Q&A—the She Wanders magic

When clients connect with us we like to ask them what made them reach out to us. We often get the most beautiful answers. I love it when people are drawn to the emotional energy of our photos. That's what She Wanders is all about. 

Q. We'd love to know what attracted you to us and our photography. When do you plan on booking a photographer for your wedding?

A. I had seen your work on at least two or three websites when searching wedding coordinators. What I love so much is the sweet, peaceful feeling that I get when I look at your photos. You can actually feel love when you look at them. We are very much in love, with each other and with our kids. We love to laugh!

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Happy Valentines Lovers

We've been working on some amazing things, and I want to share them with you. 

Sometimes, in the super busy of life, I can forget that it's ok to feel really good. To stop the shoulds and focus on what is beautiful in that moment. 

We have been curating a gallery of images that are meant to slow things down and to add beauty to your every day. We will be launching a shop soon and we are stoked about it.

I hope you feel really good this Valentine's Day and do something that adds beauty to your day. Here are a few dreams that are coloring our minds lately.

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Dear 2018,

Dear 2018,

Please don’t break my heart. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve. I’m looking at you. I’m staring at you right in the face. I’m begging you not to break my heart.

We are going to try iVF again.  Is three times the charm?  I guess we are about to find out.  I want to know, will our hearts be broken again?

Some questions aren’t necessary.

Will it be worth it?  

Is it worth having our hearts broken?  

Yes, it’s always a resounding yes.  

Of course it is.

Because what if . . .

What if  . . .

We have a little babe come safely into this world?  What if we are those people wearing matching pajamas by the Christmas tree.  What if we get to call our parents and say the baby is coming . . . The baby is here . . .  It’s a boy or it’s a girl . . .

Every year I wish for the same sort of things. To hold Mike’s hand as we walk around new cities and small towns taking photographs, finding the best cappuccino, exploring museums and the outdoors, listening to music and having good times with our loved ones.  It’s always the most important aspect of my life to celebrate our lives together - to be grateful for what we have.

But lately I’m not myself. Lately, I’m so focused on the baby we don’t have instead of all the blessings we do have. It’s such a painful way to live.

Maybe there will never be another Ofelt, but 2018 will get us one step closer to knowing - yes or no. I hope I find myself again at the other side of this journey. My greatest hope is that there are three of us, but if everything fails I hope there is at least two of us.  Not the scared reaching version of myself I’ve become, but the vibrant grateful person I used to be.

So 2018, let me be her again. Let me find myself. Let me be grateful, kind, and healthy. Let me rally the strength, hope and beauty in this world. It’s such a worthwhile cause. It’s our most beautiful life.  Let me lift myself up. Let me be the Suzanne that began this journey.

xoxo

Change me Universe into one who is willing to receive all the right help, knowing each person, animal, thing is a form of you.  Let me feel deserving of Divine assistance in every way.  Open me to receive.  -Tosha Silva

 

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Fertility Vacation 3.0 // What if it works out?

If I could read your mind love,

What a tale your thoughts could tell

Just like a paperback novel

The kind the drugstore sells

When you reach the part where the heartaches come

Come the hero would be me

Heroes often fail

And you won't read that book again

Because the ending's just too hard to take

-Gordon Lightfoot

Some people wonder why we keep trying. Why, when we can do whatever we want with our lives, would we choose to keep putting our hearts on the line?

That’s such an odd question to me. I think of our friends with kids, and the families we photograph, and see certainty there. Of course we would dedicate our lives to these little ones. We would do whatever it takes.

This is our third and final swing at the ivf game. Here we are - our lives still in tatters from round one and two and here we go again. Here I am knowing this is our last shot down this path.

I’m asking my spirit once again, help me be strong enough to make this happen again, and let it be ok regardless of the outcome. We are looking for hope, faith, belief in trying to be steady, stable, and strong. Searching for the how, but clear on the why.  

I’m sadder and more afraid than I’ve ever been, but what if ultimately there’s a baby to have breakfast with, and someone to share in the delight of life with?

What if it works out?  Would you still think we are crazy for trying?

 

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Fertility Vacation 3.0 // Stronger

IVF is hard. This is not what I thought it would be like. It has made me examine so many aspects of myself, and redefined my place in the world.

I used to trust I would be a mom, and there would be three Ofeldts living in our house. I don’t have faith in that idea anymore. Now, I have faith in myself to accept that I can find peace, and joy in my life regardless of the outcome.

I am getting stronger. I’m healing. Finally.

It took awhile. I had to allow space for grief. It felt endless, and I wasn’t sure there was another side. I was shaken to my core, but I reached out for help and so many people held me up.

Above all, I reached out for Mike. He is always a steady, and magical part of my life. I met him and the word home came to mind. It was loud, and clear. I trusted that voice in me. I’m glad that after a decade my intuition and mind have finally got on the same page. Win or lose it’s ok to try, or give up, because Mike and I are going to stand by each other, and that’s a safe place to be.

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Fertility Vacation 3.0 // When Getting Braver Doesn't Work

Our road isn’t what I thought it would be. I can’t believe we are looking at IVF 3. Time to get brave again. Well maybe not again. Last time, I couldn’t find my way to bravery. I tried with everything that I had to gather my usual amount of bravado and failed. Bravery is just too much to ask, and doesn’t make sense. I don’t have the same admiration for it that I used to.

Ok, if I can’t be brave, what do I need to be?

Maybe instead of being brave I need to find a way to suffer more gracefully, without internalizing, without stressing my body. Surrender.

What qualities should I nurture in myself to make this journey in the safest caring way?

I’m not going to ask, “How can I be braver?” I’m going to look inside, and ask for safe passage. I am going to ask, “How can we get from today to the days where just the three of us will sit on the couch laughing, playing, and singing songs together?”

Our journey won’t be filled with bravery this time, yet everything in me feels like we will look back on these grieving moments and say, “I can’t believe we ever thought about giving up. What fools we would have been. We would have given up the chance to love you.”

 

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Not This Time

Can this be it?  Are we really not suppose to have kids?  This process has shaken me to my core. I feel defeated. This time I know how cruel IVF can be.  It’s no distant stranger.  I’m not in shock, I’m just worn and hurt.  Who would have guessed we would be sitting here.

I was so naive and I took so much for granted.  I thought the hard part would be finding someone I wanted to live my life with.  Mike is home, I’m certain of him.  He keeps me safe. 

But now I want that magical feeling of cuddling a cute baby on the couch.  It’s funny, I am not a "couch" person.  I’m not even a "house" person.  I’m a "lets go somewhere" kind of person.  But babies are fun to sit on the couch with.  I’ve loved having my nephew here and as much as I loved taking him places, he taught me that the couch is a playground of it's own. 

These have been my first few days without him since he moved up to Northern California.  We packed up his dishes, clothes, toys, books...everything.  I’m mourning our life with him.  Suddenly without notice, my whole family moved while I was in Europe.  And now we are mourning our IVF dreams as well. 

Today is not my favorite day.

And yet still I can’t give up.  Sometimes it scares me.  Maybe all of these signs are saying give up and yet, I can’t.  Not yet anyway.  I still imagine that picture of little Mike in the bathtub as a kid.  The image that changed all my beliefs.  I want a child with Mike.  I’m still so open to what that will look like in the world of IVF, surrogacy, or adoption. 

First, I need to see what grieving will look like this time.  Even in my heartbroken, defeated state, I know that we will get up again.  Despite this being one of the worst, saddest days ever, I refuse to imagine our lives without a kid to love.  Often I really wish I could.

To our friends and family: we are beyond grateful for all of the love and support we have received. We never would have been strong enough to try this again without you. Thank you to the ends of the earth. 

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // RTT Therapy - Releasing Childhood Fears

In 48 hours we will transfer the embryos and I want to be in the best place possible. Our dreams could come true. Maybe two days from now something beautiful will happen. During RTT therapy last night, I delved into my subconscious beliefs that I had created as a child about how the world isn’t a safe place for babies, and babies somehow hurt their moms during pregnancy.

One of my memories was of my little brother coming home from the hospital. My mom seemed tired and she was heavier and just wanted to sit on the couch. Little me thought the baby hurt my mom. I didn’t like the baby at first. It was clear that everyone else did and that my mixed feelings were wrong. I didn’t know why people weren’t more mad at the baby for hurting my mom. The baby was also supposed to be a girl and it felt like a lie - I felt so betrayed that the baby came home as a boy. My head was spinning, 6-year-old me was confused.

The reality was that my mom had a wonderful pregnancy. I always had this fear of being pregnant and never knew why. I feel like in my conscious mind now, everything has been cleared. I feel like my chances for IVF just exploded into the sky.

I can exhale and keep going to this happy, creative space in my mind that is expansive, playful and fun. Finally.

Now have a secret smile. I feel really, really excited try in two days. What if it happens?a

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // My Last Dollar

Once I got out of the Airbnb in Prague and looked around at the familiar painted houses in Vinohrady it hit me. What the fuck am I doing here? A bit of shock, horror and a small fleeting moment where my mind rejected the whole idea.

The highest part of me is 100% certain I want to be a mom. That’s my intuition and knowing. I’m also bombarded and occasionally run down with moments were my inner being says no. Are those moments true? Am I following my right path?

Despite the image of holding my baby in his or her pajamas, there is a lot of guilt involved in being “all in” in this process.

I’m an adventurer and up for the best life has to offer, but I’m not irresponsible. This year I’m all in. All the debt, all the months of stepping out of my life and responsibilities, the time away from my husband, and my sanity - all in.

I’m not usually a gambler.

Though there was this one time that I spent my last dollar….

I was at a bar in Sydney on the ground level of a hostel. I bought a VB (Victoria Bitters) for $2 at happy hour. My friends were always spending their last dollar, and I thought they were nuts, but there also seemed to be freedom in it.

So I tried it. I sat there, in awe of myself drinking that beer. It was thrilling. Of course I knew I had groceries at home, my subway ticket and a direct deposit going into my account from my ad agency job in the morning, but from 6pm until the next day I was “skint”. I felt so rad.

That was over a decade ago, but just telling you about it makes me feel alive and a little indestructible.

When I walk into the clinic today, I’m going to hold on to the feeling of being that girl, sitting in a bar, drinking a beer she didn’t particularly like, feeling like she had the coolest secret ever. It felt like jumping off a cliff and landing in the sweetest blue water and coming up laughing, gasping for air with salt water running down my face.

I’ll choose to be her instead of the sad, broken poker player risking everything.

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // PTSD

This post makes so much sense to me. My friend Betsy whose husband died one night without warning while they were sleeping said she felt like a fraud to have PTSD since it's usually associated with people returning from war. It made me feel like I don't have to feel like a fraud for having post-IVF PTSD, and even though there are tons of hormones involved I guess this pain does belong to me. I'm hoping this realization will help me to get to the other side and the acknowledgement will give it permission to leave.

Maybe we will get pregnant and if not maybe this will help me recover sooner.

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // A Candle, a Wish or a Prayer

Good morning Santorini! Getting here was magical; a water taxi came to our boat’s dock at 3:45am and took us to the Venice airport. What a cool way to travel.

And now, we are sitting at a cafe in Santorini. It’s warm here and feels like vacation. There’s light greek music strumming in the background.

I took my first hormones today. I guess it’s really happening. I only want to drink coffee or take a nap so that I feel rested and in control.

It was an act of bravery to swallow those pills. I hope nine months from now we are holding a beautiful baby who looks like Mike Ofeldt. A baby who is so healthy and feels how much we love him or her; our carrot robot.  I hope we have twins, a boy and a girl.

I am so appreciative that we have the chance to make our dreams come true. I’m grateful that Mike is the man by my side.

It’s odd, but lately I’ve been having bouts of insecurity. It’s nothing that’s been said or done, but I had this terrible dream that Mike fell in love with one of our married friends with two daughters and they left both of us and got married. Since then, I had a couple of odd thoughts about what life would be like if he left.  

I guess I’m realizing it’s possible our dreams won’t come true. So maybe my brain is making the leap that other dreams can not come true as well, like growing old together.

I think it’s because the last few months have been hard. Not hard on us as a couple, but me as a person. I have felt a lot of anguish and like I’m constantly processing one emotion or another. I miss things being light. I miss my mind being light. I guess I miss the old me so maybe he does too. It’s taken a lot for me to get this healthy again and the reality is that our wildest dreams can come true or I’ll spend a few months digging myself out of a hole. It’s all going to happen so fast from here on out. Light a candle for us, make a wish, say a prayer.

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