August 25, 2015
OUR STORY: Once upon a time, this football player spotted a cheerleader during a community fair on the central lawn of their college campus in a small suburb of Kansas City. Cody wanted to go up and talk to her, but instead, being the shy and modest man he is, decided to message Tina on Facebook instead. After stating that he was from North Dakota and is looking for a home church, he said that her pastor taught one of his classes and one day mentioned to him that he should check out their church sometime, THEN kindly asked if he could go with her to church that Sunday… BEST. PICKUP. LINE. EVER! Who’s gonna say NO, right?!
Five years later, three years after we got married, I found out I was pregnant! I remember how excited I was, I marked my due date on my Google calendar, I started looking into a baby registry, and even did “6 week” maternity photos even though I wasn’t even showing. I remember the day I found out my baby had not been growing like it was yesterday, I was 8 weeks along. I felt crushed, like my heart had literally been ripped from my chest. I would bawl every day driving home from work so much to the point that my tears swelling made me pull over because I couldn’t see. Yet for some reason, I couldn’t cry around my husband. I was hurting so much. I didn’t want to ever try to have another one in fear that I could loose it again. I had no idea how to cope. I was mad at God.
Two years later, we had moved to Tucson, Arizona and now wanted more than anything to have a baby. Shortly thereafter, we found out I was pregnant again. Three weeks later, while my family was visiting in town, I had to let them know the news that I had lost another baby yet again.
I’m here to tell you, whether you have struggled with infertility or have experienced miscarriage, please don’t ever give up hope. If you have a little angel baby in heaven, no matter what people say, you are and forever will be a mom. One of my favorite quotes is “I held you every second of your life,” and that couldn’t be more true. You will never, ever, forget this child and it will impact you the rest of your lives. I found it very healing to get a piece of jewelry in memory of my baby with an angel on it. My family has also given me gifts and symbols throughout the year, letting me know that my babies have not been forgotten. Just know, it is okay to cry, it’s okay to cry for a very long time. And rest, lots of rest. Do things that make you happy, and soak up every minute of being with your spouse. And it’s also okay to try to get pregnant, and try try again.
And I don’t think I could have truly emotionally healed from my previous miscarriages, or be best prepared for the joy a baby would bring to our lives, without going to God for comfort. I know that no matter how much I wanted a baby at times, that he was working on the perfect timing for us. And through this journey, we never ceased praying.
Here is our story…
On a beautiful weekend in October of 2014, I went on a short vacation to Rocky Point, Mexico with my friend Maite to assist her at a wedding on the beach of Puerto Peñasco. During that trip, I met her sweet little daughter, Sophia. After we got back home that week, Maite sent me this text. As I read it, I instantly burst into tears, as I wanted more than anything to have a baby. It was so encouraging and truly a message of hope.
I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and I ended up being treated with Metformin for several months to get a regular cycle and then eventually started taking Chlomid and on my 3rd round of taking it, I was finally able to conceive again… two weeks after Maite sent me this photo. Side note: My baby girl was born on little Sophia’s birthday 🙂
So here we are, 8 1/2 years after we met… and after the heartbreak our two previous miscarriages, we were both very hesitant to announce, and honestly, even get excited that THIS may finally be the time God blesses us with a child that we can love and raise on this earth. After many nights of prayer and inspired by this crazy faith to be confident that with our God anything and everything is possible… Cody and I were FINALLY ready and overwhelmingly excited to announce that we would be welcoming one of the greatest gifts from God.
It was the morning of Thanksgiving in 2014 when I took my first pregnancy test and we couldn’t have been more thankful for anything else!
Having struggled with fertility, we decided to wait a little longer than the first trimester to announce our pregnancy. So as a huge fan of The Bachelor, I designed the official to mimic that theme and on Valentine’s Day, we put it out there for the whole world to know!
Thank you to my friend Audria with Audria Abney Photography for taking these photos of my first baby bump!
A few weeks later, we went in for our gender ultrasound and found out our little peanut was going to be a GIRL! In the ultrasound, she was a ball of energy, moving the entire time… stretching and curling up in a ball… took the full hour because she was too ornery and stubborn to stop moving and show us what we were looking for… and kept putting face to be in front of the camera.
Here is our official gender reveal announcement. Thanks to my friend Torey with Torey Salyer Photography for taking these photos!
We got to go on lots of little trips during my pregnancy, one of which is the breathtaking scene of Sedona, Arizona.
On that same trip, we went to Flagstaff, Arizona and visited my friend Leslie with Leslie O Photography who got a few shots of me at 22 weeks.
I got to be a bridesmaid for my good friend Ashley. And I absolutely loved going to the chiropractor during my entire pregnancy, which I swear made my labor that much easier. These were at 23 weeks when I finally started to loose sight of my toes 🙂
The Grand Canyon was by far one of our favorite vacations, it truly was a spectacular view and nothing you could truly capture the grandness of in photo.
And while we were at it, we went back to Sedona again. Just because 🙂
Around 26 weeks, I traveled to my home town in Kansas City to see my family and friends and of course to fulfill my constant cravings of Shatto chocolate milk, Hy-Vee’s pumpkin bread, Tippin’s french silk pie, YUM!
My family threw me an incredible baby shower, where we officially announced our baby girl’s name… Kinsley Marie 🙂
Thank you to my friend Jana with Jana Marie Photography for documenting my shower!
Around 29 weeks, my best friends in Arizona, who also happen to be some of my favorite photographers, threw me the cutest surprise baby shower at the Amalour Revival Lounge in Tucson, Arizona. The best part of the shower was when we went around the table and everyone gave me their best piece of advice for becoming a new mama, words that will stick with me for years to come.
Thanks Audria with Audria Abney Photography for taking these photos!
A couple of my wedding planner friends here in Tucson threw me another baby shower for all my friends here in Arizona. Thank you Skylar with Skylight Weddings and Events and Kim with Simply Elegant Events for hosting such a special afternoon.
Thank you to my talented friend Laura with Laura K. Moore Photography for documenting this baby shower!
Last but not least, my friend Ashley and my beloved church, Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene hosted a shower for me, complete with a headband making station <3
Thanks to Tanya with Tenth and Grace Photography for taking my maternity photos up on Mount Lemmon at 30 weeks… almost there!
We had the opportunity to volunteer for the training of some technicians at Tucson’s newest 3D/4D ultrasound clinic, First Glimpse Ultrasound, and got a sneak peek at our beautiful baby girl. Love those lips!
And I couldn’t be more excited to share our official maternity photos shot at 31 weeks by one of my best friends, Kimberly with Lilie Photography. She did amazing at capturing the love and joy between Cody and I in the anticipation of baby Kinsley.
My last wedding before I went on maternity leave was in the beautiful state of North Dakota. Thank you to Audria with Audria Abney Photography for taking these pics and being my second shooter and travel companion 🙂
Alright, so there was one more wedding I shot, but this time it was just assisting one of my best friends, Amber Lea Photography, in hopes that the extra walking would help push me into labor as I was 38 weeks along at this point.
And we can’t leave out my first (fur) baby, Mr. Lincoln, who could most definitely tell that there was something different about me and loved cuddling up to my belly.
We took a birthing class and Cody got to practice holding a baby.. and after putting this photo on Facebook, we scared all our friends and family into thinking we already had her.. yup. all 12 lbs. of a plastic baby 😛
And I got to practice one more time holding Mr. Lincoln with my Ergo baby carrier, which of course he absolutely loves.
The week I went into labor, my friend Kimberly with Lilie Photography came over and got a few snapshots of my big belly and some of my recent cravings. I couldn’t believe she would be arriving this week!
I was truly honored when my friend Amber with Amber Lea Photography was there at the hospital to document her birth and to keep me company while my hubby was passsed out on the couch 😉 It was 4 o’clock in the morning when she was born after all.
Kinsley weighed 5 lb. 13 oz. (same as me when I was born!) and 19.5 in. She arrived at 4:39am after 3 days of intense back labor, 4 hours of labor at the hospital, and 10 minutes of pushing.
My friend Celesa with Celesa Felix Photography took her newborn photos and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out, she even captured one of her smiling in her sleep <3
A week or so after she was born, my friend Kimberly with Lilie Photography took some lifestyle baby photos in our house.
I am truly blessed to have so many talented friends who just happen to be photographers and I appreciate every single one of you for documenting this special time in our lives 🙂
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Pure in Art Photography is a Wedding Photographer, Engagement Photographer, Boudoir Photographer, Portrait Photographer, and Destination Wedding Photographer based in Tucson, Arizona. Serving Arizona, including Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, Vail, Green Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Flagstaff, Sedona. Available for destination travels worldwide. Featured on The Knot, Wedding Wire, Best Tucson Weddings, and Tucson Bride & Groom. Graduate from The International Academy of Wedding Photographers.