This adorable and super special Valentine’s Day baby announcement in Virginia Beach is one of my favorites this year for sure!! I connected with Brittany right away when she first reached out about capturing her and husband Patrick’s baby announcement! It’s like we have been friends for YEARS! When in reality we just met that day. It’s people like these two who make my job easy and makes my passion for photography grow even stronger.
Instead of me writing about these two and their journey with pregnancy, I figured I would have Brittany share it herself! <3
“Patrick and I met in high school. I will never forget the moment I first saw and met him. He shook my hand and introduced himself with the most genuine smile on my face. The next day I told my best friend that all I wanted to do was kiss him! Fast forward a few years- we fell in love, eloped when I was 21 and he was 22, and have been inseparable ever since.
Right out of grad school, we moved out to Seattle, a dream of ours for years. We had so many adventures and spent almost every single weekend exploring and hiking. Out of one of the best times of my life also came a moment that ended up being pretty life altering: I was diagnosed with PCOS. It really helped explain a lot that I didn’t understand about my body since I was a teenager. I got the diagnosis on our 4th wedding anniversary and it was hard to keep a smile that whole night when I just wanted to cry. My doctor had explained that in my case, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to get pregnant without intervention. I immediately started to drastically alter my diet and began working out. I just thought, “I’m not going to just sit around and feel sorry for myself.” It really helped clear up my symptoms and spark my passion for health and fitness.
We started yearning for a family and knew the time was right. We moved back to Virginia Beach and started planning. Even though I was already told it would be difficult, I was hoping to get pregnant right away because I had been working so hard, putting literally everything into eating right and lifting weights. And when it didn’t happen right away, I blamed myself, that maybe I actually didn’t work hard enough. It was really difficult to admit that maybe we did need help. I began to wonder if we would every be able to have kids. I actually sunk into a depression that summer, although you would never know it from the outside. My hormones were going crazy on top of everything. I could barely keep it together. I started seeing a therapist which really helped, as well as just stepping away from as many responsibilities as possible to give myself time to breathe.
Knowing my history, my doctor started me on Clomid. Our plan was 3 cycles of Clomid and then off to the infertility specialist (none of which was covered by insurance, so I had no idea how we would actually be able to afford any of it). You guys- it’s no joke! The first cycle I was mostly fine. The second cycle, I felt like a different person. I had already told myself that I was going to take a break before the third cycle because it was getting to be too much. This was a really tough time on us both mentally as well. Tracking everything, using OPKs, temping, bloodwork monitoring, taking a million pregnancy tests and hoping to see even the faintest line.. your life really ends up revolving around trying to conceive. I was convinced the second cycle didn’t get me pregnant.. I had absolutely no symptoms around the dreaded “two week wait.” It was the holiday season, and I just wanted to put it all out of my mind and enjoy the time with family.
On December 27, I convinced Patrick to let us get a dog and we found our sweetest puppy, the most scared animal at the SPCA, Rayla. Immediately, I felt like it was all going to be OK. She brought so much peace into my life, and for the first time in months I felt pure joy… and would’t you know it, on December 30 I got an ever so so faint line on a pregnancy test. I went about the day just like normal (besides texting pictures to a million friends and asking “Do you see that???” when most of the replies were “no…” So, I tried to forget about it because I couldn’t get my hopes up. The next day, New Year’s Eve, it was undeniably darker. My eyes couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but it was there. The rest feels like a big blur, but here we are, at 13.5 weeks with the most beautiful tiny, healthy baby due September 8th. I stare at the ultrasounds every single day and just feel overwhelmed by immense gratitude. I can truly say we both have never been happier in our entire lives, and it only gets better from here.
If you are having trouble trying to conceive, please don’t be afraid to reach out. One in eight couples struggle to get pregnant, and although it feels like the most isolating time in your life, there are so many others right there with you. My darkest times were when I kept everything to myself, and when I started being open and talking to people, I received more support and love than I could have imagined. I would love to talk and be your person if you need one.”