For as long as I can remember, when anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always say a Mom. Some people don't want kids at all, and thats perfectly fine, but I was never one of those people. I was always one of those people that knew I would have kids, I just knew I was meant to be a Mom one day.
After being married for a few years, Nate and I decided we were ready for kids! Little did we know, we were walking into a world that we were hardly ready for. After a year of struggling, we found out in September of 2016 that we were pregnant with our first baby. We were ecstatic to say the least. We couldn't wait to share the news, we were on cloud 9, nothing could go wrong, until it did. When I was 19 weeks pregnant we found out I was already 1 cm dilated and, long story short, we had our sweet little Kara when I was just 24 weeks pregnant on February 18, 2017. Weighing in at 1 pound, 6 ounces, our little girl was bound to the NICU for the long haul, or so we thought. Sadly, after 28 days of being on this earth, our first baby girl passed away. On March 18, 2017, we lost the most precious thing in our lives and we would never be the same. At the time I just remember thinking, 'how will we ever move on from this?' and "where do we go from here.'
I felt completely lost. I never ever imagined our lives would turn out this way. Losing a child is the worst pain in the entire world and we will never fully recover.
As months went by, I tired to bury myself in work, one of the few things that could make me happy at the time. Everyone kept saying that we will have more kids, but having more kids wasn't even on my radar, and that's when it happened. It happened when we least expected it, but absolutely needed it the most. At the end of May, we found out we were pregnant again. Shock, fear, and happiness were just a few of the emotions I was feeling the day we found out. I had no idea how I was going to get through the pregnancy, everything with Kara was so fresh, we just buried our daughter, how could I open up my heart to another child so quickly?
We officially went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy on June 6, 2017, which was Kara's due date. At that moment we knew this pregnancy was meant to be and Kara sent us this little baby to help heal our broken hearts. As time went on, we found out we were having another girl and our hearts were completely full. As the pregnancy went on, my anxiety lessened, but it never went completely went away. I was afraid to fully give my heart to this little girl for fear that I wouldn't have much time with her.
But on January 10, 2018, our lives were forever changed again when we met our second beautiful baby girl, miss McKenzie Grace. She is named after her big sister, Kara McKenzie, and she is truly our saving grace. I gave birth to McKenzie in the same room that we were in when we found out we had to deliver Kara. The exact same room. Just another sign from Kara that she sent us her little sister.
We miss Kara every single day, and every time I look at McKenzie I think of her. Some days are harder then others. Some days I feel completely guilty for being happy and other days I am completely in awe that we were blessed with another little miracle. The photo above is the only photo I have of my two girls together. I will cherish that photo for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, they will never meet here on Earth, but I hope that Kara met McKenzie before she sent her to us.
With all that being said, McKenzie's newborn session was extremely special to us. I had debated about taking the photos myself because I wasn't sure how I would feel after just giving birth. But I am so glad that I decided to take them instead of hiring someone. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved to hire another photographer, but my heart was telling me that this was a job for her Mommy. Nate and I are so in love with this little girl and I know she will get sick of all of the pictures I take of her, but I can't help it. I want to document every moment in this sweet girls life!
I promise, there won't be any more sappy posts for a while, or at least I hope not! I just feel compelled to tell my story to others because unfortunately, pregnancy/infant loss is more common then we all want to admit. If you or anyone you know has experienced a child in the NICU or a loss of any kind, please contact me. I know what you are going through and I am here to help. Although everyones story is a little different, knowing your not alone is half the battle. Also, I plan on gifting a free session to one NICU or rainbow baby family each month, so I would love to meet you and give you this precious gift.
Here are some more photos of our sweet little rainbow baby, something warm and cuddly for you to enjoy on this cold winter day! I hope you love them as much as I do!