A division of Rivas Reflections Photography
Life takes us through hills and valleys...its what you do in those moments, and the subsequent years after, that will determine how those experiences will effect your life. I'm going to allow myself to become vulnerable and raw with you for a moment.
My name is Leslie Rivas, and I am the photographer and owner of Rivas Reflections Photography. In Dec 2005, my husband and I were so excited to share the news that we were expecting our first baby! We broke the news via drool bibs wrapped as Christmas presents. Everyone was so excited, as this was the first grandchild/niece/nephew for our family. I remember the fear and the utter happiness all wrapped into one. I was dreaming about nurseries and baby names. Planning our future as a family of three. Sadly, my heart broke into a million pieces just a few short weeks later in January 2006, when I began to bleed. Going to the emergency room and learning that I was losing the baby I had dreamt about for weeks, taught me a pain I never knew existed. Complete devastation, depression and questions... lots and lots of questions. I wondered what I did to deserve this. As a Christian woman, I asked God how He could allow this to happen. Through it all, as difficult as it was, I was thankful that I knew God and had hope in Him. After the initial shock and pain, I knew God didn't do this to me. Being a Christian does not exempt me from the pains of this world. Rather then run from Him, I latched on harder then ever.
I knew I wanted to try again as soon as I was cleared to. It took us an entire year to get pregnant again. Big difference from our previous pregnancy, where it happened the very first month we tried. The road to conception was one that also took an emotional toll. I started to think it was never going to happen. When it finally did in January 2007, I was afraid to be happy. This pregnancy sadly did not last very long, within a day of a positive test, I began to miscarry again.
I went through many of the same emotions and questions. A whole year. An entire year of waiting to end in loss again... why? At this point I started contemplating seeing an infertility specialist. I struggled so hard with this decision, was I stepping on God's toes? I prayed so much for peace and direction. One day, during a church service, God spoke to me through a sermon. I remember the preacher say "God can use a mans hands to do His work". I trembled and cried in my seat as I knew that spoke directly into my spirit and gently let me know that is was ok to pursue help.
My road through infertility was a long one as well. Many tubes of blood drawn, many scans and ultrasounds. We learned I had low progesterone levels, and the doctor was confidant with progesterone supplements and Clomid (fertility drug) I would be able to safely carry to term. It took three rounds, but in December 2007 I was pregnant again. I was monitored weekly with ultrasounds. At 6 weeks I saw a beautiful beating heart. Something I never got to experience before. Week 7, still a beautiful beating heart. Week 8, no heartbeat. Shattered is an understatement. I laid on that table alone, as my husband was working, we had nothing to worry about at that point, or so we thought. I remember being comforted by the nurse. I thought we had it all figured out. I thought this was it. Instead, I was scheduled for a D&C. Surgery to physically remove my baby so they can send it off for genetic testing. We found out baby number three was a boy.
My doctor decided at this point to do a completely different panel of blood work, one that went deeper into genetic mutations. From this panel we discovered I have a genetic mutation called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Once we learned I had the gene, we added several medications that have been discovered to help keep a pregnancy viable. In April 2008, I conceived again. I could not bring myself to be happy. I was just waiting for the shoe to drop. However, it was my time. On December 30th, 2008, a month earlier then expected, my rainbow baby was born. I never allowed myself to believe I'd ever hold him, until the day he was placed in my arms.
There are tons more details I left out because it would have made this so much longer. So many 'God Stop' moments, where I just knew it was Him. God was all over my journey, encouraging me through people I'd come across, music I'd hear, things I'd read. I could not have survived those 3 years without Him. On June 4th, 2012, my second son was born with the help of the same treatment.
I've always known in my heart that the journey, the pain was not in vain. I knew I had a purpose to do something with my story and that was to share my testimony. To help other women know they are not alone. To bring light to a topic that's not freely discussed enough. In May of 2019, I attended a women's conference in Illinois called, The Original Conference. My life forever changed that weekend. I left with a clear picture of what my purpose is, as all my history was rushed back to the surface. I've always known it was not a coincidence that I get to work so closely with brand new lives. These tiny brand new humans that I get to hold, snuggle and capture their every precious detail. Everything came together that weekend, and the weeks following through lots of prayer, I discovered I was made for this...and Captured Promises was born.
Captured Promises is a ministry with a mission to raise awareness and offer hope to women everywhere who are currently suffering in silence. Many women lose babies every day, so many women deal with infertility. I have shared my story with you, now I am giving you the opportunity to share yours. By doing so, you will enter yourself to possibly receive a free newborn session of your rainbow baby. If you are selected for a free newborn session, you must agree that your story will be shared with your photos. By doing so, you are helping women who are in your shoes. Reading your story of loss, and journey to expecting again, offers HOPE. I encourage you to share as much as you feel comfortable. If you can include any diagnoses and treatment plans, that would be helpful. There is someone out there who needs to hear it.
If you are currently expecting your 'Rainbow Baby' (baby conceived after child loss e.g. miscarriage, ectopic, stillbirth, infant loss due to natural causes) then you qualify to submit a form. Please note that submitting a form, does not guarantee a session. Selections will be made at the discretion of Rivas Reflections Photography. If you are selected you will be contacted via email to set up your session.
Please use link below to fill out your entry form.