This newborn session was extra special to me. Not only because this family is a part of my family, but because of what they went through to have this sweet baby boy. After I had already delivered the photos to Makenzie, I told her that I would love to blog the photos on this website. I asked her if she would want to share what they went through. I wanted to make sure that I made it clear that I didn’t want her to share her testimony for me or my business, I could share Grant’s images without ever mentioning what happened. I asked her if she wanted to share for other women who might be going through something similar and think that they are alone. Below is what Makenzie sent me for this post…
“This part of our journey began in October of 2015. I found out that I was pregnant which would have made our fourth child. We are a blended family…the fact we have the opportunity to physically see God’s grace in our family daily is such a wonderful thing when we actually take the time to appreciate it. Colton was our youngest, and at this time he was 6. Needless to say, as desperately as I had wanted a baby, I was worried about the age gap AND whether or not this unexpected news would be what my husband wanted for our lives at that point. I told him that night, and he was excited…WE were so excited!! Shortly after, we shared the news with our older 3 by a onesie that said “Arriving in 2016”. The whole family was excited, I shared the news with almost everyone I could. The baby I had wanted,and prayed for, for so long, was growing inside of me. One evening at a women’s event our church had put on, I had noticed I was spotting. I was terrified! I grabbed all of my things and snuck out as quickly as possible and couldn’t wait to get to Adam so he could hold me and tell me everything was going to be ok. I cried, begged, and pleaded with God the whole way home for it to not be what I thought, to give me peace so I could rest that evening and not add any stress to the baby. He gave me rest and peace that evening. The next morning was when reality set in. I was losing my baby.
The pain was unexplainable. I was glad the kids weren’t home, and Adam had to be at work. I was able to scream, wail, and just mourn for the loss of my sweet baby. Telling the kids the next day was impossible, I had to have Adam tell them. Their sadness broke me even more. We told them that we would see the baby in heaven one day, and Jesus would watch over him or her until we got there. Trying for another baby was definitely something we were planning for now. Months went by and I felt as though I was healing, I clung to God after that. If nothing else, just to cling to hope for Him to answer my prayer yet again, and in accordance to MY plans. We found out in early March we were expecting again! We were both excited, but more cautious this time. We didn’t tell the kids, and we only told very few people. I was over the moon, but this time of year was hectic. Braedyn & Colton’s birthdays were coming up, I was preparing for a spring break camp at church, and still was trying to do everything in my power to nourish this growing child inside of me. I had gone to visit with a friend, when I noticed I was spotting again. I immediately left and told Adam what was going on. I went home and rested. I hadn’t experienced any more spotting until the next morning…it was happening again. And again I was alone. The kids were at school and Adam was working. I decided to clean. If I was going to be alone on this terrible, terrible day I was at least going to be productive. I was able to clean (angrily) for a good two hours before the agony hit. I lied down in the floor where I was and just lost it.
“Why was this happening when other women were having babies that didn’t want them?” “Why again?” “Was this punishment for past decisions?” I know all these questions were seeds of doubt placed in my mind by Satan, that maybe I was unworthy of God’s love and unworthy to have Him answer my prayers. I mourned again. This time more brief than the last. I had to move on and stop feeling sorry for myself. My family needed a wife and mother that was present and not couped up all the time. I went about life as usual except for one BIG thing…I was one angry Momma. Nobody really shares the nasty parts because quite honestly…it’s embarrassing. I may have been present, but most of the time I was not nice. I thought I was really good at masking it until one day, a couple of friends gently told me they could see how I had changed. They could see the anger and the hurt that had built up and they wanted me to know that they were there for me and praying for me. Boy, did that sting. If they could see it, who else could? I was so angry at God during this time that I hadn’t allowed myself to spend time in prayer an in His word, which were the only two things that were going to help me out of this pit. But how could I let go of this anger long enough to actually spend that time with Him? Pridefulness is something that I was struggling with. Why did I think I could be a better Momma than anyone else (especially the way I was acting at this point)? Why shouldn’t I have things to struggle with in this life? Don’t they make you stronger? Aren’t the trials we struggle through the things that build endurance? Why would I think that God, who is Master and Creator, the Saver of my soul, would want to punish me for the things He has already wiped clean? He wouldn’t. He is a Good and Sovereign God that knows my needs and my family’s needs more than I do. He is in control. Let go of the reigns control freak, and let God do His thing!
In early June, we found out we were expecting again. Unfortunately, as soon as I found out I began to allow Satan to steal my joy again. But this time, there was a kind friend that reminded me of the aforementioned Good God we serve, and how much more mighty He is than the thief of my joy. I was still apprehensive and this time we literally told a handful of people. I began hoping for weeks. At the 12 week mark we should be safe…At the 20 week mark we are halfway…At 27 weeks he would be viable…at 30 weeks we are in the home stretch. Within those last few weeks Satan was trying his hardest to try and steal back the joy he once held onto so tightly. “What if something happens to him in the womb and I don’t notice till it’s too late?” “What if something happens during labor and delivery?” “What if everything goes smoothly, but when I get him home and something happens in his sleep?” NOPE…Not today Satan. God is in control, not you OR me…so back off! On March 1st in the weeeeeeeeeeeeee hours of the morning…3:09 AM to be exact. Grant Collier Bryant came into the world, as happy and healthy as could be. You better believe I was praising the Lord after all we had gone through. To see the joy in Adam’s eyes when he saw his newest baby boy was so warming! I know that even as he had to be strong for me during all the pain of the past year and a half, he had felt the losses too. To say we were grateful for this beautiful and precious gift would be an understatement. Grant is our Rainbow Baby. The rainbow that comes after the storm and rain.
Thank you Jac, for giving us the opportunity to share this with others. I hope that God will use this to encourage, inspire, or just give someone hope in His sovereignty over their lives. Thank you for always being there to help us out, snap fun photos, and just to love us through this all. And lastly thank you for your wonderful idea of the Rainbow Baby photos. We will cherish all the photos, but these will have a special place in my heart always.”
These next photos mean so much to me. I really really loved the idea of creating an image that symbolizes that this baby is a rainbow baby. Here on earth, the rainbow is the beautiful that follows the storm, giving hope. The rainbow is more appreciated after experiencing the storm in comparison. Grant is their rainbow baby and I wanted to do something that showed this in a photo, but I struggled to think of something that would tie that into the session and into the photos. I actually prayed about it the morning of the session. I just couldn’t come up with anything that hadn’t already been done.
While unloading my car at Makenzie’s house, I spotted this blanket in the trunk of my car. I had completely forgotten that I had even owned it! I have no idea how long it’s been sitting in my trunk unnoticed. When I saw it, I smiled. It was perfect.
Before I start a newborn session, I always ask if there are any important items or clothing that the parents would like to incorporate into the photos. Makenzie told me about this onesie that had been made for him. I then told her my idea for a “rainbow baby” portrait and she loved it. These photos mean so much to us….
To see all of the images from Grant’s newborn session, click on the following link: Grant | new