Today I’m sharing something a little different with you, but I think it’s oh so special and so important. And I’m beyond grateful that Kristi and Phil invited me in and let me create these images. You see, Kristi is one of my dear friends, and, unfortunately, a fellow sister in the heartache of struggling to grow her family. I’ve been blessed to get to know her even better over the past year or so through our support group and my heart was so elated when she shared with us last December that she was shocked to get her first positive pregnancy test! We were all so thrilled and sent up prayers for a happy, healthy pregnancy.
If we lived in a perfect world, today I would be sharing maternity photos with you… sadly, that is not the case. Kristi and Phil were devastated to learn that Kristi had an ectopic pregnancy. For those who are lucky enough to not to know what an ectopic pregnancy is, this is basically when an egg becomes fertilized and implants in the fallopian tube instead of uterine lining. It’s really dangerous because it can result in a ruptured tube, which can be fatal to the mother due to internal bleeding. And it’s also really devastating because it means the loss of the baby.
Kristi and Phil had their little one with them for only a very short time. But their little one was loved beyond words and the loss of their child has been crushing. This is a little discussed heartache – the mourning of not only losing your child, but mourning the loss of all the mile markers in your pregnancy and all the moments of life he/she should have had. It’s a kind of grief that never fully goes away as time and again you’ll experience moments or things that will trigger that loss all over again.
Kristi and Phil gave me the immense honor of capturing some portraits for them to commemorate their baby, Charlie. Because he was real. He had life in Kristi’s womb. And because they are parents who love their child deeply and painfully, even though their picture of parenthood does not look the way they wanted or hoped at all. I am so in awe of these two, and love them and their strength through this heartache so much.
I have to thank them too for being brave enough to let me do this session and to allow me to share Charlie’s story. I want you to know that yes – there are smiles here, but there are also tears. And I think that’s so important to note because so often we just focus on the happy moments and we don’t acknowledge the difficult or sad ones. This is Phil, Kristi, and Charlie’s story – full of hope, fears, and tears, but the greatest of all is love.
Here’s a peek at Kristi and Phil’s session for baby Charlie.