INDIANAPOLIS PHOTOGRAPHER | sharon's story

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When I was younger I never really wanted children. Growing up with a large family, I always thought everyone else can have the kids. But as I was getting closer to 30, I wanted to have a family of my own. They both were surprises.

I was very excited with both. I cried with both. We wanted to wait to tell people, but we couldn't, it was something we had to share. A blessing in disguise! I loved being pregnant, I loved feeling the kicks and feeling little baby behinds poking up. I knew my first pregnancy was a girl. I had her name picked out before Jason and I have even met. My second pregnancy, I wanted a girl, but I knew Blaze was a boy. God had already told me that I wasn't ready for a girl.

With Kingslee it all happened too fast. At 22 weeks I went in for a monthly check up, only to find out I was 4cm dilated and my bag was bulging. Immediately, I was rushed to labor and delivery, I was put on strict bedrest with my legs in the air. Everything seemed to be going smoothly and the doctors were doing all they could do to keep her in as long as possible. But at 23 weeks exactly Kingslee was ready to be born. Only 3 pushes and she was out crying as loud as her little lungs would let her. Four doctors, 13 nurses, and 2 surgical doctors on standby -- my Kings had a lot of help when she entered this world at 11:55 pm on Aug. 29, 2013. Only weighing 1 lb 2 oz measuring 11 inches, she was rushed to the NICU. After 2 long hours of waiting to hear anything about her they finally came to take me to her. She was so beautiful, so small and so fragile. The first night she did great, breathing almost on her own and responding well to all the meds they were giving her, but the next night she started struggling. She stop breathing on her own and her little body started to bruise and break down. The doctor came in and told me that there was nothing medically that they could do. I couldn't make the decision to take her off the machines because she was my baby, my sweet baby girl. So at 10:50 pm on Aug. 31, 2013 I held her as she passed into Glory.

A week after she was born we had her funeral. We celebrated the 2 days she had with us, even though it was too short. She then was cremated and placed in a little urn. That day was the first day I got to bring her home. The most horrible experience, but bittersweet. She now sits on the night table beside my bed so I can talk to her and hold her.

No parent should loose a child. Parents shouldn't outlive their child. It's taboo it seems. People don't talk about it because that's taboo too. But when you experience a lose like no other, what do you do? what does one say? I have learned to answer hard questions, I might cry, but it helps. I have 2 children, one is in Heaven and one is with me. At first, when Kingslee passed it was easier to say I had no children but then I came to realize she is still my child. She lived, she passed away -- but she lived. The struggle is there isn't a good word to describe a parent loosing a child, except "childless." But I wasn't childless. I had a child, she was just in Heaven. And then God blessed with another child this year. So I have 2 kids, one is in Heaven and one is here with me! They both truly are my world changers!

With Blaze, I was high risk. During the first and second trimester I made weekly and biweekly visits to the doctors office, always checking on my cervix. I was diagnosed this an incompetent cervix, having a cerclage placed at 12 weeks and receiving p17 shots starting at week 17 all the way to 36 weeks. Because of the shots and the doctors help, and of course by God's help, My Blaze stayed in. When the doctor took out my cerclage at 36 weeks, she told me I was already dilated to 1 cm so more than likely he will be born within the next week, considering my past pregnancy. Wrong! He decided to stay in the complete pregnancy. Thank God. I was induced at 7:30am on Jan. 24, 2015, and with an epidural and about 30 minutes of pushing, he arrived at 4:06 pm, weighing 6 lbs 15 oz 20 inches long. Healthy, happy and blessed beyond measure. Two days later, he was home. That was the most amazing day ever! My miracle baby. I was so scared that I couldn't love again after Kingslee died. But oh was I wrong. I fell in love all over again. Looking at Blaze for the first time, my heart stopped and then it was placed in my arms.

There are no words to describe when I brought Blaze home. Overwhelming but yet one of the greatest gifts ever. He was small and fragile, it seemed, but he was really a strong little guy. I was nervous changing his clothes, and while he slept, day or night, I constantly check his breathing. He was 1 month when he slept a full night!

Being a mother has changed me completely, a total 180. My Kingslee Grace changed my world through her life and her passing. She brought her daddy and I closer together. She taught me to be strong, to never give up on anything. And my Blaze was my calm after the storm. He gave me a reason to live. Showing me how to love again when I felt lost and in despair. It's taken me by surprise how much this little person that I helped create can cause so much happiness and love to burst out that I never knew was there!

Through God and through faith, I made it through everything. With help from my family and friends, and for that I will always be grateful!

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The best part about being a mom is loving someone so much -- you never knew a love like that has ever existed. And the feeling of awe, of helping in a creation that only God knows about!

The world we live in has changed so much since I was a kid. Sometimes I worry that it will only get worse. People can be mean and do horrible things. But all we can really do is pray. Pray that Blaze will be safe, pray that hearts and minds will change. And pray for faith against these fears.

I pray Blaze grows up to be a good God fearing man. I pray that he excels in life in everything he does, whether it be homework or sports or marriage. I pray he will be a wonderful husband that leads his family to Christ. And I pray that he will be a great father raising his children with honorable values and giving them so much love.

I read and speak these words to Blaze, knowing that I'm planting a seed, and when he grows up, I pray he lives life by these words: Psalms 91- Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and ramport. You will not fear the terror by night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, "The Lord is my refuge," and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you. No disaster will come near your tent. For he will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all of your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the serpent. "because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Being a new mom myself, I don't know if I have any advise for other moms because I'm still learning myself. But I would say, living in this world it will break you or make you. I was broken into pieces but after going through a literal hell it made me who I am today. A strong mom, that never gave up when wanting to end everything because of the unbearable pain. Always keep the faith, faith as tiny as a mustard seed can make mountains crumble.

Moms do have the power to change the world; not only are we raising ourselves, such as new moms learning the new life of motherhood, but we are raising our child. That child is taught how to live, how to survive, how to believe, how to have faith, and how to be a world changer. Even if it's just one persons world!

A letter to Heaven for my sweet Kingslee Grace.

Kingslee, my sweet angel baby, I know you will never physically read this letter because you were taken from us way too early, but God had His purpose. I carried you for 6 months and in those months I was overjoyed and excited. God saw fit that you were born early, earlier than anyone expected. I got to hold you for 2 amazing days that I will cherish until the day I die and finally see you again. I heard you cry, I saw you smile, I gave you a bath, I changed your tiny diapers and I held you, that in itself is all I ever wanted. I held you as you took your last breath. I always questioned, God why me? Why my child? Why only to give her to me just to take her away? And then I had to patiently wait for Him, because we never see the entire picture that God is drawing for our lives. I still think of you every day, the hurt is getting less and less but it will never go away. You were my first born, my baby girl, and you will always be my baby girl. I thank God for you and the time I had with. I love you Kingslee Grace, and until we meet again in Glory ... Mama loves you always and forever!

Blaze, my little stink wink.

You could not have come at a better time in my life. God knew what He was doing when He sent you to me. After we lost your big little sister, I was so hurt and in pain, but I heard God speak, "give me your pain." It was hard because I was upset with Him but I did. As soon as I did, He blessed me with you! I pray daily that you will grow up to be a good, godly Christian man, that you do great and awesome things through Him and you lean on Him for understanding. My blue eyed boy, you mean so much to me. I love you more and more with each new day. Throughout life you will be tested through trials and temptations, it will be hard sometimes, but with God's love and by His grace you will succeed. You are my heart. Always remember you are a world changer, you changed mine. And God has a purpose for you. I love you so much Blaze Royce!

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spaces are limited for motherhood photography sessions, so be sure to get set up today!

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Ashlee also provides magical and delightful services for: newborn photography, cake smash photography, baby's first year plans, maternity photography, family photography, and Newborn mentoring for photographers.

If you have a milestone or special moment you want to remember forever, let's chat! Ashlee loves to photograph in the woodlands and around downtown Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, and Greenwood. She also has a professional studio space available for sessions.

EMAIL: ashlee@alaurenphoto.com