The random drawing winner was #54
Who was Jen Rhodes!!
The second winner was chosen for having the best reason for wanting a session and the winner was Tami. It took me awhile to post this because I wanted to ask permission to share her story. I have cried several times reading this and trying to put it here on the blog, so please take a moment to read an incredible story!
We had twins in June of 2008, a boy and a girl Audrey and Avery. A couple of hours later, the nurse rushed in and said, “we need to get Momma in the NICU right away.” I was nervous and felt like I couldn’t get there fast enough.When they rolled me into the NICU the doctor proceeded to tell me that their hearts both stopped at the same time. She went on to say things, but I just didn’t understand what she was saying. I looked at Adam and he said, “Our baby girl is gone.” I was in complete shock. After much persuasion, the nurse convinced me to hold her, I didn’t want to hold her out of fear, I didn’t want to face reality. I still wanted her hooked up to those machines, because that meant she was still alive. But they unhooked her and wrapped her up in a blanket and put her in my arms. It was so hard. My body was going into physical shock (septic shock) due to the massive amount of blood lost during surgery, and my heart, and mind were in shock and not able to comprehend the magnitude of loss I just experienced. We sat there, crying, and staring at her. She was so beautiful and perfect, I couldn’t understand how she couldn’t be alive. My wheelchair was parked in the middle of my twins, and to my right was our sweet boy, Avery. As we looked into Audrey’s face, heartbroken, we would look up and see Avery’s tiny body, fighting for life. They worked on him for another hour and half. The doctor explained that there wasn’t anything left for them to do and asked what we wanted them to do. I looked at her and said that I know what she was saying, but I couldn’t tell her to stop trying. How can you tell someone to stop trying to do everything they can to save your child? Just minutes later, he was gone. We never thought about taking pictures of them, we weren’t ready or had planned to have them on that day and so we didn’t have a camera with us.
I never knew leaving would be so difficult. There were no babies in my arms and no carseats to fill. We had their funeral the day after our 8th anniversary and then we were faced with a new life and learned how strong we were and how good God is. God has been our rock. Adam is such a strong man of God and really helped me get through it. We never gave up hope. In fact, we didn’t have a middle name for Audrey and during the time I was in my room after they were born, I starting thinking about her middle name. Immediately, I felt like I heard the name Hope being spoken. It was so clear that this was to be her middle name, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of that before! But little did we know that “Hope” would be what would bring us through the most difficult time of our lives, and keep us living. If it weren’t for hope we wouldn’t have had the strength to keep trying. We tried IVF again in Jan 09 and June 09 with no success. We tried again in October and are finally pleased to be pregnant…with triplets and we are due on our 10th anniversary!!
Because we didn’t have the opportunity to take professional pictures with Audrey and Avery, it is even more important and on the forefront of our minds with the delivery of our triplets. We want to make sure that we capture their first few weeks here with us with special portraits and capture their smallest of features. We can’t go back and get close up shots of our twins tiny feet or hands, but we can with our triplets and don’t want to miss this opportunity to celebrate their lives through photographs.
I think after reading Tami’s story, you can clearly see why I felt she and her husband Adam deserved to receive the session. But it gets better… I had an option on the contest to get an extra entry for posting about the contest on their facebook or blog, and Tami posted a link on her facebook page. What happened next made me cry again. Several of Tami’s friends and family registered to win a session and instead of asking for themselves they each asked that if they won to please give the session to Tami, because she, if anyone deserved photographs of her babies when they arrive… And I”M CRYING AGAIN!
Tami and Adam are expecting their triplets this summer, and I am so excited to be a part of capturing this families memories. I will ask you, whether you are a friend, client, or just stopping by this blog, PLEASE say a prayer for Adam and Tami and these three tiny babies they are expecting. Lift them up in your prayers and deliver them safely into the arms of their Mommy and Daddy.
Thank you Tami for sharing your story, and I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me to be able to give you this session.