I decided to join in the #bucketsofhope project with Cassie Clayshulte Photography - Bluffton & Hilton Head Newborn Photographer. Did you know that April 21, 2019 to April 27, 2019 is infertility awareness week? 12% of U.S. couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Infertility does not discriminate against race, religion, or socioeconomic class; it’s an issue that affects one in every eight women. I know I need two hands to count friends and clients that have struggled with infertility, myself included.
Many of us newborn photographers use various buckets to pose our sweet, squishy newborn clients. These empty buckets symbolize not only the empty feeling that comes with infertility, but also the hope that so many women have to one day fill their bucket with their own sweet miracle.
I can tell you I was completely shocked when I found out that I had fertility issues because it was something I never thought of before. We didn’t seem to have any issues when it came to our firstborn, but learning I had some unexplainable infertility issue was the reason why it was taking so long to conceive our second child was a hard pill to swallow.
First of all, let me tell you it was beyond terrifying to get a phone call from my doctor asking if I could come in right now because he needed to talk to me. NO ONE ever wants to get a call like that from their doctor. Then the feelings of complete inadequacy that you get when you find out that the reason you have yet to conceive is because your body is no longer functioning like it should is one of the hardest things I have ever heard. My heart shattered when the doctor told me, because for my whole life I wanted nothing more than to be a mom to a team of children. Finding out that my dream may never happen was completely and utterly devastating. I, of course, was beyond grateful for our perfectly healthy and happy little man that we already had, but I wanted more. I wanted a house full of kids; at least 3 but ideally 5!
After our first meeting with our fertility specialist, we soon began our journey for another baby. This meant blood draws, sometimes three days a week, multiple internal ultrasounds, lots of medication, and don’t forget the shots. I did the best I could with the mood swings that came with all of the medication you have to be on when trying to force your body to do something it gave up on. I was not going to give up. My husband and I jumped into this with two feet and we were going to do anything necessary to have another baby.
I am beyond grateful and beyond thankful to say that our prayers were answered. The process worked and we were able to become pregnant again. Now let me tell you though, just because we became pregnant doesn’t mean it got any easier because then you become terrified of losing this precious little life that you’ve put your heart and soul into making. After months of nausea, bloodwork every five days for three months, a car accident that threatened preterm labor, we welcomed our sweet, sassy, and fierce little Olivia into this world.
Even though we were able to conceive our second little bundle with help, because of continued fertility issues we will always be a family of four. I never got the chance to fill all my buckets, but I filled two and I am going to love them and cherish them all the days of my life. My word of hope to those who may be going through similar situations is DON’T give up. Though it may seem impossible and completely heartbreaking, I have met so many amazing little miracle babies. Your bucket will fill one day. Maybe it won’t be in the way you originally thought, but it will be filled.
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