Every Spring….

Every fall I find myself feeling the same way I did when I started chemo.  That nauseous feeling….just that general uneasiness that came with putting poison in your body.  Without fail….every fall…..I’ll have that feeling for a bit.  The same thing happens in the spring….but for a very different reason.  Every May I would find out I’m pregnant…..and morning sickness would come with it.  I have 3 beautiful daughters….so looking back it wasn’t so bad, but my 3 miracle daughters didn’t come easily….and the journey was also filled with heartbreak.  And it’s crazy….that I can actually show the timeline of my pregnancy journey with pictures from when I would go to relay for life.

I was given the go ahead to try for a family after my 5 year mark.  I wasn’t sure how it would go, there were no guarantees…..but we would try!  I had gone in to menopause during treatment, but seemed to come back to normal when it was done.

The first time I found out I was pregnant…..I can’t even describe the excitement we felt!  Like all our dreams were coming true and cancer hadn’t done anything to me!  We were beyond thrilled and even put together special ways to announce it to our families.  We were making plans, going over names, dreaming of the future.  It was just perfect.  But I should have known…..life had already shown me what happens when you think everything is perfect and nothing can go wrong.

I was extremely happy to tell my oncologist’s office….this was their victory too.  This was a big deal, and they were also so happy!  When I attended the Relay for Life that year…not only did I get to celebrate with all those people from the office, but hear my oncologist speak! He’s a brilliant man and he even made a little comment about me….of course didn’t mention my name….but it meant a lot.  The pic below is the moment I realized he was talking about me.

 

Sadly……that day…..I miscarried.  It was ironic that it happened that day…..and it was beyond devastating.  I figured I’d done something wrong….no matter what the books said…..I was sure I did this.  Why would something like that happen after all we had gone through?  It was so extremely unfair and heartbreaking.  I don’t know what our families did with the items we gave them to announce our good news….but thankfully I’ve never seen them again.  We actually tried again really soon, got pregnant, and miscarried again that same year.  Then I took time off.  It was so hard to prepare my heart for the possibility of losing another baby.

So we waited.  Until the year our first child would have been born.  Like I said….we never had any trouble getting pregnant.  It was keeping the pregnancy.  We found out that my progesterone was not staying high enough during the first trimester.  So they put me on a supplement.  A magic pill that “kept me pregnant”.  That’s how it felt, and let me tell you…..that is the only pill I’ve ever taken regularly and not missed a day.  It was hard to stop when they told me I was safe…..and I took them until they ran out.

So my third pregnancy….I was so scared to go to Relay.  It’s funny how you associate things or circumstances with what you have gone through.  The irrational part of my brain was sure that Relay was causing me to miscarry…..I KNOW THAT IS CRAZY!  But….you know how it is.  So yes….I was terrified and actually went to the bathroom every five seconds (it felt like) to make sure all was well.  This is us that year……along with my amazing oncologist and his also amazing wife…..the medical team that saved me and cheered me on!

 

And in February 2008 we welcomed our miracle baby to the world.  It was a journey that was so difficult, heartbreaking, devastating, and overwhelming.  I know that we are extremely blessed to have the outcome we did….not everyone is as fortunate.  img_2035

Getting to bring her to Relay the year she was born felt like a huge victory! Like laughing in the face of evil cancer……like….here she is.  We did it.  You didn’t steal this from me.  That survivor lap was the happiest one I’d taken since my first.

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We were blessed with 2 more daughters along the way, and even though our last was never part of our Relay life, (as we stopped attending), it was special to be able to bring our girls to the event and celebrate the entire journey and the way life has turned out.  I didn’t know if I would survive cancer.  I didn’t know if we could have kids.  I didn’t know if we would be able to have our own kids.

Everything we have gone through has shown us just how precious life is.  How blessed we are.  Every single day with these dorky crazy mini versions of us is just pure happiness!  We just celebrated Mother’s Day…..and admittedly I had to stop and cry when I typed that.  I’m so extremely blessed to be a mom….my girls are the most amazing and beautiful thing that I’ve ever had a part in creating…..and even though my journey to becoming a mom as so hard…..I can look back and say it was so worth it.

 

Katie 🙂

Getting Back to What I Love

Almost 2 years ago I started a whole new adventure.  I left my job of 13 years and started working with Komen Michigan…..my dream of helping other people affected by breast cancer.  That job took up so much of my time, I had to put my other love on hold….taking pictures.  Photography has always been my outlet…..my escape.  I love waiting for, and capturing the perfect shot.  I love exploring and sharing beautiful images with other people.  I’ve always loved it and found it to be a way to handle life without drinking 😉

I tried so hard to keep up on family and wedding photography while spending all my nights and weekends traveling around the state like a mad woman.  I finally had to make the choice to put it all on hold for a bit…..possibly a while.  When I left Komen last year to be home more with my kids I figured I could step back in to it.  Crippling migraines and reality made me realize that time was still an issue, and I just couldn’t justify the time away or the time spent editing quite yet.

My jump back in has been very small.  I’ve had some very loyal people keep asking….but my confidence has been lacking.  My first major “job” was with the ever amazing Taylor Winnell…..her mom and I are great friends, and Taylor is going to be a famous country singer some day.  I’ve taken tons of pictures of her, even for her cd release a while ago.  I couldn’t resist getting back with her and the feeling I got was just what I needed.  She is beautiful and we get along so great…..it was amazing having that again!

This past weekend I had the AMAZING opportunity to take the wedding photos of my sister Amber.  Now…..Amber is my sister by heart…..but I love her to death and it was such an honor to be asked.  Amber is one of those people who is genuinely the nicest person you will ever meet.  She has a heart of gold and has become a huge part of our family.  My daughters love her, and they were asked to be flower girls 🙂  She moved to Utah for a job a while ago, so this is where she got married.  I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it was, and getting the chance to take wedding photos there? Yes…..I felt like a kid in a candy store!

It was the push I needed….I felt so comfortable behind the lens again.  I will never put myself up there with the photographers I admire……but no matter what….this is what I LOVE to do.  Good or bad….it’s where my heart it.  This is also the reason for the “lens” in Rosy LENS Life 😉  A little pink, a little photo, and a lot about loving life.

Also…..a huge congratulations to the amazing Ben and Amber Toomer. They are beautiful together and I’m so excited to see what they do in life together!

 

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Katie 🙂