Sheena is the sixth in our series of Rainbow Baby Maternity Photography Sessions. We’ll be sharing her heartbreaking history with infant loss and how she became a rainbow mommy. If you missed the first post with all of the Rainbow Mommies, you can catch it here.
Our Rainbow is due June 22 and is a little boy who we are naming Jayce Waylon.
My fiance and I had been together for a little over 7 years when we decided that we wanted to let mother nature take control of when we would have a baby. We had no clue that things would happen has fast as they did. It was the weekend of my fiance’s birthday and I had been feeling kind of weird, very emotional, dizzy and kind of sick to my stomach. I had not missed a period yet (was due for it the next day), but I just had a weird feeling, so I decided to take a test just to see. I wanted to make sure I didn’t misread the test so I bought a digital test. This should have been my first clue something wasn’t going to end up quite right. I took the first test and instead of a clear yes or no, I received a “?.” I was so confused; what did this mean? How should I feel? I didn’t know if I should tell my fiance or not with it being his birthday weekend and all, but I was just an emotional mess so I told him and we decided to take a few more tests.
To continue the emotional roller coaster over the next couple of days I took two tests everyday and one test would say yes and another would say no. Finally, about 3 days later we were getting all “yes’s.” We were so excited and shocked that we were going to have a baby. We decided to tell our families and they were so surprised and excited for us! We made our first doctor appointment, which to my surprise was going to be so many weeks away. Over the next week and a half I was still an emotional mess, dizzy and more tired then I have ever been in my life. I just figured these were all normal pregnancy symptoms. My fiance and I had not had sex since finding out and had finally decided that everything would be fine; pregnant women have sex all the time. I had some bleeding right after, which freaked me out so bad! It wasn’t a lot and I spent a lot of time researching online; I found out this was a pretty normal thing and that I was just freaking out over nothing. I had some slight bleeding for the next few days (again freaked me out, but I read was pretty normal). My fiance told me that I should just call my doctor and see what they say, so that’s what I did.
They told me to come in for some blood work just to check my levels. When I returned home from the doctor, that’s when it happened. I went to the bathroom and passed a large amount of blood, I called my fiance to come home from work right away. I called the doctors office immediately and they told me that it sounded like I was having a miscarriage, but that they could not confirm until the blood work came back. And if in fact that was what was happening that there was really nothing that could be done unless I was losing a large amount of blood. My fiance and I had never felt so alone in our lives; why couldn’t the doctors office give us more answers? How were we suppose to know if in fact this was a miscarriage? All we could do was wait and let my body do what it was going to do. The rest of the day was spent passing large masses that I just knew was our baby. It was the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life. The doctor office confirmed the next day that yes in fact my hormone levels had dropped and I was having a miscarriage. All I could do was cry and wonder why my body had failed me, why my body had failed my fiance.
I want other families to know they are not alone. I feel like a lot of people think that when there is loss that it is the fault of the parents somehow, which is completely wrong. I wanted to bring to light also just how much this also affects the fathers because they try so hard to be strong for us, they try to understand what we are going through, but it’s just so hard for them. My fiancé was my rock through everything and I could see the pain and confusion in his eyes, but he held it in to take care of me.
After our loss I felt like my body had failed me and that it was always going to fail me, that I would lose the love of my life because of it. I replayed that day in my head over and over again. I replayed every moment leading up to us finding out to see what I had done wrong. This daily pain didn’t go away until we became pregnant again, and since being pregnant there is not a day that goes by that I don’t fear my body failing me again.
“Oh, I’m so sorry” is the most common response I receive when someone learns of my loss. Honestly, there is no right or wrong response. It’s painful, it sucks, I still to this day have not had someone respond to me and felt like it was a good response. I feel bad for them because I know they mean well and they feel bad and I don’t want them feeling that way.
If I could give any advice to other moms that have suffered the loss of a baby, it would be to believe in your body and know that having a baby after a loss is possible. It’s OK to be pissed off, it’s OK to be sad and it’s OK to feel completely numb to everything around you. All of these feelings will pass. Grow from this experience if you can.
I personally want to thank Sheena and her willingness to open her heart and share it so freely with me, and now every single one of you. Our hope in sharing her story is to raise awareness about infant loss, miscarriage and still birth. Throughout this series you will read other heartbreaking stories as this, but the focus is on the strength these women have, their beauty and hopefulness for a bright future with their rainbow babies. I pray that each of these pregnancies results in happy and healthy babies!
I would love nothing more than for this concept to catch on in other cities and states with photographers to bless rainbow mommas! Not only does it create a sense of community, but it gives back with you sharing your talents with your fellow community members. So, if you take me up on my challenge, please hashtag #RainbowBabyMaternityEvent so I can follow your adventures, too!
If you’re looking for a Mount Washington KY Rainbow Baby Maternity Photographer, please get in touch via the contact form or send an email to Hello@jlritt.com. You can also book online here.
More about the photographer:
Jennifer Rittenberry Photography is an award winning photographer based out of Mount Washington Kentucky. She has been photographing clients throughout the greater Louisville area since 2010 and recently acquired a brick and mortar studio space in the heart of downtown Mount Washington. Jennifer is passionate about her work and strives to achieve the highest level of excellence in her work, which has earned her a Click PRO status with Clickin Moms Magazine and elite membership with NAPCP. She is also a published artist in Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy Magazine and Newborn Photographer Magazine, as well as named 2016 Parent’s Choice Award winner for her fine art portraiture. In 2013, she focused her client base to Newborn and Maternity as she created a niche for herself after mentoring with three of the nation’s leading photographers in these industries. She has spent countless hours on continuing her education and sharpening her skills each year with the sole purpose of creating beautiful artwork for her clients to share with their families and preserve as precious heirlooms for generations to come. Located in Central Kentucky, her new studio is only 6 minutes from the Gene Snyder Freeway off the Bardstown exit, and only 3 minutes outside of Louisville. Jennifer Rittenberry Photography session fees can be found on the website but detailed pricing and availability may be requested by email using the contact form.
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We have MOVED! New studio opens on May 1, 2017 and will be located at 1200 North Bardstown Road – Suite E, Mount Washington, KY 40047. Get in touch at (502) 523-2180!