Serendipity + Happy Surprises ~ Our Infertility Journey

On a regular basis life surprises me.

Sometimes things I expect to happen don’t… (like starting a family years ago).

And sometimes opportunities I never dreamt of happening are presented to us and somehow they help everything else make a little more sense… (like photographing Tanya & Greg’s wedding in Hawaii last fall, which we couldn’t have done had we gotten pregnant last spring like we wanted so badly).

Yesterday was one of those days that completely surprised me. (But I guess I should start at the beginning – because this is all very vague and confusing…. sorry about that!)

As you all know, we start fertility treatments this spring (our date was pushed back a month because we were in the Dominican Republic when we would have needed to start our blood work in February, so instead we start blood work next week, and IUI in late April/early May). Often when I chat with friends about the process they ask how we are paying for all of this… and the truth is… we don’t know. James and I made a decision years ago to live a life together of quality, not quantity. As long as we were together – chasing our dreams – we were happy. So we certainly don’t have the savings to afford the IUI treatments per month, especially if it doesn’t work on the first try (and certainly couldn’t afford the $25k per month in IVF treatments if we get to that point).

But for some reason, I wasn’t panicking about it… instead, I just felt like somehow it would work out. We’d take it bill by bill, and hopefully book more weddings and sessions, and also use credit cards if we have to (and we are not credit people… but damn if we don’t want a family – so I don’t care anymore).

On top of that, we don’t have quite as many weddings on the books for 2014 as we have had in the past at this point. We raise our prices incrementally every year, so part of that is expected because our goal is to shoot a little less each year (because how much we had to shoot originally to break even was just TOO MUCH), but we would still like a few more weddings for this year to make it through December and pay the bills. Obviously, this combined with trying to figure out how we’d pay for the fertility treatments puts a pressure on a person that you can’t really explain. (And I didn’t even realize I felt until yesterday, to be honest.)

Over the years of doing this full-time though, I’ve learned not to panic and I’ve learned to take it one day at a time. For some reason when we weren’t booking as much this year I kept thinking maybe it was meant to be this way. I thought… “Maybe we’ll get pregnant this year and I’ll be exhausted and happy to not have to shoot so many long wedding days while I’m pregnant…. Maybe this is the push I need to focus more on Beautiful Sessions, like I’ve been meaning to…. Maybe we’ll shoot more kids and families to break even … It’ll work out… somehow.” Instead of feeling the panic I would have felt, I felt some strange sense of peace and kept thinking somehow it would work out.

And then, somehow… it did.

Seemingly out of nowhere, James and I were approached by a company about producing and shooting a concept photo shoot for them. I was incredibly excited about the prospect, but honestly didn’t think we had a chance at booking this against the other photographers they were looking into. But we went forward putting our hearts into hopefully booking this job – we researched, we contacted people to build a team to produce the shoot, we priced an estimate, we chatted with friends on that side of the industry (thank you Stephen!), and we did like we always do – put our heads down and did. the. work.

And yesterday we found out we got the job.

The woman I’ve been in contact with called me to let me know and I was so surprised I really couldn’t think of any words to say. I stood in my office in complete shock. The second I got off the phone with her – the tears came. I didn’t expect them, and they felt different than before. They weren’t tears of joy, or tears of sorrow… they were tears of gratitude. I found myself sitting at my desk, sobbing into my hands, saying over and over again… Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

I hadn’t realized the pressure I was feeling about how on earth we would pay for these crazy expensive procedures until this moment, when I realized how we would afford it. This job, this shoot was the answer.

I still don’t really believe this is happening, and still don’t understand how this company found us among all the people they could have contacted, or how it came to be. But I do know one thing… I am SO. GRATEFUL. And I am so ready to hit the ground running and surpass all their expectations for this. So, so ready. 

But for now – we toast: To this crazy, beautiful life. To the highs, and to the lows. To being better people today than we were yesterday. To believing in ourselves and helping those around us to believe in themselves too. To all of it. Cheers. xoxo



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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!