Becoming a Mama - Part 1

Dear friends,

I’m well aware that many folks will think it’s odd that I would document such a personal journey on our business website. As we’ve said time and time again – this business is nothing if not personal. While this blog is an outlet to share our work, client testimonials, educational content and event industry information, it is also an outlet for us to allow our industry colleagues, partners, friends and clients to get to know us. I know this series will resonate with many of you in  one way or another and I'm excited to share this story. 

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

For years I watched from the sidelines as my friends had their first, second and sometimes third (or more!) babies. I have always loved little kiddos but I just wasn’t ready to have my own. Until… I just was. When I was ready, nothing happened easily. Long story short, a few weeks before our scheduled/referred appointment to the fertility specialist, I saw two lines on the pregnancy test. We were overjoyed!

I canceled the fertility appointment and immediately called my OB’s office to schedule an 8 week visit. I’ll never forget that day because I had an all day workshop planning session with Betsy and our photographer friend, Perry. I was dying to tell them my news but couldn’t possibly do so before telling my own husband. I waited patiently (read: not patiently at all!!!) all day until he came home and we could celebrate together.

The next nine months of our lives were an absolute whirlwind in more ways than either of us could ever have imagined. I am sharing this personal story because I know there are other women like me who are entering this phase of their lives, or perhaps trying and struggling to enter it. Reading personal stories on blogs helped give me comfort in the many times I felt scared, alone, or discouraged throughout my pregnancy and my hope is that this will do the same.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share the details of my journey to becoming a mama, but before I start at the beginning…I have some incredibly unexpected life-changing news to share.

As many of you know, at the start of November we announced that our genetic screening test revealed that our daughter (hooray! It’s a girl!) would be born with Trisomy 21, which is more commonly known as Down syndrome. The news hit us like a freight train. I’ll share much more about this in the coming posts, but suffice it to say, this news was unexpected and significant. While it felt traumatic at the time, over the months we grew to know and love the special needs community and learned so much about the beauty of Down syndrome. Yes, I mean that with all of my heart… the beauty. We prayed for our daughter to grow strong and healthy in the womb. We prayed that she would be spared the scary health conditions that children with Down syndrome often face (such as congenital heart defects, a heightened risk of Leukemia, and serious gastrointestinal issues to name a few). Mostly we prayed that we would be the best parents she could have, and we prayed for comfort, wisdom and acceptance.  I don’t think that either my husband or I ever once prayed that she would be born without Down syndrome, though I know that many others did pray for that miracle.

Piper Rose was born on April 18th and we are overwhelmed to share that she was born without Down syndrome.

Photo taken by the hospital photographer - 48 hours after she was born! 

Photo taken by the hospital photographer - 48 hours after she was born! 


This news hit us with the same force of the freight train we felt back in November.  We felt intense joy, confusion, and loss – all at once. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe and it has taken us two weeks before we could even figure out how to share the news with people. As our emotions start to settle, we are sure of one thing: God is so good to us. We’ll never know what happened. Were we just one of the (very rare!) cases of a false positive result in the world of pre-natal screening tests?  Did the lab process the results incorrectly and give us someone else’s results? Or was this a miracle?

I want to be crystal clear in saying something very important. We were ready to welcome, love and embrace our daughter with Down syndrome. Letting go of those expectations has been just as hard for us as learning to accept them back in November. We are not rejoicing because she is typical or because she doesn’t have Trisomy 21… we rejoice because she’s here, she is healthy, and she was born exactly as she was always meant to be. We rejoice because she was fearfully and wonderfully made. This journey strengthened our marriage, our hearts, and our sensitivities to say the least… and that alone is a gift. We are grateful for every single part of it. 

I look forward to sharing more on Wednesdays and Fridays over the next couple weeks and hope you’ll continue reading along. 



Continue reading Part 2