I hope you can forgive my typos because I’m tying this through tears…please don’t judge.
If you have been following me for awhile you know that my husband and I endured infertility for 7 years before we became a completed family. Our daughter was adopted and then our son was our miracle baby. During those years, we experienced 2 miscarriages (that we know of) and months and months of disappointment and pain. Infertility and loss is something that unless you experience, you truly cannot know this terrible aching pain. It’s like someone takes your heart, pulls it out, stretches it, steps on it, punctures it and places it back with scares and holes that can never be erased or sealed. It’s a pain that never leaves you. You will always wonder about the “what if’s” and the ache will always be there for the baby that you were never able to hold. Here’s a little peek into the statistics of miscarriages, stillbirths and infant loss. It’s staggering. (these statistics were taken from www.hopexchange.com)
- There are about 4.4 million confirmed pregnancies in the U.S. every year
- 900,000 to 1 million of those end in pregnancy losses EVERY year.
- More than 500,000 pregnancies each year end in miscarriage (occurring during the first 20 weeks
- Approximately 26,000 end in stillbirth (considered stillbirth after 20 weeks)
- Approximately 19,000 end in infant death during the first month.
- Approximately 39,000 end in infant death during the first year.
- Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; some estimates are as high as 1 in 3. If you include loss that occurs before a positive pregnancy test, some estimate that 40% of all conceptions result in loss.
- Approximately 75% of all miscarriages occur in the first trimester.
- An estimated 80% of all miscarriages are single miscarriages. The vast majority of women suffering one miscarriage can expect to have a normal pregnancy next time.
- An estimated 19% of the adult population has experienced the death of a child (this includes miscarriages through adult-aged children).
Almost 6 years ago, one of my very best friends from college experienced the loss of a child. She experienced the pain of childbirth but sweet Grant was born sleeping. I went through this pain with her and I have watch her continue to suffer and while it’s coming up on 6 years now, the pain is still real for their family. They also experienced a miscarriage a few years later and now have 2 angel babies. But, good has come of their pain and they have now started a ministry in Grant’s honor to minister to other families who experience loss. God has also given them a beautiful little girl through adoption. So yes, the pain of the loss is real but there is life after losses.
Over the years of photographing families, I have been made more aware of stories like this. I think sometimes we chose to live in a little perfect bubble but families experience loss everyday. It’s real, it happens and there are stories to tell.
I’ve said from the beginning of my career that I wanted to find a way to use my business to give back and make a difference. I’ve been searching and this morning God made it crystal clear. My ministry will be called “Life after Losses.” I will travel and shoot at least one family a month and share their story. You see, many of the stories do end in happiness. Either God blesses them with their own biological child or God grows their family through adoption. There are happy endings and though the pain is hard and never truly leaves us, joy does come in the morning. My hope is that these stories will help those who are struggling through the journey and give them peace and comfort.
I will be looking for special families to document on this journey and be apart of this story. This is real to me. I have experienced and I have been there. If I can help someone see that good can come from this trying time in their life it will be worth it for me. I would like to start this project in Jan of 2016. Right now my plans are to gift these families with a session but my future goals would be to publish a book sharing their stories, and a non-profit to help with adoption and medical expenses. God puts us all on this earth for a purpose and I’ve always felt strongly that HE gave me the large following and platform for a reason. I feel that this is my reason.
Please feel free to contact me and share your story. My heart is so full today and I’m so glad that my searching is over and I can use my business to help others.
Until next time,