“But God…” – Learning to Rely on His Perfect Timing

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted three kids.  I come from a family of three kids, as does my husband.  But my husband has been in more of the mindset of, “Do you remember how the kids behaved today?? Do you REALLY want to add another one to the mix?”  And I’ll be honest, after those days I thought, “yeah… we are done.”

Even my oldest made a comment to her Nana, when asked if Mama should have another baby, that Mama would go crazy if we had another!  (I don’t know where she comes up with this stuff!)

This summer after my many subtle hints (read: not so subtle), my husband finally agreed that he wanted to add another rugrat to the mix.

-Backtracking just a bit-

With my oldest, it took over two years to get pregnant.  In the process, we actually discovered I had endometriosis and a week after the diagnosis I had surgery and about three months later I was pregnant!  Praise the Lord!

img_6374-copyOur first blessing, Genesis Faith043 Photo Credit: A Click Photography

It really is amazing to me how many women struggle with infertility.  I have photographed more than my fair share of women who struggled to get pregnant and sadly, each year it feels like this number continues to grow.  I hold a special place in my heart for those that struggled, and are still struggling to conceive.

When we decided we were ready to have another, it took a year to get pregnant with Olivia.  Aside from the morning sickness, the pregnancy was smooth sailing until after our 20 week ultrasound.  About a week after, I received a phone call from the doctor’s office saying that there was something wrong with Olivia’s heart.  She had what they call an Ecogenic Intracardiac Focus (EIF).  We were told very little from the nurse at that point other than we needed another ultrasound.

The fear that envelops you after a call like that… it’s consuming. 

At this point we still did not have a name for Olivia.  But two weeks later, on our way to our appointment we finally figured out her name:

Olivia Grace 

That middle name held so much importance to us at that moment…

At the ultrasound we got a closer look at Olivia’s heart.  We also found out that an EIF could be an indicator of down syndrome.

ultrasoundYou can see the four chambers of her heart in this photo and the white spot is the EIF

Once we had our ultrasound, the Dr. felt that everything was fine but if we wanted to do the quad screening, we needed to get it done ASAP.  My husband and I immediately agreed that we would not partake in this testing.  Even if our baby was born with any sort of birth defect, we would never abort the baby so it really was unnecessary testing.

Even though we were released from maternal fetal medicine, there is still that voice in the back of our heads saying, “what if….” In some ways, those next few weeks flew by… in others, time went so slow.

When Olivia arrived on Oct 29, 2014, we were INCREDIBLY thankful that she was perfect and healthy!  She was an answer to prayer!

img_9544-copy334Photo Credit: A Click Photography

So back to the beginning of this post… my husband was finally on board with having another and a month later, we were PREGNANT!  We were both shocked because we had a difficult time getting pregnant with our two previous cuties!  My husband thought he had finally perfected the process and was disappointed that he got it correct so quickly!

Now, something you need to know about my husband, he can’t keep a secret to save his life.  In fact, with our first, he told about everyone in our church but ended it with saying, “but don’t tell anyone yet.  You’re the only one who knows!”  No joke, about the whole church knew but no one said anything… So, in true fashion with this third pregnancy he began to tell everyone.

Now, anyone who has ever been pregnant knows this… they (I don’t know who “they” are, but they) say you shouldn’t start sharing this news until you hit the second trimester.  You are more likely to miscarry in the first trimester and if you lose the baby, you’re going to have to tell everyone about it.  I was so mad at my husband because we didn’t have a clue how far along we were and he was pretty much shouting it from the rooftops.

In the afternoon of August 12th (right before we left on vacation) I had my first prenatal appointment.  I’d been down this road before so my husband stayed behind since he was working.  Immediately after going back the nurse let me know that their was blood in my urine.  She also said they might not want to do an ultrasound because they weren’t sure how far along I was and there might not be a heartbeat simply because I’m not far enough along.  Normally they would do blood tests to check out the HCG levels but I was heading out on vacation that evening so that would be pointless because I couldn’t return for more blood work in two days.  After the Dr. came back they decided they’d go ahead and do an ultrasound to check for an ectopic pregnancy (which can be life threatening). The Dr. made me aware that we were NOT checking for a heart beat and we were NOT checking to measure how far along I was.  IF we were able to get either of those, that would just be icing on the cake.

The nurse sat me in a row of chairs to wait for the ultrasound tech.  This row of chairs brought me to tears because this is where my husband and I sat when we waited for the results of our 20 week ultrasound with Olivia.  At that point we didn’t know anything was wrong but the tech came back and said she needed to check a few more things.  But again, we did not have a clue that they saw anything wrong with Olivia’s heart.

I went back and forth in my head while I waited.  I bled with both of my previous pregnancies and everything was fine, so this would be fine.  But the fear kept trickling in….

Finally the tech took me back and not only did she locate the baby in the correct place (not an ectopic pregnancy), she got the heartbeat and the baby was measuring 6 weeks 4 days!

ultrasound-baby-3Our cutie

I followed back up with the Dr. prior to leaving.  She let me know that the baby looked good and the heart beat was within the normal limits.

But…

I hate that word.  I’ve already been on a roller coaster of emotions yet here is another one where the world seems to plummet from beneath me.  She went on to say that the sac was implanted lower than usual in the uterus.  She said, “Does this mean that you are at any higher risk of miscarrying than normal?  No.”  But because we were leaving on vacation that evening she did let me know a few things to do should I miscarry while on vacation.

I had been keeping my husband informed of what was going on throughout the appointment but on the way home I called him to fill in the gaps.  I gotta tell you, when I got home, I literally felt like I had run a race.  I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  But I held on to the fact that we had a precious, healthy baby growing inside me.

Fast forward about 15 hours, I woke up at about 5 in the morning drenched in blood.  We had lost our baby.  There really are no words to describe the loss you feel in a moment like that.  It is absolutely gut-wrenching.

Prior to this, couples would share their stories of infertility and loss.  And I was genuine when I said how sorry I was and how I can’t even imagine going through what they went through.

People, I’m here to tell you…  It is unimaginable.  And while my husband was devastated, there is something about a woman losing life inside of them.  You already have that connection with your precious baby and in a moment, that little one is gone.

One thing I’ve discovered through all of this that I hadn’t really given a second thought to before, it is SO important to share these things with others.  Regardless of what society says about not sharing about your pregnancy in the first trimester, heaven forbid something happen to your child, it is vital that you have friends and family who know what you are going through.  People who can lend an ear, offer a shoulder to cry on, bring a meal, and lift you up in prayer.  And you never know when someone else is walking the same road as you.  I am so thankful that my husband had been sharing that we were pregnant with others because we had people surrounding us during one of our most difficult journeys.

In the midst of grieving the loss of our little one (although, do you ever stop grieving??) I met up with a client for coffee.  I had noticed a tattoo on her wrist prior to my miscarriage but at this meeting I felt led to ask her about it.  She shared with me that she had miscarried and she got the tattoo “in remembrance” (not that you ever need reminding of a loss like this) of her little ones she miscarried.  At that moment I broke down because I had been talking to my husband about getting one in the exact same spot.  She wrapped her arms around me.  And in that moment, I felt as though we were bonded… we were both a part of a club we didn’t want to be a part of, yet we were.  And we both understood the loss of the other.  I’ll always remember that moment.

287-nail-fixedMy tattoo in remembrance of our little love. 

Photo credit: A Click Photography

Since my husband and I have gotten the go ahead to try again, we have yet to be blessed with another one.  I’m trying to be okay with that, but I’ll admit, every month that goes by, it’s painful.  Patience has never been my strong suit.

In writing this, I was reminded of a devotional by Joyce Myers that I posted on my facebook page back in 2012:

But God…

There is a little phrase in the Bible that I get excited about every time I come across it. It is just two little words, but it is found throughout the Bible and is probably one of the most powerful two-word phrases in it. It is simply this: But God . . .

As we go through the Bible, we constantly read disastrous reports of the terrible things the devil had planned for God’s people. Then we come to this little phrase, But God . . ., and the next thing we read about is a victory. In the above scripture, the fact is mentioned that we are all sinners, a condition that deserves punishment and death. The phrase But God . . . interrupts the process. God’s love is brought into the situation and changes everything.

While we were sinners, Christ died for us, and by doing so, proved His love for us. He proved that His love interrupts the devastation of sin. When God called me into the ministry, people told me, “Joyce, a group of us have been talking, and we feel that there is no way you are ever going to be able to do what you say God has told you that you are going to do. We don’t feel your personality is suitable for such a job.” I still remember how awful I felt when they said those things to me.

I was hurt and discouraged . . . but God had called me, and He qualified me. What others thought was not even usable, God saw value in. He helped me, and He will do the same thing for you.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2007 by Joyce Meyer

I am choosing to turn the “But” that the doctor told me back in August into “But God”.  I’m choosing to be grateful for our two beautiful children and our third that is in Heaven.  I’m choosing JOY.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. – Romans 8:18

“In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new be born,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage, I highly recommend this book by Kathe Wunnenberg called “Grieving the Child I Never Knew.”

greiving

 

****Update****

Last year after my miscarriage I had wanted to eventually write a blog post about it.  One day (four months later) I woke up with the words above.  But unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant.

Photo Credit: Sparrow and Lace Photography

On September 9th, I gave birth to our third baby Madison Hope Bingaman.

Photo Credit: Ashlee Zimmerman Photography

Photo credit: Ashlee Zimmerman Photography Photo credit: Ashlee Zimmerman Photography

I do have to admit something and maybe it’s just me but perhaps others who have miscarried have felt the same way… After Madison arrived there was a feeling of absolute joy that she was finally here.  But… at the same time there was a hint of sorrow for the little one we never did get to meet.  But almost immediately after that thought the realization sunk in that if we hadn’t miscarried, we wouldn’t have Madison with us.

I may not ever understand why something like this happens but I am thankful for a God who knows the plans He has for me and has me in the palm of His hand.

XO, Katie

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Hostler Sneak Peek {Lewistown, Pa} Family Photographer

One day while I was out for a run, I saw this beautiful barn and property and I thought to myself, “self: you should stop by sometime and ask to take pictures there because it is GORGEOUS!”  I never got around to stopping….

Fast forward several months later and I met this beautiful family and we were discussing locations for their upcoming session.  We got to talking about Casey’s parents property and, would you believe… it was the property I was wanting to take photos at!!  And seriously, ya’ll….. the location did not disappoint!

Check out this seriously adorable session!  And William rocked it!

Thanks so much you guys!  I had an amazing time!

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Zimmerman Sneak Peek {Port Royal, Pa} Family Photographer

Y’all… I have been dying to share these photos with you all!!!

This gorgeous family came all the way from Maryland for their family session!  Talk about pressure! 😉

We had a beautiful (albeit hot) day for our session.  The sunlight was AMAAAAAZING! Maddie was a gem!  The outfits were on point!  Seriously, everything was perfection!  Y’all made my job so easy!

One of my most favorite things about my job is that when I first meet a client to discuss their upcoming session they are strangers but by the time we finish photographing their session, we are friends.  I just love it!!! ❤

Thanks so much for trusting me to capture your beautiful family.  I had an amazing time! ❤

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Brown Sneak Peek {Lewistown, Pa} Newborn Photographer

Two blog posts in two days!  Woohoo!  I’m on a roll!

The next family featured on the blog is the Brown family.  What an absolute joy it is to be asked to photograph these brand new little ones!  Baby S was an absolute dream to photograph.  She made my job so easy!  She even flashed her smile for me a few times!

Enjoy the sneak peek! ❤

Brown_5 Brown_2 Brown_12 Brown_19 Brown_90 Brown_72 Brown_73 Brown_81 Brown_71 copyBrown_43 Brown_54Expecting a little one?  Be sure to contact me well before your due date to ensure an appointment.  I only take on a few newborn sessions a month.  Feel free to check out my website at http://www.katiebingamanphotography.com for more information or email me at info@katiebingamanphotography.com.

~Katie

Book Sneak Peek {Lewistown, Pa} Newborn Photographer

Meet six day old, Amelia Claire!

Amelia’s mommy contacted me months before her due date… (I love a planner, cuz heaven knows I’m a terrible one! lol) When I found out she was having a girl, I was so excited because I got to pull out all of my adorable girly props!  I mean, seriously!!! Every girl needs to accessorize!  Am I right?!?! And when I found out that mommy was a teacher, I just HAD to have my school set up for Amelia!

Side note: this gorgeous mama had to have a c-section… She wasn’t feeling very well the day of our session and Miss Amelia was giving them a run for their money that morning.  But, seriously… how GORGEOUS is she?!  She was absolutely glowing!  ❤

Thank you so much for asking me to capture Amelia’s newborn photos!  Enjoy your sneak peek. ❤ Book_21 copy447A8924 copy-adv Book_11 copy447A8883 copy-adv 447A9059 copy-adv 447A9064 copy-adv Book_29 copy447A8959-2 copy-adv447A8998 copy-adv447A9009 copy-adv447A9168 copy-adv Book_88 copy 447A9215 copy-adv 447A9235 copy 2adv22447A9139-finished-advAnd my absolute favorite image… just hatched.  ❤

Breastfeeding Mini Sessions {Central, Pa}

When I was thinking about doing these minis and setting up photos for an advertisement, I really went back and forth between running a model call for a breastfeeding mama or if I should ask my friend and fellow photographer, Megan from Megan Elisabeth Photography to take pictures of me with my daughter Olivia.  Don’t get me wrong,  I have no problem having these sort of photos for myself.  But plastering them all over Facebook for all to see?? Not really me.  But, in the end I decided to go ahead and do it.  I decided that If I was going to ask my client’s to openly breastfeed while we photograph them, I could most definitely post these photos that she captured of me and my daughter… which are gorgeous, by the way! 😉

447A2597 copy-advI shared this on my Facebook page but I’ll share it here as well….

When I breastfed my first, Genesis, I was so incredibly nervous with feeding her in public. To make matters worse, she was EXTREMELY colicky for the first 5 months…. so add on top of that the stress and anxiety of going anywhere around the time when she needed to nurse… I was a nervous wreck. I would take my cover along everywhere we went and made sure she was 100% hidden.

447A2663 copy-advI remember specifically two occasions when people asked me to go elsewhere to nurse her. Both times I was covered and one of those times I was told to go find a restroom (this was by a woman, who you would think would understand especially since she had children of her own). The shame I felt was indescribable and there is absolutely NOTHING shameful with giving your little one the nourishment they need! 447A2621 copy-advThis time around, I’ve had a 100% change in the way I do things. I still nurse modestly, albeit without my cover… However, when Olivia is hungry I feed her. I don’t make her scream and cry until we can get somewhere more private. I don’t excuse myself to my vehicle when we are out…. I’ve nursed in the middle of Target and Walmart with one hand on the cart, I’ve nursed in the middle of restaurants… I nurse in the middle of church… This is the way it should be… #normalizebreastfeeding 447A2682 copy-adv447A2719 copy-adv447A2773 copy-adv Breastfeeding Minis copy-advPlease let me know if you have any questions about these minis!  If you know of any breastfeeding mamas who may be interested in having these moments captured, please feel free to share this blog post.

Much love! ❤

Back to School Mini Sessions {Central, Pa} Children’s Photographer

I cannot believe it is time for the kids to head back to school!  Where has the summer gone?!  I’m so excited to be offering Back to School Minis this year!  This can be for kids any age, but seriously, how adorable is this for the kids going to preschool or kindergarten!  ❤ These minis are coming up soon so email me as soon as possible to get on the schedule!  (More mini info at the bottom of this post.)

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