Having conceived our babies through Assisted Reproductive Technologies – IVF, our parenthood journey didn’t come easily or happen overnight. At times we felt alone and disheartened, but our journey also brought strength, resiliency, and connection. While growing our family over the last 4 years, we experienced both challenges and rewards, but the journey has always been our own and we can’t (and wouldn’t) change anything because we were meant to have these exact little boys grace and brighten our world.
Our fertility journey was no walk in the park, but now that we are on the other side of it we look back and say it was all worth the chance of having a family. Although financially, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually difficult, we waded on. With consultation, we did everything we could to create a positive environment for the best chances of conception, but also knew the outcome was out of our control. Regardless of the outcome, we went into IVF knowing that it’s science, there are no guarantees, and that we would try one round.
Our one round of IVF in 2019 resulted in two embryos. After 16 eggs were retrieved, 9 of the eggs were mature and inseminated through ICSI, four of which fertilized, and two made it to the 5-day blastocyst. We were left with two embabies. TWO. Regardless if the transfers of our embabies resulted in a positive pregnancy or not, our IVF journey allowed my husband and I to create life and be parents to our 5-day old embabies.
We transferred one of the embryos fresh following retrieval, which resulted in a positive beta and the birth of our first son in 2019. The second embryo was frozen and later transferred, which resulted in our second pregnancy. We were shocked and blessed to find out that both of our embryos implanted and resulted in positive pregnancies knowing that our odds were 50/50.
In saying all this, I’m emotional knowing that this will likely be my last pregnancy. Our Assisted Reproductive Technologies journey is over. We are beyond happy with the outcome of our IVF journey and also wonder how we got so lucky. Our journey will forever be a part of us and will shape us into the parents we are for our two boys. Infertility doesn’t just go away overnight at the birth of a child. The memories of what we went through and the scars we received will always live with us. Our journey made us who are today. We are womb warriors. We are 1 in 6.
I share our fertility story and where we started as a prelude to introducing our pregnancy photos for baby number two, as they are more than just pictures. It’s a time capsule of sorts and these images are extremely sentimental to us, as they represent an end to a beginning. Without knowing our path, Courtney Peveril of Courtney Peveril Photography captured the true essence, luminance, and sentiment of our stormy seas on camera.
I initially stumbled upon Courtney’s photography services through Instagram and was not only captured by the beauty of her photos which is easy to see, but also drawn to her as she too shared her calling for more and going after her dream. Outside of her photographer business, Courtney is a mother of two and works in a field compassionately serving individuals and families. I couldn’t think of a better person to connect with to document our journey.
Courtney prides herself in capturing life’s happiest and most authentic moments. Her lifestyle photography sessions are unscripted, natural, and on-location – whether it be within one’s home or in our case at our favourite place: the beach. Having met Courtney in person for the first time at Rainbow Haven Beach Provincial Park during our family session, she allowed us to instantly feel relaxed as if we had met in another life. Our son was immediately drawn to her disposition, which allowed us to freely explore the beach in our element as a family of soon to be four. Courtney engaged us in a way to connect, light up, and celebrate the magic in our ordinary. She was genuinely interested in us as a family, asked questions, and suggested different areas of the beach to explore with our son. We talked and comfortably shared stories, which encouraged a natural ‘flow’ and ‘calmness’ for the most beautiful pictures to be snapped in real time.
These pictures for baby popsicle couldn’t better represent our feelings toward this pregnancy and our growing family – complete awe and wonder. Although this pregnancy itself was tough, it doesn’t change the feelings we have toward our last embaby growing and developing inside of me. The anticipation and excitement to meet the baby and introduce him to our first. The thankfulness to have the opportunity to be parents to two beautiful boys. We will cherish the round belly, every last flutter, kick, movement, and sensation as a reminder of where we began and where we are. This is our happily every after. Click click.