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infant loss

Hold onto Hope Love: A Story of Paying it Forward

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Hold onto Hope Love: A Story of Paying it Forward

A FAILED ENDEAVOR:
A few months ago I set out to build a community of birth photographers, with the hope of us having a safe place to decompress and talk after traumatic births. I had hoped for a community that could hold us all to higher professional standards, which would ultimately protect our job security, our clients, and the hospitals we're blessed to work at. I had hoped for a community without competition (I know I know, what a lofty goal right?!) But I did have that kind of community when I shot weddings. We all understood there was enough business for everyone. And even more so with birth. Babies are born EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I hoped for a community that celebrated and strived for INDIVIDUALITY. A community where we were hired because of our UNIQUE ability to be ourselves. I hoped for a community thriving with a genuine love to see each other succeed. A hope to build and better our businesses together through mutual respect for what we each had to offer. Nonetheless, I digress. Such a community wasn't possible. Or at least on the scale I was hoping for. And admittedly for the last week I've sat here on the other side of all of this with an ache in my heart. But today, I'm removing that hurt. I refuse to let these failings change my heart to want to help and love others, to want to build them up, or see them succeed.

MY PRAISE IN MY HURT:
But here's the joy. Here's my praise. Here's a silver lining. God has been moving in so many lives because of this "failed endeavor".  Even though my heart has been heavy with hurt. Even though I've asked God "why" more than a few times these last few weeks. He's shown me so much love and encouragement in unexpected places. Old friendships grew deeper, and new friendships blossomed. The Lord pruned my community... It may not look like what I had set out to build, but my community and my heart are right where they need to be. Without this failure, without this trial, I wouldn't have these new rich and rewarding relationships and beautiful souls in my life. And I wouldn't change that for the world!

©Lysa Terkeurst

©Lysa Terkeurst

PAYING IT FORWARD, THE BIGGEST BLESSING OF THIS WHOLE MESS:
(Side note - Trying to tell this story anonymously is a challenge!)
A few months ago I was contacted by a woman who wanted to gift my services to her best friend. Her friends' journey to becoming parents was one of the longest and most difficult trials to becoming pregnant that I had ever heard in all my years of doing this. My heart was overjoyed to be able to capture this miracle for them. Their birth went off without a hitch. I posted a couple of photos on my page, and another woman commented. She had expressed her desire and remorse for not hiring a birth photographer earlier. I knew this woman. I knew her story. I knew her loss. She, nearly a year ago to the week, unexpectedly lost her baby at 36 weeks. Immediately I sent her a private message to see what I could do. Unfortunately I wasn't available for her induction date. But immediately I knew someone that might be able to. That photographer is Amy Hess. After speaking with Amy and finding out she was available, I got her and this mom in touch with each other. This is where it gets even better. I was contacted by my previous client, the one with the epic birth journey that had just been gifted their session. Well she saw this mother's comment on her photo. They also knew her story of loss and they wanted to repay the joy that was blessed to them with having their birth photographed, and offered to pay for this momma's birth photos. So I also put them in touch with Amy and they are now using her for their newborn photos! Two families have now been blessed with the gift of birth photography, by two different birth photographers in this town, with no other agenda but to LOVE these families. THAT is a silver lining if there ever was one. THAT is the community I hoped for all this time. The ebb and flow of love and generosity, to best serve families in our area!

Thank you Jesus for reminding me to look for the blessings in the seemingly messy days of our lives. Thank you Jesus for genuine friendships, new and old. Thank you for a "community" of people that want to work together to serve YOU, and your wonderful promises. Thank you for these storms Lord, so we can draw near to you, and see beauty in unexpected circumstances.

And thank you Amy Hess Photography for giving of your Saturday with you family to be there for this family and their Rainbow Baby. Thank you for your friendship and thank you for understanding and continually honoring this community!

 

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Birth Photography |Columbus, GA | Ker-Fox Photography | Jackson

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Birth Photography |Columbus, GA | Ker-Fox Photography | Jackson

I had the honor and the privilege of driving a wee bit out of town to shoot this sweet birth. Not only an honor to be there for my friend Lindsey but also an honor to be the first birth photographer at their hospital AND allowed into the Operating Room at that! I've shot many c-sections here in Columbus, but it's always rewarding and encouraging to see birth photographing making strides in surrounding areas as well. My precious c-section mommas benefit immensely from the gift of birth photography, seeing what is often missed while they are in recovery. And those expressions from their families through the viewing window, well they are priceless I am over the moon excited for these two, as they became a family of 4. It had been a rocky year for them, between a miscarriage and her mother's cancer diagnosis and subsequent fight... the year ended with this miracle. AND the blessing of her mother showing no evidence of cancer at the moment! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Their faith and transparency has been a testimony to all who know them. I can't thank them enough for living their love for the Lord out loud for us to all see!

Music Licensed through MusicBed.com and SongFreedom.comNEEDTOBREATHE - MultipliedYou Are Mine - Spencer Combs & Holley Maher

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Birth Photography | Columbus, GA | Ker-Fox Photography | A Miracle Named Quinley

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Birth Photography | Columbus, GA | Ker-Fox Photography | A Miracle Named Quinley

Every baby, every time, is truly a miracle. When you think about all the variables that come together to create a human, the timing, the science of cell division, implantation, genetic coding making them uniquely individual. Every. Single. Time. It blows my mind. Then comes along a baby that encompasses all those things just mentioned, and then takes it to another level. Her momma fought for years to fall pregnant. She battled chronic endometriosis, 2 invasive surgeries, one of which left her with one ovary, and threatened hysterectomy. I remember talking to her on the phone and her saying she didn't know if she would wake up with her ovaries and her uterus. I truly cannot imagine the pain she has endured. Not only physically, but emotionally. The desire for us as women to want to be a mother is unlike any other, whether biologically or through adoption, we long to nurture another human being with unconditional love. I know in my heart, as only a mother can, how much her body, her heart, her womb, ached to have a baby. Through her journey and her testimony I have gained a friend, a hero, and an inspiring mother who shows me daily how to love and live in a moment. I also want to sing her husband's praises. It's not just the woman who walks the path of endometriosis and fertility strife. Her precious husband has walked by her side, holding her up, loving her through her pain, and being her strength and best friend. During their maternity session, labor and delivery, and newborn sessions, this guy gushed over his bride and their daughter. He was one of the most hands on, affectionate husband/father I've had the pleasure of knowing. Kevin I am equally blessed by your friendship as well.

Together you guys remind me what marriage and parenting is all about. It's about selflessly loving one another, honoring one another, in sickness and in health, for better or worse. Thank you for living your vows out loud!

Here is Lindsey's testimony in her own words. Do yourself a favor and read it. You will understand the magnitude of the life of this little girl: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

It has been a very emotional,spiritual, and physical roller coaster. I knew I had stage 4 endometriosis, and as I got older, it got a lot worse. I could control it with birth control for years, but until we started trying on our own…it grew fast and ugly. We realized after a year of trying, and my pain only getting worse now throughout the month as well, something was wrong. It was attacking all my major organs, and muscles. I have had two major abdominal surgeries to remove it, and it continued to grow fast like kudzu in my body. We would aggressively try and get me pregnant immediately after surgery, and nothing worked. Most every drug and shot we tried on the market. I didn't care if it jeopardized my health, or risks of triplets, we wanted a family. I wanted to be a mom. My husband and I are two loving people, and we wanted so badly children of our own. We couldn't wrap our head around why God hasn't made us parents thus far. It was very discouraging, because we would feel hopeful after each surgery. No matter the odds, we knew God was in control. He is the ultimate doctor and healer, and we continued to trust in him and his timing in the good times and bad. After my first surgery, I had a miscarriage. It was bittersweet…I was devastated because I lost my child only two weeks after we found out, but then again I was hopeful I could get pregnant in the future. It was the first time I've ever seen the plus sign on a pregnancy test. After my second surgery exactly a year later, I felt great. We went forward with aggressive fertility treatment, and IUI's, and it all failed. I just knew every phone call from the doctors office with my pregnancy results were negative, and they were. I would cry every time the fertility office number would pop up. We were told by three doctors our only chance of getting pregnant was thru Invitro Fertilization(IVF), and with that expensive option, it wasn't even 100% guaranteed. We didn't care at that point. We signed up for it three months in advance. They do it in quarters. In the meantime while waiting for our round to start, I finally reached my mental and physical threshold. Sweating and thinking this couldn't work after they money we invested, could be super devastating. I told my husband to take me away on a trip to Nashville, and lets enjoy these next few months, and not think one time about having a baby before we started IVF. We have never prayed so hard in our entire life for Gods will to be done, and never truly relaxed. Sure enough, against all odds,before starting IVF medications, I found out I was pregnant the end of October. That was the best news for the both of us!

Honestly for so long I felt I never had a cool testimony as a believer. I didn't do drugs or was a recovering addict, I never felt mine was powerful in highschool. I doubted my salvation because when I got saved and baptized I just wanted to dedicate my life to Christ. It was a decision I made and I kept praying God would strengthen my testimony so I could help other people. because I felt mine just wasn't inspiring. Low and behold that's when my sickness got amped up a notch and my testimony is my sickness. What we went through with infertility, and my faith being tested, I pray it inspires believers to maintain hope in this lost world. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

For More information on booking your birth click HERE.

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Birth Photography | Columbus, GA | Ker-Fox Photography | Insley

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Birth Photography | Columbus, GA | Ker-Fox Photography | Insley

I've had the pleasure of knowing this client/friend since we were teenagers. Watching her labor and become a mom, I couldn't help but to flash back to conversations over lunch in the high school cafeteria, or going out for nights on the town to celebrate our 21st birthdays. Yet, there I sat, watching the most important moments of her life, with tears streaming down my face as I watched hands down, one of the most intense labors I've ever attended. She had a room full of support... cheerleaders loving her through each contraction. I told her then, and I've told her several times since, that I was SO very proud of her. I don't think I had the words to convey to her, nor do I think she realized in that moment the magnitude of what she fought through (of course she does now), but I was in awe of her:  her strength, her determination, and her beauty in becoming a mother. Insley was a little early, but with each day she was here before her due date, was one more day to love her! She is perfect and I am over the moon happy for you and Matt!

For information on booking your birth click HERE.

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