Raleigh Family Photographer | Dorothea Dix Park | Humpal Family Baby Announcement

Hello there friends!

So, this past week has been a little slow and it's given me some time to catch up. Some of the things I realized (besides the fact that I am HORRIBLE at laundry and can't clean a kitchen to save my life) is that:

  1. These cold, winter months have made me miss photographing families SOOOO MUCH!!!
  2. I haven't updated the photos on my website since JUNE... June, peoples!!! UGH!
  3. I need more at-home lifestyle sessions because they are my JAM, for reals!

And most importantly...

       4. My blog hasn't had any family sessions on it in for-ev-er. This is just not acceptable.

The solution... and there is a definitive solution... I'm going to share with you TODAY one of the best feel-good stories ever. Because it's Friday and we all need a positive story in our lives!


The Humpal Family

A family of four stands in a field at sunset in Wake Forest, North Carolina to get their family picture taken by Rose Trail Images.

I met the Humpal Family back a ways and did their family photographs back in October? November? They are gorgeous, both the family AND the pics, and no, I can't attach a blog post about it because as stated earlier, I haven't written a family blog post in forever. This picture here will have to suffice.

Little be known to us, Mary was actually PREGNANT during our shoot! Which... is a big deal. HUGE DEAL. Such a big deal in fact, that Mary wrote her own story about their families' struggles, which I've included here.

This story may resonate with a lot of you. It involves both heartaches and triumphant joys. This is the best way I know how to start back into blogging my family sessions, with a story that can resonate with SOOOOOO many of you! Please read her story and send them lots of love and prayers!!!


In Mary's Words...

... where do I even begin

As most all of you know, becoming parents was a long and at times heartbreaking journey for Brandon and I. That journey started years ago for us and has been quite a ride...

After finding out that I had literally everything wrong reproductively that a woman could have, including half a uterus, we knew it was going to be something we had to have some medical assistance with. With years of trying, or “not preventing” and no success we made an apt with a Fertility Clinic here in Raleigh that I love and started the journey, our first IUI (artificial insemination) we had success, we were pregnant!! Everything was going smoothly until that 18 week appointment when we found out some scary news, I also had what’s called an incompetent cervix and it was dangerously thin. Measured at 7mm for any of you in the medical field or Moms who follow these things, I was immediately admitted into the hospital and after 3 days I went home with what’s called a rescue Cerclage, a stitch that is placed in my cervix to keep from dilating and hope to get to a healthy point in pregnancy and keep our son Wyatt, in my belly where he needed to be. I came home on strict bed rest and was hoping and praying for the best. After some complications a few weeks later, I ended up in labor and it could not be stopped. I delivered our sweet boy just under 23 weeks and after a very short hour in this world he became our sweet angel in heaven... 12/02/2011.

Our journey didn’t stop here, when I was medically cleared and had mentally healed as best I could and healthy, we were ready to try again. After 9 more IUI’s and 3 IVF’s without a successful pregnancy and miscarriages along the way we felt like we were near the end of the road. I had tried everything I could, gotten as healthy as possible, exercise, did the “Fertility Diet”, acupuncture, I’d tried it all.... but nothing was successful for us.

That day I had gotten the terrible news that the 3rd IVF did not work I called my best friend Tara to talk on the way home. After telling her that they didn’t recommend me trying again and had talked about me finding a gestational carrier to carry our children for us, we had 8 frozen embryos... but that I just didn’t know what we were going to do she spoke up, “I’ll do it” she said.... What? Did I just hear that correctly? She and her wonderful husband had already talked about it and had come to the decision that if it got to this point, they would be honored to help us become parents again, after talking it through amongst the 4 of us... we started off on a whole new journey!

Then the medical evaluations started, lab testing for all of us since we’d be spreading DNA, physiological evaluations, legal appointments, etc... after we got the “All is clear” Tara had 2 of our embryos transferred into her uterus knowing a chance of twins or more was possible if those embryos split. October 25th the transfer was done and on November 20th it was confirmed, she was pregnant with TWINS!
The summer of that next year Tara delivered 2 beautiful children, Addison and Cody, our life had changed forever! 6/26/2014

With the twins now 3 years old, and 6 embryos still frozen I had mentioned to Brandon many times, what are our plans, what should we do? We decided to talk to specialist at Duke this past August about me doing another IVF with our frozen embryos before closing the door on more children. I’m not stressed anymore, they know about my cervix now and I could feel better knowing we tried once more before releasing our embryos and if it didn’t work for us then that was fine, I was so blessed to have my 2 beautiful babies and I could officially close that chapter. We did not get the response I was expecting.... due to my history, it was not really recommended for me to try and get pregnant. That was a hard pill to swallow only because previously we had a “plan” if I was to get pregnant again and I was expecting that same plan. After a few weeks we came to terms with it and had closed that door on another child and we’re moving forward in life with the 2 miracles we had and setting goals and making plans.

We decided in October to release our remaining frozen embryos and we then had a HUGE garage sale to sell all of our baby stuff and anything Cody and Addison had outgrown.

Well let me just tell you that miracle’s DO happen and God has a plan and it’s his plan, not yours and it’s on his timeline. We found out by surprise at the end of November that I was PREGNANT, me... on our own! The woman who was told she would never conceive naturally and went through all those years of pain and heartache was PREGNANT! I was blown away, didn’t even know how to tell Brandon. Was this really happening? How was this possible?

We have had many appointments, ultrasounds, lab work, etc and it’s REAL! We have another miracle that will be joining our family! As a high risk patient at Duke, I’m definitely getting good medical treatment and spoiled by the ultrasounds at each visit but we’ve got some big milestones ahead of us and hoping and praying for a healthy pregnancy and baby! I’ve already had a procedure done at Duke University Hospital and I had another cerclage placed in my cervix, this time early on in pregnancy which should bring a much better result.

We are due on 7/16/2018... hoping to make it to July but the end of June is a big goal too! The twins found out after Christmas and they are so excited! They tell everyone Mama has a baby in her belly. Sharing the news with them has been wonderful and melts my heart when they talk about “our” baby.

So... Sorry for the long story, but I write you this because as a woman who has a unicornuate uterus, PCOS, 1 Fallopian tube, Endometriosis, poor egg quality and an incompetent cervix, who has been on quite the journey... miracles do happen when the time is right and I hope to give at least one other woman that hope!

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers and I’m excited to share our new journey with you!

BONUS: We’re NOT finding out the sex, Brandon thinks I can’t do it... I’ll prove him wrong! 

Dad giving his three year old son a hug as they get ready for family photos in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dad giving his three year old son a kiss as they get ready for family photos at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Three year old twin siblings talking to each other before their family pictures in Raleigh, North Carolina.
This family has a very special pregnancy announcement during their family pictures in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Twin three year old siblings hold onto a blue balloon in Raleigh during their family photos, the blue balloon representing their brother who passed away as a baby.
Twin three year old siblings look up at and hold a blue balloon during their family photos, the blue balloon representing their brother who passed away as a baby.
"We love you baby Wyatt" the three year old twins say as they hold onto the blue balloon, brought in his memory.

"We love you baby Wyatt" the three year old twins say as they hold onto the blue balloon, brought in his memory.

Twin three year old siblings fight over who gets to hold onto a blue balloon during their family photos, the blue balloon representing their brother who passed away as a baby.
A blue balloon in the air in Raleigh, representing a brother who passed away as a baby.
The three year old girl gets held by Mommy, while they point to the sky during their family session in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The three year old boy points to the sky during his family photo session in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The three year old girl and her Mommy point to the sky during their family session in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The family stares and points to the sky during their family photo session at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, North Carolina.