When I sat down to write this post I struggled with how I can explain what happened, without feeling sorry for our selves or without needing pity for our grief, or without the tone of complaint, or showing gratitude without sounding fake. How do I express a situation in our life that is so personal? This is hard. It is not fair. But it's life. Erin and I have been together 13 years, married for 3. I'm 32 and he is 33. So, naturally we want to start a family. But, when? Do we just keep booking weddings and go for it, timing it so we have a baby in the off-season. Or perhaps it's due a month that we have only one wedding and only have to return one deposit and not four? Will even writing this post loose us potential business? Timing "it" was our struggle, until now. Now that we have lost two pregnancies in a row, now that I have felt the sweetness of motherhood twice, only to have it taken away so soon. All for reasons unknown. All because of bad luck. It now becomes a conflict of our livelihood versus our life? But you can't have one without the other. Can you? When do we put ourselves first before others? Can we just book all the weddings we want, and hope to get pregnant again. Let fate dictate the time and not the calendar? Just let luck take over our future so we don't have to email any brides: the good for us, but to bad for you, your SOL, here's your deposit back- news. That means lost work for us. Livelihood: zero. That means giggly baby for us. Life: one. Sure they would have about 6 months to find a photographer, but we'd feel bad, but good, but bad. Not to mention the work turned down because the wedding date you inquired about is the month I'm due. But then it could happen all over, "Oh wait I miscarried again, so if you haven't found a photographer yet we are now available, sad and miserable, but never the less, available." That is one awkward email, not to mention the response we'd get back, "so sorry for your loss but gaining from it would be uncomfortable for me." Touché. Again, lost work. And again, lost baby.
So here is where apparently the underlying tone seems to commence as complaining.
When you choose to be part of the wedding industry you are also choosing to sacrifice parts of your life knowingly up to a year in advance. So much can happen in a year. Usually it's nothing big, some family BBQ’s, or best friend’s summer parties, concerts, outdoor movies, things that you're bummed for missing but all for a good reason. It's our job, it's work, and it pays mean old Sallie Mae. Also there is the big part where we capture beautiful memories for an amazing couple on one of the biggest days in their life. However, there are things we didn't think about when we started this business, things you don't want to think about. Things like loss, and everything that accompanies it. The time to grieve with out feeling stressed because now your five weeks behind in editing seven weddings, with more piling on. The time needed to sleep and cry without client meetings in between, where you have to put on a big smile. Or the time to realize and be thankful that you still were given cherished moments with the little runts, even though they only disappointed you and cost you thousands of dollars. (That is a complaint) Maybe this has turned to the feeling sorry for us stage. Whatever. This is the part where grief takes over, hope disappears for a while but gratefulness overcomes. Sort of. You still feel like shit.
I'm in bliss with Erin. He has lost too, but his comforting strength has been my rock. His T-shirts stained with my mascara, his hugs bearlike in love and tightness. He kept the fridge stocked with ice cream and my tummy full of pizza. His commitment to keeping laughter going throughout these last four weeks of unknown doctor appointments and blood tests, to my D&C on Tuesday, has solidified his role as best friend and perfect husband. Seriously laughter is medicine, even if it turns into uncontrollable sobbing. Why, because it always turns back into laughter. Especially if you happen to see yourself in a mirror while you're crying and realize how hideous you look. A tear steaming down your face makes for a nice picture. But a snotty, double chinned, scrunchy, red faced mess- not a nice still frame. I digress. Gratefulness. The everyday phone call from my parents, my mom’s chicken soup I eat as I write this, and loving texts from all my family. I am grateful.
To make us feel even more vulnerable, we have had to email all our clients our bad news, as an excuse you could say for why we have been lacking. Along with a please don't hold it against, and we love you, and here's a sneak peek of your photos, and we are wallowing in filth and sadness on our bed as your beautiful wedding photos lay dormant in a comma like state on our computer, we will finish soon. Apologies, apologies, apologies.... Everyone’s response was an amazing likeness of understanding, of heartache for us, of "take your time", of "we don't give a shit how long you take, your rest is more important", and of just honest love. This is why I write this post. Not for anyone’s sorrow of our loss(es). Not for any comments of "it happens for a reason" or "third times a charm" (please don't say that one I might just reach through the screen and strangle you). But to say thank you in front of the world to our dear clients for their love and support. The kindness, and patience they are giving us right now during these hard weeks has really kept us going and the stress levels down. Having to tell socially taboo secrets of miscarriage to them, when we hadn't even told most of our friends what was going on. To getting nothing but genuine thoughts and understanding, has been worth all the "sacrifices" we made, to not only capture their wedding day, but to gain remarkable friendships and to know that the world, our world, is filled with caring and wonderful people.
Nothing fake about that.
As a woman we have been told to hide our pregnancy until the first trimester is over because then it's "safe". God forbid you tell anyone you miscarried. We all know one out of four women miscarry, so why can't we just tell the world we are pregnant and just be happy rather keeping this very exciting news a secret. So what if you might have to tell them later that you are the "one". Instead, cherish every moment with the babe. From the zygote stage, to weird alien looking stage, to, oh boy, it's now the size of a pea with webbed fingers and a tail. Enjoy talking about your pregnancy even if you have to then tell everyone that you lost it, or God took it back, or it's just not your time yet, or whatever you believe that makes the sadness go away. Know that anyone you would tell that you're pregnant too will be just as supportive when you tell them you've miscarried as they would be happy for you when you tell them you saw the heartbeat for the first time. That is something I'm dying to experience, the heartbeat.
Love , Courtney