The Back Story
To those of you who follow not only our photography but also our lives, I am deeply honored that you do so and are here reading how Team Hawkins welcomes Kiwi Girl. This post is really a continuation of the first post called Our Journey through Miscarriage to Parenthood | The Joy and the Pain. If you’ve read it, you know that our chance of miscarriage is 50% and what a relief and celebration it is to write about being able to add another little member to Team Hawkins!
I share our story in a hope of being able to connect with others experiencing similar things and use my experiences to help and encourage others. We began our journey to parenthood with two back to back miscarriages, followed by the sweet births of our two little boys, followed by another two miscarriages. But even as I write this post, I am acutely aware that so many are still “in the waiting”, still wading through the hardship. There were many days in the past that I’d see social media posts similar to the one I’m sharing now and just scroll away from it. I will most definitely not be offended if you do the same on this one.
In my first post, I shared that I wish I wasn’t so stubborn or that my heart would let go of the dream of having more kids. If I could let that go, I would be able to move past this season of life where we have to say goodbye to so many little loved ones. And yet, Andrew and I continued on, hoping God might bless us with another little one that we might be able to hold in our arms one day.
Our Dream of a Little Girl
From the first day that we started talking about having kids, we both agreed we would LOVE to have a little girl. In fact, Andrew said he’d be happy if we had ONLY girls (little did we know the joy we’d be missing if we didn’t have boys. ;). Having a girl was still a dream in our hearts though but we figured it was a near impossibility. In our research, we’d learned that it’s the dad that decides the gender of a baby. Andrew’s dad did have one sister but two other brothers. Andrew himself has two brothers and between his two brothers, they have five boys… no girls. With our two boys, we just assumed that we’d only ever have boys.
Well… as you can see from the pictures below, we were wrong. Of course from the first day that we got a positive pregnancy test, I began battling worry, afraid that we might loose this little one to miscarriage as well. When we had made it to 12 weeks and received a call from our doctor that our little one looked free from the genetic abnormality that had caused our other miscarriages, I cried in relief. She then asked if we’d like to know the gender of our baby. I decided I’d love for us to be surprised in a more dramatic way! One of my close friends offered to help us with a reveal, so I took her up on it and gave her the link and password to our online portal from our doctor with the gender results. She purchased a couple of confetti canons and showed up at our doorstep the next morning. I was so nervous as I set up my camera and a phone to record. I was 100% prepared to have have blue confetti all over our back porch knowing our odds. Well when we popped those confetti cannons… let’s just say I STILL get teary eyed looking at these photos.
No freaking way… we’re having a GIRL?!?! How is that possible??! I don’t think I really even need to tell you how we felt… it’s all over our faces in these pictures.
I sobbed that day. I also sobbed the day I came home from my 16 week appointment, feeling such relief that we had made it into the second trimester.
Once our boys understood they were going to have a little sister, they were SO excited! Andrew threw out the nickname of “Kiwi” since we had decided to wait until after she was born to share her name. The name Kiwi stuck and to this day, we are still calling her that!
Wedding Season Waits for No Baby
I was thankful that I wasn’t shooting during my nauseous first trimester… I think I would take shooting at 35 weeks pregnant almost any day over shooting while nauseous!
I am so grateful to work with amazing couples, like Alex and Christina who were so sweet and concerned about me throughout their own wedding day (find their blog here!)
Team Hawkins welcomes Kiwi Girl… 3 1/2 weeks early
Three days before our next wedding, my water broke. My due date was to be mid June and I had second and third photographers and assistants lined up as well as and back up plans of back up plans. But when I went into labor in late May, I worried all the way to the hospital about what we would do about Amanda and Brian’s wedding. Andrew looked at me and said, “I love you, but let’s have this baby first, see how it goes, then talk about what we’re going to do about the wedding”. Delivery went smoothly and when she arrived, we were just over the moon.
Team Hawkins welcomes Kiwi girl… she had truly and finally arrived!
Kiwi Comes to Work
With delivery going smoothly and Andrew and another sweet and amazing photographer Marlies Guest Photography to back us up, we shot Amanda and Brian’s wedding less than 24 hours after being discharged from the hospital.
Our little Kiwi was such a trooper and ate and slept like a champ all day… first in her carseat and then later, strapped to daddy.
I just cannot say how blessed we are by the couples we serve. Mike and Roberta were so sweet and we were so honored to have been able to shoot their wedding!
Celebrating with a Photo Session of Our Own
Looking back at the birth of our boys, I wish we had done a lifestyle newborn/family session at home. Once I was into my second trimester, I started asking Andrew if we could do a session like this. We are SO in love with the pictures that our dear friend Samantha Ludlow Photography took of us!!! These lifestyle photos are her amazing work!
I had SO much fun designing Kiwi’s nursery! Andrew was all about ordering a sign with her name on it for the wall, while I made a mobile for her from the flowers that we hung on our own wedding arch!
If I HAD to pick a favorite from our session, it’d be this one! We hung it on a canvas above our fireplace!
Our little photographers in training!
The boys truly just ADORE their little sister!
Although we do have to be careful that Little Monkey (the younger of the two boys) doesn’t “smush” her with too many hugs!
Little Bear asks to hold Kiwi almost every day. 🙂
So blessed to be parents of a little girl.
Now I can buy all the headbands and cute girly things!
Super proud dad!
Oh my gosh, I’m so impressed that Sam caught Kiwi’s big yawn! Another one of my favorites!
Andrew also refinished a this dresser we got from Facebook Marketplace and put a solid cherry wood top on it!
Team Hawkins welcomes Kiwi Girl!
Making sure these little guys don’t feel left out.
Such a tender big brother.
Oh my heart…
I couldn’t help but snap a few pictures of her myself a few days later. They’re only that little once!
If you have made it to the end of this blog post, I am so impressed. Part of me feels guilty for sharing SO many photos of ourselves and for sharing when I know so many other sweet families would love their own kiddos. But another part of me just wants to keep on celebrating and thanking God for what He has given us; to take a few minutes to slow down and really savor these moments and preserve these memories by writing this blog.
If you are still in the waiting, still in the hurting, please know you always have a heart that hurts with you, an ear that is ready to listen, a shoulder to cry on.
And if you’re still here with me at the end of this extremely long post, thank you. Thank you for loving our family through the good times and the hard times. Thank you for reaching out in texts, emails, DM’s, messages, with gifts for us and for Kiwi. You know who you are. From all of Team Hawkins, we love you!