Carter and Landon

This is a personal post – but it explains a little bit of the reasons why I love photography!  Thanks for letting me share!

Eleven years ago, on August 13, 2002 – my husband Jared and I were expecting our first baby.  Much to our surprise, during an ultrasound at 16 weeks we discovered we were expecting TWINS!  We were shocked and giddy for about two hours until the radiologist I worked for expressed his concern that our babies may have a condition called twin-to-twin-transfusion syndrome.  We were sent immediately the next day to a specialist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati (We lived in Northern Kentucky at the time).  The doctor confirmed what we had feared – TTTS.  At that time, without treatment, 90% of pregnancies with TTTS lost at least one, if not both babies.  Our prognosis was pretty grim.

We were asked if we wanted to terminate the pregnancy and “start over” or terminate one of the babies to possibly save the other – heartbreaking and still high risk.  My husband and I are both extremely pro-life.  We wanted to try and do everything we could for our children.  We were already in love.  That day, another ultrasound revealed we were having identical twin boys.  We decided to name them Carter and Landon.  We went through a month of hospital  stays and many procedures to try and save our babies.  On September 11, 2002 I went into labor and it could not be stopped.  I lay in my hospital bed watching news coverage of the first anniversary of  September 11th and realized I was not alone in suffering and pain.  It was just a part of living in a world of sin, pain and death.  The gospel and my need for a savior had never been more real to me although I was so deep in my grief, it took me several months to accept and thank God for taking my children to heaven – a safe place – a place where he was way more of a parent than I could ever be on this earth!   My boys were born at 2:12 and 2:24 a.m. on September 12.  Our babies lived for a little over four hours and then went home to be with our Savior in heaven.  Our faith, family and our church sustained us during that time.

My labor and delivery nurses took pictures with a digital camera.  I treasure those pictures, but the quality is very poor.  Those pictures are the only pictures I have of my sons.  I also have only two pictures where I am “showing” during my pregnancy and one is from my hospital bed, hooked up to an IV and the other I am in the background of a family picnic, but you can see my little baby belly.    We buried our boys at our church in Kentucky, but I know that is not where they really are – they are in heaven.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is an organization that provides professional photography services to families who are experiencing the loss of an infant or child.  I would love to one day train to be able to serve families going through similar situations.   The Tiny Sparrow Foundation also donates photography services to children with a serious illness.  I know it sounds cliche, but sometimes photographs and memories are all we have left on this side of eternity.

Three years later we would move to Georgia, anxious for a fresh start with our 8-month-old baby girl, Haley, leaving friends and sad memories behind us in Kentucky.

Since our twins, God has BLESSED us with four healthy, loud, rambunctious, and beautiful children.  I was told I may never be able to carry a baby to term.  They are my miracles!  I am also thankful for my marriage.  Statistically, many marriages do not survive something like this, and we will celebrate 14 years in October!  We also found out who our few true friends were – those that stuck with us when things were hard and “uncomfortable” and when we were not a lot of fun to be around.  They grieved with us and stuck it out with us and we are forever thankful.  I still think about my boys every day – even after 11 years -they are very much still a part of me.  My four children know about their “big brothers” in heaven. Here is an ultrasound pictures from 11 years ago.  It is the only one I have with both babies in the same frame.  I treasure it!