10 WEEKS AND COUNTING

Here we are! The 3rd trimester is here. She's almost in my arms! I have been awful about blogging this journey so I will try and cover all aspects of our baby, our loving surrogate and my amazingly supportive husband.

Lets start from the beginning. We had our first transfer a little over a year from our sweet baby girl’s due date, it was December 14th. What a beautiful thing seeing your embryos implanted. You put so much hope, time and money into a surrogacy and you just know it has to work and maybe just maybe both embryos will be healthy and will grow. There is no way to protect your self from that when it doesn't work. It was so unreal. We worked so hard did all of our research and had the perfect oven for our babes. We prayed relentlessly from the get go and prayed every single day after our first transfer for healthy babies and the only way I can cope is knowing that those babies weren’t healthy. God had answered our prayer. It was a hard answer to comprehend but he had answered. He knew he was saving our perfect little girl for us. 

Once we had the all clear we did our next transfer in March. This transfer was totally different, everyone was very guarded. The excitement is replaced with stress and worry. But once you see that little tiny light on the ultrasound screen that hope returns. Those were two embryos that we created, that we love and that we hope and pray for. Again, we prayed for healthy and God answered and we are 10 weeks, 70 days away from meeting our answered prayer. 

Our surrogate has been the most amazing person ever. I have heard of other Intended Parents who did not have a great relationship with their surrogate which makes me feel awful but so grateful for ours. It’s hard enough giving up complete control of YOUR BABY for 9 months! We are so lucky, she's loving and always thoughtful of me and of course takes the BEST care of our baby. I wish I could measurably thank her but I couldn’t finish that in a lifetime.

Time has been moving so slowly but then I think, OH MY she is going to be here in 10 weeks I have so much to do to get ready for her. I miss her. I miss her more than I have ever missed anything in my whole life. It's an exciting yet aching pain. I am working very hard for her though. I am inducing lactation so that I can breastfeed my baby! I am going to do post a blog on that to follow! I am missing not being able to carry her but am constantly reminded that we are so blessed we get to love her in just 10 weeks and I may never put her down!!

My sweet sweet husband has been nothing short of amazing. From my crazy dreams, thanks to inducing medication, to my rivers of tears. He was made for me in every way possible. I can’t wait to see him with his GIRL laying on his chest and seeing the way he loves her.

Surrogacy takes a village we wouldn't be here without our families and friends. We are so thankful for surrogacy and we can’t wait to see our babe.

If you have any questions about surrogacy or our journey, please do not hesitate to reach out. Educate yourself and others.

XO Julie, Stoney and Baby Girl Harrell

Miss Blakely | Newborn

If you know me, even just a little, you know I love babies! If you invite me to a party and someone brings their baby, I will just want to hang out with the baby. Sorry, nothing personal. This sweet girl has an amazing family! They are the definition of family goals. I have been so lucky to reconnect with her sweet momma too! Her mom and I go way back. Way back. We went to PRESCHOOL together! I had the pleasure of capturing their adorable new baby girl, Blakely. If you can't tell she's already got everyone wrapped around her tiny little fingers, especially Dad! I am so thankful to see families grow and capture sweet newborns before they quickly grow up!

XOXO

Baby Veselka | Celebration

I had the honor of capturing the biggest news yet for these two! This couple is going to have the cutest little blonde baby. EVER. Even big sister Cali is excited to welcome sweet baby Veselka! Not only will they have a cute baby they will be the best parents! I couldn't be more excited to meet & love on their sweet baby arriving this summer! XOXO

Mr & Mrs Pealer | Wedding

This couple is so near and dear to my heart! We had a bright beautiful day in Ohio for their dream wedding! They had their ceremony at a beautiful church with all of their loved ones gathered to celebrate this sweet couple! Every single person that attended was so incredibly happy for these two who truly deserved each other! I am thankful that I was able to capture each moment of this day for Ashley & Josh. I can't wait to capture all the happy days to come!

XOXO 

 

The Meadors | Celebration

How adorable is this couple!? Their love is so incredibly genuine! I mean look at the way she lights up when he catches her eye! We went out to First Landing for a celebration shoot as and boy did we have so much to celebrate with these two. That morning they became MR and MRS and the icing on the cake is that they are having a baby!!! I am so thrilled for this sweet couple and wish them all the happiness in the world!

Troy | Birthday

Each and every time I get the opportunity to work with this sweet family we have the best time!! They are such a beautiful family inside and out! Their precious little boy, Troy is 2! I remember when he was just a fresh little newborn and I can't believe how quickly time has flown. It won't go by that fast when we have a baby right!?!?

Aubree | First Birthday

Full disclosure, we did this shoot twice. Which is totally OK. Things happen, weather, illness and sleepy babies! Miss Aubree was turning one in a few short weeks so we met for her 1 year pictures. I have had the opportunity to work with this adorable family before, and about 15 minutes in, I knew something was amiss. Aubree is one of the happiest, constantly smiling and dancing little girls you have ever met. So when she was quite fussy I thought that something was off. It was, she was asleep before her mom got down the street. We rescheduled to the following week and let me tell you that sweet little happy girl I remembered was there and we got some precious memories! I hope to work with this wonderful family again!

XOXO Julie

Bryce Bryce Baby|Newborn

This sweet little boy gave me the best baby fix! He was so tiny and fresh! His mom came up with his super cool nickname, Bryce Bryce Baby!! I LOVE his parents also and they are rocking it as first time parents in my opinion. We were very patient with Baby Bryce, he was ready to party and eat so we waited for him to relax. I’m always ready to eat so I totally understood how he felt HAHA. We were able to capture some sweet little moments in his adorable nautical room! I am so beyond happy for Stephen and Ashley!

XOXO Julie

HGC|Business Session

These two gentlemen are truly passionate about their music. HGC is very true to their beliefs and have been working hard to get where they are today, even with their unique merchandise. I had the opportunity to capture some fun photos in the Neon District of Norfolk. If you haven't walked around down there, go, now! The creative artwork is insanely amazing.

ENJOY!

Surrogacy Journey|Personal

Two things: 

#1. Everything happens for a reason.

#2.  Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

When there is something that you truly want with all of your heart, we as humans tend to create a perfect path or perfect light to look at a circumstance. We were close. We were getting ready to send off the final paperwork and were weeks away from completing appointments to start the transfer for our surrogacy. God had a different plan. In those moments I was confused and angry, we had done everything right, we had put the leg work in and then everything collapsed. It hit hard, again it was something that we really wanted. I prayed and I cried and I prayed and I cried. And then guess what happened. God answered. He answered clearly and quickly. We are now starting our surrogacy journey with a sweet family who I have known my entire life. It is such a blessing that not only we have their friendship but that they are willing to provide the ultimate gift for us!

 We have been beyond busy but I will be documenting this journey as best we can. My number one resource when I have questions or concerns is a few other families blogs who have gone through this process. So I do hope in some way we can help another family. We appreciate prayers and support as we continue on and hope for our sweet little baby! 

XOXO Julie

The Meekers

I feel like I say this all the time but my favorite thing about photography is the relationships I create with my clients. It truly is!!! This is the second time that I have worked with this sweet family before. Sweet little Quinn is the most photogenic and easy going little one I have worked with. Big smiles Quinn, ok. Stand over here with mom and dad, ok. She also was excited about getting donuts afterwards so I knew her and I would be best friends.  Little Miss Quinn is also the best big sister. This shoot was done just a few days before her new baby sister Chloe made her debut. We went to the very beautifully Brock Environmental Center. It was so peaceful and beautiful looking over the water. I look forward to capturing this new party of four in the future! XOXO Julie

Miss Adalynn

From the bump to the hospital this little girl is so adorable! We had some chilly weather for a maternity session on the beach but that didn't stop this cute couple!! Then sweet baby Adalynn joined us just a few weeks later at Sentara Leigh and I was able to capture a few pictures of her there as well! I headed up the morning after she made her debut and spent more time snuggling than I did taking pictures. She's so sweet! 

Sweet Little Red Head- The Roth's

I have been lucky enough to know this sweet little lady's momma for over 5 years now. We worked together and have maintained a friendship throughout. She's a good one to know, sweet and full of laughter. She was recently blessed with a second child, Joslynn and she has the prettiest red hair! She has lots of love from her big brother Austin and I think he is looking forward to play time with his sister. We were able to capture some newborns and they live right on the water so we didn't have to go too far for some photos of their family of four!

A Family of Five - Melissa and Eric

Hi. My name is Julie and I sometimes get behind on my blogging. I have so many important families to share and updates on our personal life! I will first start off by introducing this sweet family! Miss Aubree has so much love not only from Mom and Dad but her big brothers Peyton and Triston. & trust me from experience, big brothers love their little sister like no other. It was one of the few sunny and warm Saturdays in February and we got some great shots at Red Wing Park. Also, I promise to blog again next week!! Maybe even twice!

 

Dana & Christian

This learning process is such a wonderful time for me. I am growing as a photographer and a person and building relationships with some of the sweetest people is the number one highlight of photography. I was so excited when Dana reached out for some couples photos & they brought their ADORABLE pup, Huey. Huey was full of energy so it was perfect that we went over to the Chesapeake Arboretum. This was my first time shooting here and I LOVED it. These three are so perfect together! Thank you Dana & Christian!!