There it was, the positive test, and saying I was ecstatic is an understatement.  That immediate reaction is always a heart racing excitement and positive attitude and dreams of a baby in my arms, but a positive pregnancy test after multiple losses is mixed with so much fear.  No matter how many people tell you to relax, it is better for the baby, it becomes nearly impossible and the suggestions and support from those that don’t understand can be hard to listen to, even if they come from the best of places.  I found leaning that on one or two people who had experienced such pain was comforting.

The first few weeks crawled by, like waiting for paint to dry or water to boil.  Because of my past, and more than that because I have incredibly good friends that happen to be fertility doctors, I was watched closely and given progesterone and lovanox and constant appointments to track my progress.  This time I did get pregnant the old fashion way (IVF and I just don’t mix but I had seemed to be able to get pregnant on my own, just not hold it… until now) but I was treated by the fertility doctors for my first trimester anyway and I am beyond thankful for that.  The extra appointments gave me the peace of mind I needed to get through the weeks of waiting.

This pregnancy I closed myself off early, in a way I hadn’t before.  I had always turned to my art for comfort and support when things were tough, it gave me the release I needed, but somehow this time was different.  I can’t explain it, and retrospectively I can’t understand it, but I needed to just shut down and move forward step by step and I am ok with that.

The fine line of telling people and not can be difficult, especially when you have many dear friends.  I am so fortunate to have such incredible friends near and far that care so much about me and I didn’t want any of them to feel upset I hadn’t said anything but once you say it then you have to keep people up to date with what is going on and it becomes overwhelming.  Waiting seemed like the best option yet slowly but surely over the course of those first few weeks I told my good friends.  When someone I am friends with, yet not close, asked me around 7 weeks if I was pregnant I was so upset that my reaction still embarrasses me to think about.  But the truth is when you have had a loss, or three, you just don’t know what is going to happen and you think about it over and over and over.  Everything seems so stressful in the moment and certainly that moment was one of the worst, but like everything else I had great friends that calmed me down and made me see it wasn’t so bad.

Each ultrasound was a victory… seeing the heart beat, the growth, the arms and legs moving around.  The whole things felt so surreal.  Most people say that by the third they are less stressed or worried about the pregnancy because they are tending to their children, they forget what week they are, or even that they are pregnant.  Maybe there will be a time later in my pregnancy that I will say that, I’m not sure, but for now I don’t think about much else.

I know this is going to be my last pregnancy, and I want so desperately to enjoy it, I actually really love being pregnant.  So step by step, day by day, week by week I am getting there.  Each victory makes it easier to relax a bit more and now, as the first semester has come to an end, and my stomach has grown enough to be a permanent reminder that baby is in there and growing strong!

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childhood unplugged

Cool, happy and unplugged in nature is a nice change from hot and begging to be inside in the air conditioning with the ipad.  We took the gondola up the mountain, and the chairlift just a bit higher to get all the way to the top where the wind blowed in, well my hair at least.  The boys found sticks and threw rocks, big ones that should have actually stayed put, but they were out and exploring so I’m not complaining.

They ran to the rock wall and did it over and over, it took Giac a couple of tries but he finally hit the top, a BIG accomplishment and one he had never previously done so I am sure we will hear about it for another few days at least.  He’s actually feeling so confident he asked to go back to the big rock climbing place in Miami that overwhelmed him when we were there last.  Steps onward and upward, that’s for sure!

Living a childhood unplugged comes easily in the mountains where being outside is where everyone wants to be.  It is beautiful here and cool, did I mention cool?!

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Take a moment to view the work of the other Childhood Unplugged photographers by clicking here.  Also you can follow us on Instagram @childhoodunplugged and use our hashtag #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured!  We all thank you for your constant support and encourage you to be part of the childhood unplugged movement!

 

a 52 week photo project

a portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, for the 10th year of our marriage

A man and his dog.  Rufus waits for him to walk in the door every day, and follows him around once he has.  The second he sits down Rufus curls up for the scratches and love he knows he is going to get.  But as much as Rufus loves his papa, my man loves his Rufus… they are so good for each other, makes me happy to see.

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a portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, for the 10th year of our marriage

Today we celebrated Father’s Day.  This man is an incredible papa, a role he took on with fear but faced head on and so much better than he gives himself credit for.  Our boys adore him, light up when he walks in the door and hang on his every word.  Massi says he can’t wait til he is old enough to be a papa too (he better wait a long long while!) because he wants to be just like his papa.  If that doesn’t say something I don’t know what does.

a portrait a week a portrait a weeka portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, for the 10th year of our marriage

As we walk the foreign landscape of the Icelandic countryside and I look at my husband, camera in hand, I realize – he doesn’t let me photograph him much. Here celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary, because we made it 10 long years (yay!) and it is something to celebrate.  People always say that marriage is tough and you have ups and downs, hills and valleys, but as a newly wed you are just so excited you found the one you don’t want to think about the tough stuff ahead.  There had been down moments already, and for me at least, I thought “there is nothing I can’t handle.”  The truth is that along the way there were things I didn’t think I could handle, things that got damn tough.  But looking back on it all, knowing what I know now, it was all worth it.  Because he is worth it.  And you know what, I am way stronger than I thought I was, and I am proud of that.

He has always supported my photography, encouraged me and loved what I’ve done… as long as he is not the man in front of the camera.  But some how, with less begging that I imagined before I asked, he has agreed to allow me to photograph him once a week, every week, for the 10th year of our marriage.  My very first 52 week project..

 

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Summer means later nights playing games, running around outside and anything else that keeps them busy and begging to not go to bed! First trip of the summer (to Texas to see grandparents) check! Looking forward to what is to come….

As summer begins mamma is playing too.  I haven’t traditionally been a black + white person but I intentionally took these shots with the idea of using Michelle Gardella’s Stormy Waters presets!  She makes it so easy, and I love the results!

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Take a moment to view the work of the other Childhood Unplugged photographers by clicking here.  Also you can follow us on Instagram @childhoodunplugged and use our hashtag #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured!  We all thank you for your constant support and encourage you to be part of the childhood unplugged movement!

childhood unplugged

As summer approaches we spend more and more time in the backyard, and cooling down in the pool is essential in the Florida sun.  From games like sharks + minnows or marco/polo to driving down to get the most lacrosse balls from the bottom of the pool, the boys entertain each other for hours in the pool and I couldn’t be more grateful.  I am so happy that they have each other and that they play so well together.  Of course there is the occasional tiff here and there but overall there are more shrieks of joy and fun than anything else.

One of their favorite pool time activities are full on dance contests with music blaring… Massi is master of the robot while Giac is more into interpretive dance based on the lyrics and if he knows the song well he pretty much acts the whole thing out.  Looking forward to much for backyard fun as we roll into summer!

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Take a moment to view the work of the other Childhood Unplugged photographers by clicking here.  Also you can follow us on Instagram @childhoodunplugged and use our hashtag #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured!  We all thank you for your constant support and encourage you to be part of the childhood unplugged movement!