*Trigger Warning: Discussion of hope during infertility treatments that the procedure will result in a child. I know this isn’t always the case but it is the premise of the gala I’m supporting and discussing here. Also, photos of my child and my bump appear. If you are not in a place for this today I understand.*
This upcoming year I have been given the opportunity to be involved in a gala here in Calgary run by Generations of Hope. It is called Images of Hope and is run to raise money for people who cannot afford to do an IVF cycle to grow their family. As we well know, IVF ain’t cheap, it also isn’t covered by Canadian health insurance so some mom’s from the clinic here (RFP) started this fund as a way to help those who otherwise would have no hope of going forward. It’s an amazing charity, it’s linked directly to RFP and pretty easy to apply for if you qualify, and I am so excited to be working with them!
The focus of the gala is a series of images of families who were made through the use of ART technology as a way to show that there is hope for your family through IVF and that you really are giving a family a shot by attending. Well, this upcoming year we will be one of the featured images! At this point, I don’t know the image that they will be using, and I am forbidden to share it ahead of time anyway, but having seen the photos from the shoot I can tell you that whichever they choose it would have definitely inspired me to keep going in my darkest times.
Think about it. The idea of growing a family through ART is a little out there for most everyday people. I was super against the idea of doing IVF at the start of our journey, and yet here we are… My child literally exists because of this scientific procedure. Can you imagine walking into a room and seeing photo after photo of happy families blown up large and knowing, with certainty, that each of those families exists because they were able to go through these procedures? That they were just like you? Amazing… oh and each family’s story is posted beside the pictures so you can learn more about them.
As an initiative, it works. As a visual exercise in understanding the magnitude of the ability to chose IVF it works. Add in on top of it that the evening also has speakers that will talk about their own family building efforts in greater detail and discuss how incredible the ART ability is, so to raise awareness it works. And then all the proceeds go to the fund in order to help one family who just cannot afford to keep trying each year.
It’s a top-notch event! But for a moment can we just talk about the pictures? Becuase omg the pictures! Each family is paired with a local photographer to capture their pictures, not all families get the same photographer, we wound up with Jana Miko. To be honest I hadn’t heard of her before because I have so many personal friends that do photography that I usually don’t need to look for outside help. But let me tell you, I am sure glad I’ve met her now!! This woman is incredible at her craft!
Jana has been doing photography professionally for 12 years which I guess explains how she’s become so incredible at capturing these moments! I was just overjoyed with the images she took of the Bean Sprout, my husband and I, and the Skywalker bump! Not only do the photos look gorgeous, they were also painless to capture (important when working with a toddler) and we did it all while working to support an infertility charity! I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the experience if I tried! If you are in the Calgary area I HIGHLY recommend Jana. Shes got the chops to give you what you want and you KNOW she’s down with the infertility community. And I dig that.
Ok, enough yammering on… you want to see the photos?! *Pssshhh* Of COURSE you do, Chickens! Gloriousnes to be found below!
PHOTOS ARE COMING. YOU SEE MY BUMP AND MY BEAN SPROUT TODDLER… THIS FAMILY GORGEOSITY CANNOT BE UNSEEN!!
HERE THEY COME!!!
Oh my, GOD. Isn’t the Bean Sprout just growing into a gorgeous little human?! I mean… He’s like a MODEL. Mostly this is down to genetic luck and intense skill on the part of Jana. She was a hoot and made all sorts of goofy antics for him to get smiling for. It doesn’t hurt that my child is a serious HAM and quickly caught onto her “let’s have fun” vibe. I have one final photograph to share from the shoot but it’s the one that will be featured in the actual gala. So, I have to reign it in to share my thoughts and feeling on that one, as well as the gala experience itself, in a future post.
These shots also coincided with the Bean Sprouts second birthday and doubled as those shots- and I am not upset about that at all! I doubt I’ll ever have another photo of him where I think he looks better than that black and white bottom one. Honest to Christ. Again, If you live in or around Calgary I highly recommend working with Jana- her website here-.