“This spring and the rebirth of the flowers and warm sunshine have been therapeutic for me and I was so excited to have Courtney capture my family during this time. These were the first photos we had taken since we found out that we wouldn’t be able to add to our family in the way we had hoped and, after reflecting on it, we realized that it was the perfect way to celebrate our family being complete.
Not only does our family reside on Lamb Road, but we were truly moved by the pureness and gentleness that the lamb represents. It reminded us of God’s love and faithfulness for us. We will always cherish these photos and the memories of the “sweet baby sheep!” as my daughter exclaimed over and over!
My husband, Paul, and I have been married 9 years and from early in our marriage, we knew we wanted 3 to 4 children. In our second year of marriage, Paul was accepted into medical school and we had to leave our friends and family to move to Georgia to start the long journey of him becoming a physician. During medical school, we were surprised to get pregnant with our son, Elijah, and we welcomed him in 2015. We didn’t plan to start our family then but I know now, without a doubt, that this was God’s plan for us and He knew what He was doing.
A few years later we began to try to add to our family. We soon found out we were pregnant with our daughter, Elliott. Halfway through my pregnancy, we made the move to Philadelphia and welcomed her in 2017. Shortly after her birth via c-section, I began having complications and it was determined that I had placenta retention which led me to have 2 additional surgeries. After that, I continued to have ongoing issues but I was focused on trying to enjoy my new little family as best I could. I felt like I had missed out on some of the newborn phase so I wanted to soak up as much as I could and not take any of it for granted! In early 2019, we began trying to expand our family again with the guidance of my doctor.
After several months, I went in for additional evaluations and was diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome, which is a rare form of scarring caused by the complications I had experienced after Elliott was born. I began fertility treatments and underwent another surgery to try to repair the damage but, unfortunately, our efforts were unsuccessful. Our doctor let us know that, sadly, the scarring had caused permanent damage and there was virtually no chance of us welcoming another baby without surrogacy. Obviously, this was difficult to process because we deeply desired a larger family but with the new year approaching, we felt that this was a good time to make a fresh start for our family and appreciate what we had already been blessed with.
When I was I was told that I needed to move past the idea of carrying another baby, it was one of the worst pains I have ever known. I felt robbed and cheated because of a complication that was out of my control. I never expected that my last baby would be my last and it was difficult emotionally. However, I knew I was going to be ok. Although I’m not able to have another baby, I am healthy and so very thankful for the babies that call me mama. My motherhood journey hasn’t been what I expected but I don’t know that it ever is. Motherhood is wild and stressful but also magical and the most beautiful experience that I’ll ever know. I hold dear the ups and downs because they’re what make motherhood so special and so much more meaningful to me. We have two beautiful children that we could now focus all of our love and attention on and we rejoiced in that! Although God’s plan for us was different than what we had imagined, we have been so happy that our children have each other and that we are all happy and healthy.” Ashlyn, Mother
“For the past 7 years of being a photographer, I have mainly focused on photographing weddings. But recently I’ve been falling in love with families on film. Being 8 months pregnant with our rainbow baby, I realize just how beautiful motherhood is. Growing this sweet babe of mine has made me so excited to continue capturing this season of life for myself, as well as others! The Papajohn family was so sweet to work with! I randomly had the idea to photograph a spring session with the lambs in our backyard and I didn’t realize just how special it would be for the them. For the past 7 years of being a photographer, I have mainly focused on photographing weddings. But recently I’ve been falling in love with families on film. Being 8 months pregnant with our rainbow baby, I realize just how beautiful motherhood is. Growing this sweet babe of mine has made me so excited to continue capturing this season of life for myself, as well as others!” Courtney, Photographer