Gorgeous Wintertime Maternity Session in Midland, Michigan // West Michigan Emotive Photographer

Mary is from midland, and is a fellow photographer, and the moment we met I knew we were going to be fast friends. She is hilarious, talented, smart, wicked fun to be around. She invited me into her home to document her family and this pregnancy for her and we had a blast and I'm really really excited to also call her a friend. I can't wait to meet this little one.

Mary's story:


"I think with this link is a good time to share "our" journey and share our baby girls name. I have always been pretty open about our infertility journey and it is because I had always hoped it encouraged others and got them through dark times. There has, and I am sure, never will be a greater want for myself than wanting to be a mother. I remember sitting in an u/s room at one point thinking if I couldn't have children then why live? My hearts truest desire was wanting babies and a family.

Peter and I got married in 2005 and always just said, "When it happens, it will happen" and didn't put much thought into it in the beginning. I was 21 and while a baby would be welcomed I wasn't necessarily in a hurry. A few years passed that were vital to our marriage to grow and learn about each other. Looking back now I am so thankful we didn't have a baby that would have complicated the process for us but hindsight is 20/20, right? In 2008 we got pretty serious about wanting to move forward and have a baby. We started tracking cycles etc. only to be disappointed every month and the pressure was on from others as well. In early 2009 we met with a specialist and were told because of several factors on both sides that our chance of conceiving was likely 1% on our own.

To make things short and sweet here, my Mom sold her classic Mustang to help us pay for an out-of-pocket procedure that would cost nearly $20k. We did IVF in May of 2009 and became pregnant with Oliver and Eleanor who were born that year in December at 32 weeks.

Because of the cost of IVF and the toll it took emotionally to have a rough pregnancy and then preemie twins we committed to not having anymore children. We moved across country and left 9 embryos frozen in a clinic.

Fast forward to a few moves, a return to Mi and lots of heart to hearts we decided in 2015 that we would move forward with a frozen transfer of one of those 9 embryos. Those embryos were frozen for 6 years. Otis essentially was a 5 day old embryos waiting to be implanted. He essentially is as old as Oliver and Eleanor. Mind blown, right? Otis was born in February of 2016. We were committed to not having anymore children and decided to not keep any embryos frozen at that time. We were done having children.

As of 2016 Peter and I had been married for 11 years and had never taken a precaution to prevent pregnancy. When Otis was 5 months old my period was 8 weeks late. This could be kind of a normal occurrence for me so we didnt consider it to be odd. Driving home from a wedding one day I decided I would stop at Target (Where else?) and grab a test. Peter and the kids were off for the day and I pee'd on the stick to see a bright positive immediately. In my heart, I just knew, something wasn't right. After a few weeks passed we found out the pregnancy wasn't viable. This left a small tear in our hearts that someone might be missing from our family.

We decided that we would try naturally for one year and then set up a consultation with our specialist to do another round of IVF to have one more baby. We even talked about doing something called genetic testing so we could have a girl specifically. Now, I know this can be controversial to some to choose the gender but Peter and I both as Christians believe and stand by that God is the creator of life and he is the ultimate decider. With that said, I trust God that the adversity of our infertility made us stronger as a unit and as parents.

So, August 2016 Peter and I are ready to order meds after some saving up. We would start IVF in September when we returned from one last trip to Disney World with our kiddies.

Instead, about 2 weeks before this trip I see a pregnancy test sitting on the counter staring at me. I literally did not have one symptom but I always thought they were kinda of fun to pee on so why not? I opened it, peed, set it on the counter and non-chalantly watched it and ready to chuck it in the trash but as that dye creeped across I knew immediately what I was witnessing. We were pregnant, naturally, again. Now any woman knows the emotional rollercoaster after a miscarriage can be rough. You take a long time to have hope.

The rest of the story is kind of history because most of my friends know...we are pregnant! In fact, I am 37 weeks tomorrow with a baby girl. A girl. God is faithful. He knows the desires of our heart. To top it off this baby is due on my Dad's birthday, Friday the 13th. My Dad passed away when the twins were 17 days old so has not met any of my kids but I just know he is their guardian angel.

So, with all that said...and if you made it this far:

"Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created." Esther 4:14

We cannot wait to meet his gal, Esther."