Another blessing from within my church – meeting another family- another momma. I actually only knew of this family from our worship service- as their dad of the family/ husband- is our piano player and he is amazing at it. My first time attending service I was able to hear a small part of their story of their little one, Timmy, who was celebrating his 1st birthday. It wasn’t until this family session when I got to hear the story about “Tiny Tim”. I had asked this momma if she would share their story with you. Here is her testimony!
“Telling the testimony of my son is one that is hard to do without tears welling up in my eyes. He is my miracle, my little warrior. I found out I was pregnant with Timothy at the beginning of Nov 2014. We were so shocked and elated because I had just had a miscarriage a few months prior to this. But needless to say we were on cloud 9. On March 13, 2015 I had quite a bit of fluid come out. I had previously had 2 c-sections so I honestly didn’t know what it was like to have my water break. I ended up waiting until the next morning to call my Dr because at first I thought what was happening was normal. My Dr told me to go straight to the ER because it had sounded like my water broke. I went to the hospital and they ran some tests and ended up sending me home telling me everything was ok and the test had showed my water didn’t break. At this time I was 19 weeks along. So we went on with life as usual.
Our next Dr appt was on March 19, 2015. It was where they do the 5 month ultra sound that all pregnant mommas look forward to. We soon found out that this wasn’t going to be a normal visit. After they ultrasound, where they wouldn’t say a word the whole time, they quickly moved us to another room where we waited for the Dr to come in. My heart was racing and I just knew something was wrong. We found out that my water had indeed broke and I had ruptured membranes. My baby was in my belly living with almost no amniotic fluid. The Dr told us that we needed to see a specialist right away in Spokane because they had no way of helping us here. I was told to start immediate bed rest. Basically lay down and try not to get up for anything. With 2 active little girls this seemed impossible at the time. But God blessed me with such an amazing husband that he made sure I did exactly what the Dr said. When we went to the specialist in Spokane he sat us down and explained what our options were. We could abort the baby or I could be on bed rest until the baby was viable to be born which is 24 weeks. We explained that there was no way we could abort our baby. We absolutely loved him and we knew that with God all things are possible and we were not ready to give up hope. The specialist respected our decision and sent us home with very specific instructions. I had to take my temp and heart rate 4 times a day and they called me every day to check. This was so we could monitor for fevers which would be an indication of an infection. If that was to happen they would have to deliver the baby no matter what. I guess infections are very common and easy to get once your water breaks.
I was determined to hold onto this gift that God had given us for as long as I could. At 23 weeks they said they could admit me into Deaconess where I would stay until our little Timothy was born. So the couch and I became best friends for a little over a month. Wow my church and family were so amazing through all this.My girls would clean fruit for me every morning before they went to school and would make sure I had plenty of water. So precious….We ended up making it to 23 weeks and I was admitted to Deaconess hospital.
At 24 weeks and 2 days my son Timothy James Cooper was born weighing 1 lb 7 oz at 3:17 pm with his eyes wide open. There were so many Dr’s and nurses in the room. As soon as Timothy was born they took him and had to quickly get a breathing tube in him. We were told the next 24 to 48 hours were very critical. All we could do was pray. And let me tell you we did a lot of praying and so did so many others for Timothy. During that time he had two eye surgeries for ROP. He was born with so many complications but that was normal for a baby being born so premature. We couldn’t even touch his skin because he was so fragile. He was also born with a hole in his heart. The nurses called him “Tiny Tim”. He was the smallest baby in the NICU. We drove to Spokane every day to see him and in fact most days we would go out there twice a day.
During this time I was able to see where my relationship with Christ was lacking. I realized that it was easy to say “Lord I trust you with all my heart” but to actually believe that was a whole other story for me. I am so grateful for that opportunity to grow in Him.
He was in the NICU for 4 months and 2 days.Timothy came home on oxygen which we were able to ween him from after a few months. He beat all the odds. The hole in his heart even closed up. The Dr’s said there was a 98% chance he wouldn’t make it but God had other plans for him. He is truly our warrior. He still has chronic lung disease and has some breathing issues when he gets sick but other than that you wouldn’t know looking at him that he has gone through everything that he has. He is now 16 months old and crawling all over the place. He has more strength than I feel like I have in my little pinky.
When you took our family photos this was the first time that we had our picture actually taken with all 5 of us in it. And even through that Timothy had 2 severe ear infections and he still smiled his way through it. I look at my family and know that I am blessed. I will forever cherish the photos you took. It isn’t just because they are our first family photos, but it’s because when I look at them I see a family who has grown and been through so much. I see a family in those pictures who not only love one another but a family that has fallen so in love with Jesus. Thank you Jackie for coming into our lives and capturing this for us!!!!” ~
This story will never be old for me. Every time I hear it or read it, my eyes swell up, I get goose bumps and my tummy feels tingly – what a MIRACLE!!! I feel so blessed that I was able to photograph this family.
I have to admit that when I photograph a family that I really don’t know, it is hard for me to express my heart and explain the reason why I want to photograph them. I am such an emotional person and it is very hard for me to take all those words and visions from my heart and head and explain them to someone. As a mom of 5 kiddos, I understanding that everything needs a little planning involved. And honestly when you run a large household, it is our tendisy to want to plan as much as we can- it somehow makes us feel like we have some sort of control in the situation. BUT… when it comes to documenting a family or your kiddos, we have to try to let go – even when it feels like an anxiety attack will wash over us from just the thought of it. But here is my WHY.
I want to see your personality. I want to see your true emotions. I want to see your children just laugh, play, enjoy the surrounding. I want it raw and I want it real. We can easily let all those details over come us and then by the time the session is over we can feel like we just went to war. I want my families to leave their session and hear their kids say, “that picture lady was fun, silly, weird, cool” I want you as a parent to leave with a smile and feel that rush of childhood again from playing with your kids.
This is important to me because of that testimony that this momma shared. She has an amazing family- a family filled with amazing love and filled with the love of Jesus. Yes, I said “Jesus”. I want this momma (and dad) to be able to look up at his wall and see an image from that session and not remember the stress of picking out clothes or the little details that went into that day, but how much fun he had with his kids.. or that feeling of standing on the other side of his son, watching him walk towards him as he got to experience the feel of the lake water for the first time. I want him to hear that echo of his son laughing as he splashed in the water – I him to keep seeing the visions of his daughters smiling and hair glistening in the sun as it was setting. I want this mom to feel those feelings again as she stood next to her husband and feel how he felt as she wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him. I want her heart to feel that love she had in that moment. This is why I want to photograph- for YOU!