Maher - Hold Us Together