Category Archives: maternity

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.


Sheena Writes:

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!

Photographer Challenge!
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:

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer, newborn session, maternity photos, baby pictures

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.

You are welcome to connect with Jennifer Rittenberry Photography by following my work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER so you can be the first to know about any upcoming portrait specials, mini session events, and other news!

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!

Sheena is the fifth 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. This story really ripped me apart, wrenched my guts and makes me cry every time I read it. I don’t know if I’m so affected because I’ve been following Sheena’s facebook page and read how she openly shares her heart about her loss, or the way she writes that brings you into her pain. I feel like I’m down in the trenches with her. But you’re getting fair warning. Proceed with caution AND Kleenex…


Sheena Writes:

I’m currently pregnant with a little boy, whom we’ve named Jaxon. Which means God has been gracious and shown favor. We are expecting to bring him home mid August.

I found out I was pregnant in December of 2015. Had a wonderful, trouble free pregnancy. I was one of those crazy ones who truly enjoyed pregnancy… blissfully unaware that things could go terribly wrong. We’ve been almost conditioned to believe that once you get through the 1st trimester you’re in the safe zone. She was due September 8th. On September 20th we had a non stress test to make sure everything was ok and that it was safe to still wait for her to come on her own. She passed with flying colors so we went home to wait. The very next day I went into labor and all was well until her heart rate plummeted, and then stopped. After delivering her they ran all kinds of tests… healthy babies don’t just die right? Evidently wrong. They tested me for everything, checked her and the cord and the placenta. All were healthy, no clots, no infections. No answers. Coming home from the hospital empty-handed was so difficult. Our house had never seemed more silent. We had expected our whole life to change, but things stayed eerily the same. We knew immediately that we wanted to have another child, prayerfully one that we could bring home. As scary as it seemed to possibly go through loss again, the desire to grow our family outweighed the fear. We found out I was pregnant again on December 5th. I sat on the bathroom floor and cried. Almost paralyzed by fear. You’re never really ready, but we just trusted that God’s timing would be better than us trying to figure out emotionally when we could handle it. His due date is August 15th. Making them Irish twins.

I saw Jennifer’s heart through her words. I want to support anyone who loves God and who wants to bring awareness to pregnancy loss. It’s been such a roller coaster of emotions and death is such a taboo subject, especially when it involves unborn babies. It’s uncomfortable and people don’t know what to say. But as mamas we want to talk about our children. We want them to be known and loved and remembered. If I can, in some small way, pave the road for kinder more thoughtful interactions for future mom’s… then it’s worth it to be a little uncomfortable sharing my raw pain.

I think that most people believe that a subsequent pregnancy ‘fixes you’ or is in some way a replacement. Shortly after Gracelyn died a man made a careless, casual, ‘helpful’ comment to, in his mind, encourage me, “Don’t worry, you are young. You can have another.” You can have another… as if she were a sweet treat to be indulged. A spilled bowl of ice cream. Don’t worry. You can have another. Just like the first. We can even make it better with sprinkles. Another. I hate that word. In the minds of most anything that’s broken can be fixed… anything that is lost can be replaced. You can always get another. I should have said while I will have more children (that is now evident by the wiggly little boy currently growing inside of me) there will never be another Gracelyn. Never. I will never have another her. I guess that’s what is so difficult to grasp. Most problems can be fixed. This, however, just has to be lived. People want you to be ‘better’ and assume a new pregnancy, a new baby is just the solution.

On the other hand I think many people…I’m ashamed to admit myself included, think that pregnancy and infant loss is a far away disaster that happens to others. A result of negligence. That you had to have done something wrong in your pregnancy for it to have ended in death instead of life. And maybe this time you’ll be more cautious. You’ll do better. The vast majority of the time it is through no fault of the mothers. None. She more than anyone has her baby’s best interest in mind. I never knew how (it makes me cringe to say) common still birth is. I don’t think me being aware would have changed my outcome, but it may have helped alleviate some of the terribly misplaced, overwhelming guilt. And if others knew, maybe they could have comforted me better.

I was so naive through my first pregnancy. I just knew that if I did everything right that she would be in my arms..happy and healthy. Now, I know that I’m not in control. It’s terrifying. His movements shouldn’t be regular yet, but every time I don’t feel him I’m gripped by fear. My doppler is my lifeline. I just need the reassurance that his heart is beating. On the other side, I have a great desire to not live in a constant state of fear. My husband constantly reminds me to give this pregnancy to God. People say ‘oh you’re so strong.’ I’m not. I’ve learned that His strength manifests in my weakest places. I’ve studied the Bible so much more and Heaven is now tangible to me. I know she is there and so it makes me Heaven-focused. I’m 6 months out and I wouldn’t say it gets easier, just more bearable. I love being her mom and if I focus on the fact that I had her, that I saw her face, that I love her, that she is mine and that God entrusted her to me for 42 weeks… that makes it sweet. I didn’t lose her, I know where she is. I wish I had a lifetime of knowing her here, but I will have eternity with her. I’m grateful for that. I would go through all of this heartache again, knowing the outcome, just to kiss her face and love her. I wouldn’t erase this.

Her life gave me so much perspective I never would have had. I know what matters. I know what doesn’t. I’ve learned who my true friends were, the people who ran towards the fire when my life went up in flames. I really feel like I should have worn a sign afterwards just to tell people my story so I didn’t have to. As much of an extrovert as I used to be, I avoid public. I’m changed and I haven’t quite learned who the new me is.

Most people, when learning of my loss, say I’m sorry and quickly change the subject. I love when people don’t brush it away. Or give me a pitiful, head cocked to one side, sympathetic sorry and then follow up with ‘I’m sure you don’t want to talk about it.’ Because they don’t want to talk about it…because they’re uncomfortable. But I DO! I do want to talk about her. Not the how or the why, because I really don’t have those answers. But I want to tell you about her head full of hair, chubby cheeks, and long toes. I want to tell you that she weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and that she was 20.5 inches long and when I held her up, I believed in the God of miracles because of how that baby could have grown inside of me!

Some have shown great understanding and told me about a loss they have experienced. The sweetest, best, most healing response I’ve ever gotten was ‘tell me all about her.’ I still cry remembering that moment. The first time I didn’t feel like she was a secret to hide or an awkward moment to avoid. My favorite people are the ones who don’t shy away from it all. Who allow me the freedom and grace to be and feel whatever I need. If that means crying and reliving every hard second or if that means laughing and feeling ‘normal.’

It’s so helpful when people ask specifically how I’m feeling, how’s my heart, how am I healing. Instead of just how are you. And its absolutely best when people don’t avoid it. For some reason, people don’t want to remind me of her or of my sadness and loss but since we are being honest… its never not at the forefront of my mind. I constantly think of her and it’s so sweet when I hear someone else say her name and know that they are thinking of her, too. I just love to know that she is not being forgotten.

As much as I wanted to crawl in a hole and die, I found that there was so much healing in reaching out. Set expectations for what you need and allow people to help. I’ve always been independent and taken care of things, but I truly would have forgotten to eat had food not just arrived at our home every day. It’s ok not to be ok. Some days your greatest accomplishment will be getting out of bed, and that’s ok. But feel it all. Press into it and leave no stone unturned in the journey. If it hurts ~ feel it, if it makes you smile ~ embrace it, if you need to scream scream until your voice is gone ~ scream. If you tuck it away it’ll explode later. I went to a retreat hosted by Hope Mommies, which is a ministry that supports bereaved mothers, and it was so healing to be validated as a mother and to be around other women who just get it. I recommend finding someone who has survived to remind yourself that this can be lived with. We found so many scriptures to imprint on our hearts… that gave us peace, even if it’s just momentary. Just take it one day at a time, sometimes just an hour or a minute or a second at a time. That’s the crazy thing, time will keep passing and while it doesn’t get easier, you get more capable.

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!

Photographer Challenge!
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 Taylorsville 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:

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer, newborn session, maternity photos, baby pictures

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography has been photographing clients throughout the greater Louisville area since 2010. She is a published artist in Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy Magazine and Newborn Photographer Magazine as well as named 2016 Parent’s Choice Award winner for her 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 residential studio is in the heart of Mount Washington; only 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.

You are welcome to connect with Jennifer Rittenberry Photography by following my work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER so you can be the first to know about any upcoming portrait specials, mini session events, and other news!

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!

Leslie is the fourth 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.

Leslie Writes:
We are having a Boy! Brooks is due June 17th 2017! Couldn’t be more excited for his arrival! My doctor stated he is already weighing heavier than a normal size baby (which doesn’t surprise us one bit since his sister weighed in at 9lbs 10oz). What can I say? We birth big babies!

After being married for 2-1/2 years and trying for 2 years, we knew something wasn’t right! After multiple surgeries between my husband and I, we found out we had a 5% chance of having a baby on our own. We finally decided to do IVF. Which is a very heavy burden emotionally, physically, and very costly. We then became pregnant with our first child, Savi! I still felt that our family was not complete and went through the process again. It felt different this time around…and I blamed myself. Sometimes I don’t think they put into consideration of doing IVF and having a toddler. When I found out after waiting patiently for 10 days again…which to me is the worst part of it…they told us we were pregnant again. Words couldn’t describe the happiness we felt after all the negativity I had this time around! I then had come back for another blood test and my doctor called me over the phone that I had miscarried. To go through everything and to be told your pregnant, then tell your closest family and friends you’re pregnant, and then to hear such devastating news. I can’t describe the emptiness you feel. Then to see others you are close to stating they’re pregnant, it’s a very mixed emotion to be so happy for them and be so sad inside. It hit my husband worse than it did me at first, so I set my feelings aside and tried hard to be there for him. I then ran my first ever Mini Marathon for my rainbow baby and some of my friends’ rainbow babies! I tried to focus on something positive instead of drowning in my own sorrow! Not that I didn’t have bad days. My unborn child was to be born in October 2016. God had a plan for me, but I just didn’t know it yet. In October of 2016, the same month of my child should be born, I was pregnant with my Rainbow Baby Brooks through IVF! I know one day my child in heaven and I will reunite and I will get to hold them in my arms.

When you grow up people talk about ways of preventing getting pregnant. They don’t really talk about how hard it can be to get pregnant and how often people have miscarriages. I feel this event will help all women with different stories show and help others who have had a difficult time and shows them they are not alone.

I feel alot of people don’t talk about it and are unaware. They also don’t know how to approach people that have had a miscarriage. Some just don’t even know what a rainbow baby is! I go through still to this day (and it has been over a year now) that I did something wrong or should have done something different. I then just try to lift it up to God, knowing He already knows my story and is still writing it. Leaving it in all His hands. It’s made me different in an aspect of letting go knowing I’m not in control. I feel through this it has made my marriage stronger as well as leaning on my husband and him leaning on me.

I feel if someone has not gone through this situation they really don’t know what to say. If they have gone through it then it has been very comforting to talk to someone who has gone through the same emotions. Just being there and listening is what a person needs more than anything! If I could give any advice to a momma that is going through what I’ve went through, it would be to stay strong, have faith, and to talk about it! If you keep it all in it’s just not good for the soul!

I want to pray for everyone that they find that completeness that makes your family whole. Each of us have a story to tell but its what you do next that will define you and keep you going. May peace be in your heart, mind, and soul.

If you’re looking for a Fern Creek 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:

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer, newborn session, maternity photos, baby pictures

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography has been photographing clients throughout the greater Louisville area since 2010. She is a published artist in Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy Magazine and Newborn Photographer Magazine as well as named 2016 Parent’s Choice Award winner for her 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 residential studio is in the heart of Mount Washington; only 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.

You are welcome to connect with Jennifer Rittenberry Photography by following my work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER so you can be the first to know about any upcoming portrait specials, mini session events, and other news!

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!

Amanda is the third 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.

Louisville KY Rainbow Baby Maternity Photographer

Amanda Writes:
My precious little miracle is due to be born on May 1st! I’ve always had a girls name picked out, inspired by my grandpa and grandma, but was stumped when we found out we were expecting a handsome little boy! After a lot of thought we decided on Rowan! The middle name is proving to be the real challenge and we are currently going between Wells and Jackson!

My journey to become a mommy started about 4 years ago. I never could have imagined what the next 4 years of my life would bring when we decided to start trying for a family. It was fun and exciting at first, but after about 6 or 7 months I started to worry. Why wasn’t it happening? But then my doctor said it takes the average women 12 months to conceive, so we tried to put our worries aside and enjoy the ride. But month after month came and went. I ended up changing doctors and starting fresh. Immediately my doctor saw that something was wrong and I underwent a minor surgery and was sent to a fertility specialist.

The next 2 years or so were spent going back and forth to the RE’s office and lots and lots of fertility drugs. Between many cancelled cycles, we underwent 7 IUI’s (Intrauterine insemination) and 1 failed round of IVF. In October of 2015 we decided to take a break and step away for a bit. We were emotionally and financially drained. During all that time I never saw a second pink line. We were devastated. In May of 2016 we decided to start over with a different fertility clinic for one final try. This was it, we had 1 chance and we were going to do whatever it took to help our chances.

Louisville KY Rainbow Baby Maternity Photographer

In July of 2016, we started our 2nd IVF cycle and we transferred 2 beautiful 3 day embryos. I felt good about it, but I was scared to be too excited. I was so used to to disappointment at that point. I had actually seen my very first pink line on a pregnancy test the month before after a cancelled cycle, but it ended up being a very early miscarriage. I was crushed of course, but it gave me my first glimmer of hope. So 1 week after our embryo transfer I took an early pregnancy test ( the one thing they tell you NOT to do but I couldn’t wait any longer) and was shocked to see a light pink line. You didn’t even have to squint to see it! I couldn’t contain myself and made my husband come look to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. It was there, that beautiful pink line!

As I cried tears of joy I realized that I had to wait one more week before I could go take my blood test. It was the longest week of my life, but I continued to test every morning, and watched as that pink line grew darker and darker each day. This was it and I couldn’t believe it! My HCG blood test came back with a high number and I was elated! I secretly hoped that both embryos had implanted, but never in a million years did I actually think that would be the case. At my 6 week 5 day ultrasound all of my dreams came true. 2 beautiful little heartbeats were detected and everything looked great! I was going to be a mom!!!

Louisville KY Rainbow Baby Maternity Photographer

The next few weeks were like a dream as I carried my 2 biggest secrets. I felt great and couldn’t be happier! When I went in for my 9 week follow-up ultrasound the doctor showed baby “A” and it was magical. He kind of looked like a tiny gummy bear. But then he moved the wand over to where baby “B” should be and my world was shattered. There was no heartbeat and the tiny lifeless gummy bear was smaller than baby A. Sometime between 7 and 9 weeks I had lost my baby, and I didn’t even know it. I didn’t feel any pain, I didn’t bleed, nothing. How could I not know that my baby died inside of me? I laid on the table and cried. The doctor told me there was nothing I could have done, and it was probably chromosomal. But nothing he or anyone said was going to bring my baby back and take the pain away. I felt ashamed because I was still carrying one beautiful baby, but I couldn’t make myself be happy. I felt lost and broken, but most of all scared. I wouldn’t experience a typical miscarriage. The doctor warned me that I may have some bleeding, but more than likely my body would absorb the sack and most of my lifeless baby. Anything left would come out when I delivered baby “A.” I couldn’t actually enjoy my pregnancy until I was about 20 weeks or so. I worried every moment of EVERY DAY that I might lose my baby. It was hard to be happy knowing that I lost his brother or sister, but eventually I allowed myself to feel happiness. I knew that my little baby was up in heaven with my grandmother, and that brought me comfort. I’m carrying my rainbow baby, and I couldn’t be happier!

Louisville KY Rainbow Baby Maternity Photographer

I wanted to be a part of something that helped raise awareness to a sensitive subject that affects so many women and families. So many suffer in silence, and I hope that by talking about it, more women will see that they are not alone. I think that miscarriage, infertility, and anything that has to do with pregnancy that doesn’t end with a happy ending is kind of Taboo in today’s society. It’s almost as if you’re not supposed to talk about it, and it’s a dirty little secret that you have to carry with you. In the last year or so I’ve seen more and more people opening up about their experiences, and I hope it continues. I’ve been very open and honest about my loss, but I see the uneasiness in people when I talk about it, and I hope that more awareness will help people understand it better.

Losing my sweet little baby is the hardest thing that I have ever experienced. It changed me, but it made me stronger, and more grateful for this sweet little baby inside of me. The pain never goes away though. I think about that tiny beating heart everyday. I think about the first ultrasound and the joy I felt when I found out I was carrying twins. I lost my sweet grandmother in February of 2016 and she always said that she would do anything she could to help me have a baby. And when I saw those 2 babies on the ultrasound, I knew that she had a hand in it. I’m comforted knowing that she’s watching over my beautiful baby in heaven, and I thank her everyday. Most people don’t know what to say or do when I tell them I lost one of my babies. Some say the worst thing, “at least you still have 1”, but most just say I’m sorry or try to tell me a story about a cousins best friend who lost her baby. But mostly I see the same uneasy look on face after face.

Louisville KY Rainbow Baby Maternity Photographer

I’ve had a few friends that have lost babies, and I’ll be completely honest when I say that I had no idea what they were going through before I experienced my own loss. I am guilty of saying the same things that would upset me with my loss. There is really nothing anyone can say that will make it better and take the pain a way. For me, I found it to be most comforting when family and friends just offered a shoulder to cry on, and an ear to listen. I didn’t want advice, I didn’t want to hear I’m sorry over and over again, I just needed someone to be there. Just letting me know you’re there when, and if, I wanted to talk about it was everything to me.

Louisville KY Rainbow Baby Maternity Photographer

It’s ok to be sad, and it’s ok to talk about it. All those emotions you felt will always be there. But along the way, I hope you find peace in knowing you’ll meet your little love again one day. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel like you have to hide your pain. Be proud that you were able to be a mommy to that beautiful baby. It doesn’t matter how long you carried, losing a baby is devastating and life changing. But don’t let it break you, cherish the time you had, and allow it to make you stronger and help others that are struggling.

Louisville KY Rainbow Baby Maternity Photographer

I personally want to thank Amanda 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!

Photographer Challenge!
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 Louisville 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:

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer, newborn session, maternity photos, baby pictures

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography has been photographing clients throughout the greater Louisville area since 2010. She is a published artist in Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy Magazine and Newborn Photographer Magazine as well as named 2016 Parent’s Choice Award winner for her 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 residential studio is in the heart of Mount Washington; only 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.

You are welcome to connect with Jennifer Rittenberry Photography by following my work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER so you can be the first to know about any upcoming portrait specials, mini session events, and other news!

Located at 268 Deer Park Way, Mount Washington, KY 40047. Get in touch at (502) 523-2180!

Amanda is the second 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.

Amanda Writes:
We are due with our rainbow baby on Oct 4,2017. I just found out this week we will be having another little boy and so excited. No names currently, since the husband still thinks he wants to wait to find out the day the baby is born.

Our story started with pure happiness in finding out, back in Oct 2015, that we were pregnant with our 3rd baby. Only to find out a few short weeks later that our happiness and excitement would now be turned into tears and questions of why. We found out Nov 2015 that at around 8 weeks we had lost the baby with no indications as to why or what had happened. After going through the miscarriage, the daily thoughts of baby and grieving knowing I will never meet this child i had once carried, we decided our family is complete and we would be finished having babies. Well God had other plans for us, and bigger plans for our family, as now I am pregnant with our amazing rainbow baby only roughly 2 years later.

I wanted to be apart of this Rainbow Momma event to bring awareness to the effects of miscarriage and losing a child no matter the stage of pregnancy. Losing a child at 8 weeks or 32 weeks, or anywhere in between, effects a mother and she thinks about that child though most people may not have known they even existed then or now. I personally believe that the current stereotype towards miscarriage and rainbow babies is that they should not be spoken of and that people are to grieve in silence over the loss.

I think about our loss just as much now 2 years later as I did the day the told me the baby had no heartbeat. It’s incredibly hard to wrap your mind around the fact that you carried a child, but God had other plans and meeting them will just have to wait. It affected our lives to the point we said we would be done having children because I didn’t think I could go through a miscarriage and the feelings that came with it again. Once I found out I was pregnant with my rainbow baby, I couldn’t help but pray everyday that this baby stays with us and is healthy. As excited as I was to be pregnant with our rainbow baby, we decided not to announce the pregnancy until very recently to make sure we didn’t have to relive the pain of when we lost our baby in 2015. The pain of losing a child (yes even at only 8 weeks) never leaves a mother’s mind. As a mother I constantly still feel the pain I felt the day I heard the words “No Heartbeat.” It’s something that will always stay with you, and though most people may never know our baby existed, it did to me.

One response I constantly receive (about my loss) is ‘well at least it was early on in the pregnancy, that makes it easier.’ Another one is ‘it was just not meant to be at that time.’ It doesn’t matter when in a pregnancy you lose a child, that was still your child. Nothing about losing a child is easy and the fact that people believe that losing a baby earlier than later is easier just shows how much miscarriage is misunderstood in society. My advice (to other rainbow moms) would be speak of what happened and let people know you are hurting. The stigma that we are supposed to be silent and act like nothing happened is a thing of the past. It’s okay to hurt and it’s okay to grieve.

One last thing I would like to share and see change is more people are speaking out about miscarriage and rainbow babies; they are looking for support. These people are not speaking out to be criticized or to be asked why they would ever publicly post or speak about losing a child, they are doing so looking for comfort and to know they are not alone. Lets support each other, not make people feel they should grieve in silence alone.

I personally want to thank Amanda 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!

If you’re looking to have some Rainbow Baby Maternity Photography captured, 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:

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer, newborn session, maternity photos, baby pictures

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography has been photographing clients throughout the greater Louisville area since 2010. She is a published artist in Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy Magazine and Newborn Photographer Magazine as well as named 2016 Parent’s Choice Award winner for her 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 residential studio is in the heart of Mount Washington; only 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.

You are welcome to connect with Jennifer Rittenberry Photography by following my work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER so you can be the first to know about any upcoming portrait specials, mini session events, and other news!

Located at 268 Deer Park Way, Mount Washington, KY 40047. Get in touch at (502) 523-2180!