Gwen’s Story | A personal post about infertility

Posted on January 29, 2014

My Four Year Pregnancy

I was pregnant with Gwen for 4 years.

Of course, not literally growing her inside my body for 4 years, but I was completely pregnant with the idea of her for three long years.  For three years, my husband and I struggled with secondary infertility.

We have two sons who are 19 months apart in age. I had hoped to add a third child to our mix pretty quickly after our second son was born. My mother had 3 children in 3 years, so I naturally expected my timetable of family growth to adhere to that standard.

It did not.

After the first year of trying I was mildly irritated. So I prayed more. Shared my irritation with God that My Big Family Plan wasn’t going the way it should.

After the second year of trying for a baby, I became that friend you call to gently break your pregnancy news to before it hits Facebook.  Ouch. Though I appreciated every call and was genuinely excited for every friend, I still hurt inside for myself.

I saw my doctor in the second year and she gave me a list of things to try: gain weight, lose weight, charting, basal temps, vitamins, homeopathic therapy, acupuncture, checking CM (if you know what this is, my heart is with you sister!), jump starting my cycle, etc., etc. There wasn’t anything really ‘wrong’ with me that they could find. I was super healthy, a normal weight, blood work was normal, a favorable personal and family history of fertility… At this point, trying to have a baby was starting to take some serious time out of my life, and romance out of my marriage.

And then we hit the third year… Still no baby and still no answers why I wasn’t pregnant.  Some friends that had a child in year 1 or 2 of our trying to get pregnant were calling me with news of another pregnancy… I couldn’t handle it. Outwardly I behaved with grace and excitement for my friend but inside I felt red, hot pokers jabbing me in the belly over and over and over. I am a woman! This is what I was made for!  I am trying so hard and doing ALL THE THINGS.


I began to cry out to God in the night, silent tears slipping down my cheeks. Inside I was screaming with rage and hopelessness. I blamed God. Blamed Him with awful language one minute and pathetic begging the next. I tried reasoning with Him, being ‘extra good’ to earn His favor, and bargaining.

None of it worked.

I did Metformin and Clomid for months. I had a prayer team. I was warily confident.


My husband and I had an agreement: We would try for a third baby until I turned 30. Then we were done. My 30th birthday was approaching quickly. It was September, my birthday is in February. I finished my last round of Clomid/Metformin that fall. When I took my, what felt like, 900th pregnancy test and received a BIG, FAT, N-O red line, I hit a mental and emotional wall. I was done. SO done.

No more drugs. No more charting. No more doctor’s appointments and scheduled romance time. 157 weeks of preoccupation and stress was all I could handle. 1096+ days of tearful prayers was enough for me.

I gave it up to God.

I was so, so tired of this burden of infertility. I had to set it down and walk away from it. I remember praying one night for God to take this burden and all these desires from me if it wasn’t His will for me to hold onto them. I was tired of yelling WHY? and instead was pleading with Him to just take it away, I’ll be obedient. I’ll do Your plan, God. Not mine. I give up on my selfish plan.

He took the burden away.

Life returned to normal. I went on a mission trip to Roatan, Honduras for two weeks right after Thanksgiving. I returned to the US and our family had a wonderful Christmas. Sure, every once in a while I thought about wanting to be pregnant but I didn’t have an overbearing, blinding need to be pregnant.

January 25, 2013. 16 days before I turn 30.

It was a Friday. Jeff and I were home alone in the early evening because our boys were still at school. It was about 5PM. I realized maybe it had been a while since my body had done its thing… One pregnancy test left, why not give it a whirl? It was just going to go to waste.

It was a cheap dollar store pregnancy test (when you take multiple tests a month, you learn where to get them cheap!). The results were… questionable. I couldn’t remember if I wanted one line, an X, a smiley face… what result did I WANT?!

I had to run to the other end of the house for the directions.

It was positive.


We rejoiced. Praise to God, praise to Him! Thank you, Lord it is positive! 3 years of so much struggle, and after I had completely given up, and just 16 days before our cut off, we get the news to expect baby number three!

One year ago today, we announced the pregnancy with the following very well received video:

But that wasn’t the only answered prayer in store for our family.

My grandmother, Beverly, whom I was very close to, had cancer during this time and was not seeking any further treatment. She died February 12, 2013. Just days prior to her death, I was able to share with her that I was pregnant and that if it was a girl, we would name the baby after her. The last genuine smile I saw come from my grandmother was in knowing that she might have a namesake.

It was a girl.

I was pregnant with a girl. A GIRL. We already had 2 sons and my heart yearned for this sweet baby girl. My grandmother would have her namesake, my heart would be full. And it was. SO FULL. My pregnancy was easy, a dream.

We welcomed Gwendolyn Beverly on September 16, 2013 in the early morning. She was perfect. IS perfect.

She is living proof of the Lord’s grace in my life. She is my blessing. The missing piece in our little family, the missing piece in my SOUL.

During my pregnancy, several photographer friends blessed my family with photography to document this amazing journey:

Sarah Cornish of My Four Hens Photography photographed us half way through my pregnancy, in May 2013.

Kaitlynn Marquis of Creo Photography did a maternity session for me in July of 2013.

Sarah Vasquez of Hope & Memory Photography photographed Gwen’s birth.

Brigette Schaffarzick of Penguin Pictures blessed me with a maternity session in August and a newborn session in September.

Sarah Sweetman of Sarah Sweetman Photography blessed me with both a family maternity session in August and a family newborn session in September. She is also photographing Gwen periodically during the first year of her life.

You can see some of their completely amazing images below.

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And here is a little video of Gwen and one of her brothers at 3 months:

Video Diary | Baby Martinez 2.0

Posted on August 31, 2013

What does a full session look like? Take a peek here and see. Every photo session with CYE Photography receives a custom video diary. Up today? Finn’s newborn session from 2013. Please enjoy!

Video Diary | Loren

Posted on February 18, 2012

What does a full session look like? Take a peek here and see. Every photo session with CYE Photography receives a custom video diary. Up today? Loren’s maternity and newborn sessions from the very end of 2011. Please enjoy!

Send me to Creative Live with Sandy Puc!

Posted on February 9, 2012

FYI, there is an awesome web-based learning team based out of Seattle!

creativeLIVE is about providing the best free, live creative education on the web. Their studio is in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, and they offer free online workshops in photography, video, web and graphic design, app development and a wide array of other creative topics.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, the weekend of February 24th, their latest workshop will showcase Sandy Puc as the awesome instructor and newborn/baby photography as the topic. For each webinar, the creativeLIVE team selects a certain amount of photographers to participate. I’d love to be one of the lucky few to work alongside Sandy and visit the creativeLIVE team.

The catch? I have to submit a video ‘audition’ or sorts to be considered. Now, I just learned of this particular webinar a mere 3 days ago. AND, for the last three days, I’ve been down and out with the flu. Not the most awesome combination for taping an audition video for sure. However, I decided not to let the pukes get me down and do what I could… all from the discomfort of my own bed.

So, here it is! My audition. No make-up. No script. No special effects or editing. One take.

Pick me! I’d love to join!!

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2011 Annual Family Mini Sessions! | Seattle Family Photographer

Posted on September 30, 2011


About getting your session:

They’re back! The Annual Family Mini Sessions are OPEN FOR BOOKING for 2011.

Only 10 slots are open this year and they are booked FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED by email request. To secure your session, please email NOW. I will start confirming sessions, sending out paypal invoices and replying to emails tomorrow afternoon.

These sessions booked in 6 hours last year and that was when I was offering two days of sessions instead of just one.

Tell me more about the session…

They last 20 minutes and 20 minutes only. The price includes up to 5 people, additional people incur an extra fee. These sessions are for immediate families only. We are more than happy to photograph an extended family (grandparents, aunts, etc) during a standard session.

Generally, getting smiley, happy photos of the your whole bunch, even the littlest kids included, is more than doable. The session will be very quick and great for toddlers and little kids who only listen for so long . We will try to get numerous different groupings and portraits in your mini session. Since these sessions are so quick, I do like to have some candy for bribing and coercion on hand. Be sure to let me know if you’d prefer that we skip that option if you wish.

These sessions will all take place in a mid Snohomish County location that will be released to those families who are quick on the email trigger and snap up a session. Participating families will also receive access to our Wardrobe FAQ and Welcome Packet to ensure success!

10 full resolution images, a print release enabling you to make unlimited copies of your portraits, and 25 custom boutique holiday cards are included in the session. All images will be completed and ready for your use within 4 weeks of the mini session date.


Email to book NOW or we’ll see you again in 2012!

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Video Diary | Ava LaRee

Posted on August 26, 2011

Edmonds area Newborn Photographer

What does a full session look like? Take a peek here and see. Every photo session with CYE Photography receives a custom video diary. Up today? Ava’s newborn session from August 2011. View her sneak peek images here.

Please enjoy!

Video Diary | Kinsley is 8 months!

Posted on July 29, 2011

Bothell area Child Photographer

Video Diary | Kinsley

What does a full session look like? Take a peek here and see. Every photo session with CYE Photography receives a custom video diary. Up today? Kinsley’s 8 month session from July 2011. Please enjoy!

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Video Diary | Kinsley 2.0 | Woodinville Child Photographer

Posted on April 10, 2011

Bothell area Child Photographer

Video Diary | Kinsley | Bothell Baby Photographer

What does a full session look like? Take a peek here and check it out! Each session with CYE Photography receives a custom slideshow. Up today? Kinsley’s second installment in her Baby’s First Year sessions. Enjoy!


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Ruffles & Rust: Spring Vintage Market | Monroe Event Photographer

Posted on February 23, 2011

Monroe Event Photographer

Vintage, Antuiques & Handmades | Monroe Event Photographer

Otherwise known as MY UTOPIA. If something has chippy paint, patina or a little dust, you can pretty much bank on the fact that I will love it, covet it and want to bring it home to stuff into my overly stuffed wonderfully organized garage prop room.

Last Friday, I photographed the Hat Spectacular for the Ruffles & Rust Spring Vintage Market presented by Come Junk With Us. I photographed the Ruffles & Rust Beauty Sash Ball last October and had a fab time. So, I immediately jumped onboard for the Spring Vintage Market’s theme of derby hats. In fact, here I am with Dana showing off our finished hats:

Photo Credit: Sylvia Cook Photography

Looking good, right?

I have images from the evening to share with you! Please check out the entire list of amazingly talented vendors below the slideshow. It has been announced that the NEXT Ruffles and Rust show will be October 21st and 22nd (2011). Mark your calendars now!
Fabulous vendors:

Spool and Sparrow
Blue Ewe
Pine Creek Nursery
Dyan Emery
The Weathered Rose
Lingering Legacy
Jayne Morse
Candeo Flower
Gypsy General Store
Glitter and Ivy
Seabold Vintage Market
Out of Necessity
Chic Essentials
Bohemian Gypsy
Cedarbrook Lavender
Latitude Studios
Bountiful Home and Nursery
The Vintage Nest
Devon Lang
Garden Primitives
The French Farm House
Circle Creek Home
Fun Junk
Today’s Country Store
Island Chicks
Quilter Girl
Lisa’s Little House
Auntie Joy
Maison Douce
Secrets In The Attic
Valley Vintage
Heather Hansen Designs
Just Because Antiques
Sweet Bee
The Rusty Raeven
Periwinkle Rose
Tippy Stockton
Urban Petal
Flair Weathered Friends
Great Findz
SeaWorthy Home
French Bulldog
Scott Valley Vintage

Orange… {fun stuff!} | Seattle Child Photographer

Posted on November 8, 2010

Edmonds area Child Photographer

I {heart} these faces.

One of the photography blogs I follow, I Heart Faces is having a photo challenge and this week’s theme is ORANGE!

Well, whaddya know? My Immense Joy post from last week is FILLED with orange, and my two little love bugs. So, I am entering the picture below.

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