October 11, 2020
Today, I’ll be sharing a Newborn Session that is close to my heart, as it is of family. Little Eleanor Grace was born on Monday, August 24, 2020 at 6 lbs, 11 oz. and is pictured here at 12 days old!
Jonathan, (my older brother) and Cheryl had previously walked through a difficult season of infertility with their first daughter, and my niece, Gloria, who was conceived through IVF (in vitro fertilization), subsequently diagnosed with in-utero chromosomal insufficiencies, and then miraculously born 100% healthy with no genetic disorders despite predictions and diagnoses of doctors and genetic specialists.
She is now a healthy, happy, (and spirited :)) two year old with a brand new baby sister, Eleanor, who came as a surprise and gift from God, after all the doctor’s visits, negative pregnancy tests, thousands of hormone injections, disappointments, and waiting.
I wanted to share here some excerpts from Cheryl’s Journal describing their journey through infertility and their beautiful family story in hopes that it will be an encouragement and light to other families and mothers currently walking through a similar journey of disappointment, grief, and uncertainty:
“Congratulations! We were pregnant. You’d think that after all these years of waiting, we would be ecstatic. I thought I would’ve been too. What I didn’t expect was to be met with a mixture of fear and apprehension. This was the harder of the two paths. It would’ve been so much easier to say, “Well, we tried. It didn’t work out,” than to actually have to put our faith into practice.
When my immediate reaction wasn’t joy, I felt a deep sadness. I was ashamed of my selfishness, disappointed at my lack of faith, and grieving the loss of a moment in my life that I had been dreaming of.
The first time I get to hear the words, “You’re pregnant,” had passed, and I would never get that same experience again. Had I ruined it?”
“With each appointment, you’d think we would feel a little relief, like our baby had “passed” a test. In reality, we didn’t know how to feel. Both Jon and I struggled emotionally with different aspects of the unknown.
The doctors couldn’t (or wouldn’t) tell us that any of the positive test results meant that we had a higher chance of a healthy child. No one really knew. Because the way genes work, there are a myriad of possibilities.
We could have a completely normal child. We could have a child that miscarries in the second trimester. We could have a still born baby. We could have a child that doesn’t survive past the newborn stage. We could have a growing child with physical deformities, developmental delay, and/or intellectual difficulty. We just won’t know for sure until the baby is born.“
Newborn, Baby, Family Portraits | Tiffany Chi Photography
“At our latest ultrasound, we were able to see the inside of my baby’s heart and watch the chambers pump blood to its tiny 8 ounce body. I’ve begun to feel the light “bubbles” caused by my baby moving inside of me. I started to pinning all sorts of ideas on breastfeeding, nursery decor, mom hacks, gender reveals, and maternity clothes, all the while feeling terribly overwhelmed and horribly late to the game.
And it could all be for naught. Or we could be entering into a stage of life that comes with challenges no one would wish for.
And I’m okay with that.”
“The miracle of life is just that: a miracle. A normal pregnancy in normal parents cannot happen without a million little things falling into place. One of my wise mentors told me that often we attribute the gift of life to the strength of the biology, but really, its bigger than that.
I’ve dreamed of being a mother for longer than I’ve dreamed of being a wife, and while God has taken the normal path to parenthood away from me, He’s never left my side. And He never will, no matter what happens. The phrase “God is good” has a deeper meaning for me. I am more confident in that promise now that I ever have been before.
So, soli Deo gloria. To His name, be the glory. Our story is His story. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us next.”
“My heart stopped. At first, there was no emotion, just shock. I was holding Gloria, and instantly ran upstairs with her to where Jon was in his office.
“Jon!” I cried. “Her test results came back 100% normal!”
“Praise God,” he said breathlessly. Jon stood and immediately embraced me as I cradled our miracle in my arms. Then, the burden I had been carrying since October of last year, the burden that I hadn’t realized was as heavy as it was, fell from my shoulders. I began to sob in my husband’s arms amidst waves of relief, my tears landing on my daughter’s sleeping face.”
“They originally told me that this child would not implant at all, but if she did, she would not make it past the first trimester. So, hearing her heart beat at six weeks gestation was a surprise. Making it past the first trimester was a joy. Having her reach full term and be born was a blessing. Finding out she had no genetic abnormalities at all was a gift. I had all I wanted and could ask for no more…and yet here was this email. Here was God telling me that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. All things...”
“All things like every single needle that I had inserted into my body. Like every tear we had cried. Like every argument we’d had regarding our options. Like every time I grieved a normal pregnancy. Like the health report I did my freshman year in high school on abortion, even though I didn’t really know what that was at the time, that started my passion for saving unborn lives. Like every prayer that had been said on our behalf asking for a miracle when all I could pray was, “Lord, be with my baby.”
All things work together for the good of those who love Him. And this was good. God was using my daughter’s life to save the lives of others.”
“I found myself silently praying,
I don’t know why God said yes to me yet no to others, and I worry that as time goes on, I will forget what it felt like to be childless and watching other people post picture after picture of their children on social media. I worry that I will forget the overwhelming gratefulness I feel when I see my daughter open her eyes.
I worry that I will forget how it felt to take that leap of faith with the expectancy that we would have a child with disabilities. I worry I will forget everything I have learned. My prayer is that I remain forever grateful for these blessings.
Looking back, I can clearly see the path God was leading us on. I can see why He had us climb those mountains and jump off those cliffs. I understand a little more why I had to struggle the way I did.
Fine Art Newborn Portraits | Tiffany Chi Photography
Orange County, CA
“God had a plan the whole time, a story bigger and better than we could’ve imagined. If I were writing it, I would’ve stopped two or three miracles short of what God had in store for us.
And now I’ve learned a little better on how to be expectant, how to look for His handiwork in today’s world, and how to trust Him with my biggest hopes and dreams.“
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My Motherhood Sessions have been featured on prominent Online Publications such as La Peche Journal, The Fount Collective, ShoutOut Los Angeles, and The Motherhood Anthology.
From California, to Paris, to Motherhood. This is my story.