Friday, June 28, 2013


So here it goes. This will be the last post I do to talk about this publicly and hopefully it gives me some closure. This will not be as detailed for the privacy of my family but I will say what happened. On 6/26 I went in for my routine heart tone check at the office with my favorite doctor, I had not felt Opal move the day before at all and was thinking she might have passed. That morning though I thought I felt her move so my hopes were down that my poor baby was still holding on to a life that could not be comfortable for her or for me. I got to the office with family in tow, which I am sure the office staff finds funny that I always bring kids and husband with me since there are 5 of us. I went back alone so that Michael could keep Vaeda happy for as long as possible. Dr.V came back quickly and I was telling her I didn't feel Opal move the day before and she said "Well let's see what is going on" As she put the doppler to my big belly we did not hear a heart tone that was out of the 70's thinking that could be mine she continued to push over my belly(which was sore for some reason this time) and she said the words I had been waiting to hear "Kristan I am not hearing Opal today. Let's go back and check through ultrasound to make sure we are not missing her" I imediatly broke down crying and said "oh my God I just want this to be over" and with tears in her eyes she just said "I know, let's go see what's happening" So in the back of the building they have an older ultra sound machine and we booted it up and took a look at my puffy baby and sure enough we were not seeing a heart beat. There was a slight pinpoint dot that was moving so she wanted to send me over to get a better ultra sound to make sure. 
From there they sent me over to St.Elizabeth to check to see if my baby had died. We dropped our girls off with Michael's mom and we left for the hospital. I had a mix of emotions that I cannot really describe. Once we got there, they got us back fairly quickly. It was the sam tech we had the week before when we found out Opal was so much worse. She was so kind and got me set up fast. As they pulled our sweet baby up on the screen we all could clearly see she had passed away. I did not know how to feel. I was unbelieveably sad and yet so ready to move on with my life. There were a lot of tears and then we had to leave to get our things to return to the hospital for delivery. When we went to tell the girls we got to my mother in laws and Maddi met us at the steps and Michael told her and she gave me a hug and I just cried as I held my first precious gift from God I had received. We left and went home to tidy the house and get some things. I had a slew of people to help us with the girls while we were gone so that helped. My dear friend Becky called in to work the following day and came and spent the night with the girls and my mother in law helped as well. 
As we drove to the hospital there was a thunderstorm and staring out my car window I remember thinking how suiting the weather was for a day so sad. Michael dropped me at the front door and went to park the car and as I was going to get on the elevators the electric went out in the entire hospital, I'm talking pitch black. It came back on within 30 seconds and I took the stairs up a floor to labor and delivery. Skipping over all of the other prep, I was given cytotec I believe it's called to get my cervix to dialate. They give you a dose every 4 hours until you are dialated enough to either get petocin or deliver the baby. I had three doses and by the third I had an epideral. At about 8 I felt like I could push and sure enough my water had broke and she was ready to make her enterance earthside. I didn't really even have to push and she was born. Her tiny swollen body weighing in at 2lb 8oz. I didn't think I wanted to hold or see her but it was all I wanted at that moment. I will not go into anymore details other than I was blessed with a fantastic nurse staff and doctor that made this entire experience bareable. I will say that if I did not have my amazing husband I would not be where I am today. He is my everything and with him by my side I can survive anything.
Opal will be cremated and returned to us in the next day or so. We are not sure what are plans are from there but we are beginning to heal. The emotions I have felt have been like no other. 
Relief, Sadness, Dispair, Love, Thankfulness
Right now I look at this perfect family I have and thank God for all I have been given and have a new realization that no matter what ups and downs we are faced we are so lucky to have this life together.
My dear friend Sara photographed our family 2 days before the birth/death of Opal. Just in time I said.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


So it has been a while since I dropped the bomb on my blog about our baby and I thought it would be a good time to update everyone because I know I would be wondering.
So first off, we have decided to name this precious baby girl Opal Mary McIntosh. The name Opal came to me in a dream and Mary is for my Aunt Mary and Michael's grandma Mary. Over the past few weeks I have began to feel her move and my oh my how I love her. I tried so very hard to detach myself from this experience and now I am head first in it. I was so afraid to feel her move because emotionally I had been trucking through and I thought it might really break me, but it has helped me to understand that this is her life and I am literally carrying her entire being inside my belly. I have been very realistic about this entire thing and have tried to keep it in the front of my mind that Opal will never be here with my other girls. I think that this is the one gift I was given in life is to deal with crazy terrible shit really well ;)
I have had my down times and usually they are every week when I hear her little heart still beating. Those Wednesdays are my worst. I have not been able to work as much due to just not being able to hold it together and add another ounce of stress on my plate. I have found that taking photographs has helped me to feel whole and breath, for the clients I have had in the past couple of months I owe you big time! A few weeks ago Michael and I took our girls to get some dinner and then down to the river to play at a park and Bam! it hit me as we were walking this trail that Opal will never walk with us, that I will never push her on a swing, or wash her dirty knees. I cannot explain this experience as anything other than bizarre and so freaking sad. I mean literally I am just sad all the time. I am making it though! I laugh everyday, I try to do something to make a memory with my girls everyday, and the pain I feel I do not wish to suppress just yet because i think what I am feeling is normal, I mean who wouldn't be sad?!
We have had two ultrasounds since the last post and Opal progresses to get worse and worse. There was a month between each and within that month her hygroma doubled and took over my womb to where I have no amniotic fluid left, her body is so very swollen that you cannot even see her precious little eyes, nose, or lips, her heart is surrounded by fluid and only has 3 chambers, she also has not developed any lungs. All of this has resulted in my measurements being 29 weeks instead of the 22 weeks I really am. AKA I'm huge!When she is up on the screen in front of us she doesn't move much, she just sits with her swollen legs crossed and her hand beneath her chin. I cry every time I leave that room for my baby who continues to hold even though she can't be comfortable in there with the amount of fluid inside of her.
This past Monday was the last ultrasound and they informed me that there is a possibility of her hygroma rupturing and if that happens it is alright but won't help her. The only way they will induce early is if she is at risk inside the womb or I become at risk(high blood pressure, swelling)They have no clue when she will die, all they say is it is up to her and God.
I have been angry for quite some time because I just don't get why my family and I have to go through this and why my poor little Opal has this life that will never really "be". Everyone says, "God only gives you what you can handle" but come on! I am not handling this really. Why is sadness and death something your supposed to handle?! Why is it okay to lay things like this one people's plates and expect them to choke it down and not die from sadness?
Our girls are doing alright, except Maddi cries whenever she talks about Opal. She said she is just so sad to never have her as her sister. I try to talk to her as much as possible about it and of course I cry every time as well. Michael seems to be moving along but I can see the sadness in his eyes when he looks at me and it breaks my heart to know I cannot take that away. He is such an amazing man and is so supportive and loving, I do not think I would be the person I am today without him.
For now I think we are all just ready to move on. I feel so awful saying this but I hope every week that Opal decides to give up so that my family can begin to heal from the birth of our sweet baby. Please forgive me if that sounds terrible, I really do love her I just am not sure how much more we can all handle.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Keagan is 6 Months!

This precious little girl is 6 Months already! Boy how time flies.
 Her grandma has the most perfect property ever! I love shooting there.

 and yes this is a real working water spout!

 I love crying baby photos! Believe it or not this was the only time she cried throughout the entire shoot.

 You can see how much she loves her Mommy and Daddy in this picture :)

Happy 1/2 Year Keagan!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy Belated Mother's Day Carol!

So everyone knows the Dunn's and the Mayer's.  This is the first shoot of all of the grandkids together and we moved quickly and still rocked it! I think their grandmother will be very pleased.

This is Daulton the oldest of the kids. Daulton is the most polite and handsome kid I know.
 next we have Peyton, who seriously grew inches since I saw him last....legs for miles it seemed :)
 oh and precious, sweet little Scarlett. Oh how I love this little face.
 Beautiful Alli such a sensitive little thing.
 and the youngest of the crew, Lyla. She has a little fire behind her and yet is so affectionate. Vaeda and her always give big hugs!

 This expression is so Alli :)

 Goofy boys are the BEST!

 I know Carol will love this one! I am so excited about this image :)
Happy Belated Mother's Day Carol, sorry it took us so long to get these finished.