“To our precious son, Bohdi… Three months in and I’m still amazed by you. Amazed that I get to wake up and see your smiling face every single morning. Amazed by your easy going demeanor and joyful disposition. Amazed that it was you, after all this time.
You see, we’d been waiting for you. Trying for you. Undergoing countless procedures, enduring countless setbacks. I always told myself that you’d be worth the wait, that if someone would just tell me the date you’d be born, that would be enough. Enough just to know you’d be on your way to our family, no matter how long the journey. But life doesn’t work that way and we aren’t given an itinerary of life’s big events. So we continued to wait. And hope. And, if we’re being honest, sometimes lose hope.
And then, without warning, you arrived (in utero). Fast forward 12 months and here we are with a three month old miracle. These last few months have been a time of great reflection. We feel so incredibly lucky, yet we ask “why us.” It used to be “why us” in regard to the misfortune of struggling with fertility issues. But now it’s “why us” in regard to being one of the lucky couples that walks away from this chapter with a beautiful, healthy baby. We continue to struggle with the notion that we get to move on from grappling with infertility. It’s like climbing back up the edge of a canyon: feeling like a warrior for having survived the journey; being eternally grateful for the view; being nervous about slipping back down the side of the canyon.
And as much as you’ve helped us to heal, you’ve also brought great clarity in wanting to remember our hurt and confusion, if for no other reason then to help others who may be enduring similar struggles. You’ve given us more than we could have ever imagined, including a sense of empathy that might not have been present but for our journey to parenthood.
So here we stand, at the edge of the cliff, wanting to do right by you and for you. We waited a long time to get here. You were worth the wait — the view is incredible.” Ashley, Mother
“As I got to know Ashley and Joe’s story, and their long road to parenthood, I was struck by how their trials had shaped them – not into people who were bitter, but into people who were so full of empathy toward others walking their own painful road to parenthood. Their incredible joy at finally having a son didn’t mean that they suddenly forgot what it had taken to get there, and even Ashley’s announcement of Bodhi’s birth didn’t gloss over that part of their story or the pain that other couples may be feeling in that area of their lives. I think that they have and will continue to encourage others journeying through infertility, simply by being open and empathetic people. I’ve never been one to pretend that motherhood is easy, or always perfectly fulfilling or picturesque. Many days it is the hardest thing I’ve ever committed to – a constant work of sacrificing and putting others ahead of myself. And yet it is, without a doubt, the most sacred work I’ve done as well. I know that someday soon our babies will be grown and the memories of now will be blurred by time, so it is an incredible honor to preserve the best parts of this stage of life and the love that abounds throughout all the highs and the lows.” Hannah, Photographer
HANNAH MANN PHOTOGRAPHY