I met Courtney, Kris and baby Fiona about a year ago when I took their family portraits. The Dempsey family immediately warmed my heart. The love they share for each other is incredibly magical. I could tell the way mom and dad looked at baby Fiona, I thought to myself "Now that's what you see in movies"!
Fast forward a few months after their family portrait session. GySgt. Kris Dempsey, USMC was being deployed overseas with Darwin 1/5 Marines for what seemed like a never-ending deployment to Australia. He was in country for an approximately 7 1/2 month deployment.
He left behind his beautiful wife Courtney and their little girl Fiona who had just celebrated her 1st Birthday. Courtney and Kris had also just found out not too long prior to Kris deploying that they were happily expecting baby number 2!
Seeing that this wasn't the first deployment that Kris had been on, Courtney was ready for all the challenges that they were going to face while Kris was deployed. From her growing baby bump and several check ups, to Fiona growing bigger everyday, Courtney took everything in perfect stride. She worked a full-time job while being a full-time pregnant mommy! If you ask me, I personally think that Courtney deserves an AWARD!
If it wasn't for men like Kris and woman like Country, our country wouldn't be what it is today. Many thanks to both of them for their daily sacrifice. It is with great joy in my heart to announce that GySgt. Dempsey returned home to his beautiful wife, daughter Fiona and baby #2 on Sunday, October 19, 2014!!!
I received an email on October 18th from an organization called "Capturing Hopes Photography" asking if I would be able to help them fulfill a wish. As I continued to read the email from Katie, I learned of a couple who had recently given birth to 2 very beautiful little girls, it broke my heart to ready that they were both on Sept 6th but still in the NICU since their birth. There wish was for a photographer to come into the NICU and take their daughters first professional pictures so that they could finally send out announcements to their family and be able to eternally capture their little girls at this stage of their lives. I knew my answer would be yes, but as I continued to read their story I couldn't hold back my emotions.
These two baby girls were Monochorinoic/Monoamniotic Twins! That's right, I don't know about you but I needed to brush up on my twin knowledge after reading that. Ok, so I read up on MoMo twins and I was even more convinced that God had placed this family in my life for a reason!
I chatted with their mom, Kelli over text messages and we scheduled their photo session right away. I didn't sleep for 2 days! I'm not joking, I couldn't stop reading about MoMo twins, looking at inspirational images and praying for the babies I was about to meet.
As I drove up to Kaiser Hospital, which just so happened to be the same hospital my daughter was born at my heart began to flutter and race! I was beyond excited and was feeling so overwhelmed with my own emotions of being back at my daughters birth place.
Meeting Kelli and her husband Jeremy was awesome! They were both very relaxed, extremely sweet and incredibly friendly. Their baby girls stole my heart for sure. I learned that the girls had recently gained more weight, were eating more and even got to remove the tubes and IV's just days before I arrived.
Sweet Ashlyn "Peanut" was a little ham for me, she loves having her picture taken. She wouldn't go back to sleep for us, she had her eyes on me the entire time. From the moment I peeked over at her while she was in her bassinet, she really is a diva for sure. Then there's her sweet sister Brielle who dearly loved the blankets and girly wraps I brought for her to model. She snuggled up with mommy and went right to sleep for us.
Kelli shared with me that it was her first time, during the photo session, that she was holding the girls freely. Meaning, they had no tubes or IV's on them and she was finally able to snuggle and cuddle them without having to worry about messing up a cord or tube. I almost lost it during that moment, being able to capture images of Kelli holding each of her baby girls was priceless for me. It was such a special moment, I was blessed to be able to capture it for them.
I can't wait to watch these precious bundles of joy grow up! Their mommy and daddy don't know it yet, but I plan to be their photographer as long as they will let me. Miss Ashlyn has a future in modeling, I can tell already! I can't wait to say "I knew her when!".
Such an honor and a blessing to be in this families presence.
If you would like to know more about these beautiful MoMo Twins, check out their blog! That's right ladies and gentleman, these girls have their very own blog.
Baby Gruens ... Our MoMo Journey
Below I have a snip-it from Kelli and Jeremy's blog about their twins:
"It was confirmed two weeks ago that our girls are Monochorinoic/Monoamniotic (Also referred to as “MoMo” twins). The doctors delayed on diagnosing MoMo’s because it is SO rare (1 in 10,000 twin pregnancies) and often it is hard to see the dividing membrane, but at our 16 week appointment we had cord entanglement which can only mean one thing, that our babies were in the same sac (MoMo)"
Here are some interesting facts about MoMo babies:
*Monoamniotic twins are always identical
*Monoamniotic twins are the result of a late splitting egg; one that split around 8-12 days after fertilization
*Monoamniotic twins only occur in 1% of twins
*Monoamniotic twins share a placenta and amniotic sac which means they have skin to skin contact
*Monoamniotic twins are considered extremely high risk because of the risk of cord compression leading to fetal death as a result of umbilical cord entanglement
*Monoamniotic twins are always delivered by C-Section
*Monoamniotic twins are usually delivered between 32-34 weeks gestation because the risks of staying in utero are greater than the risks associated with a premature birth
*75% of monoamniotic twins are girls
*inpatient monitoring at viability yeilds the greatest success rates
**These statistics are those posted at http://www.monoamnioticstories.blogspot.com ~ For additional stories, head there.
Photos are the property of Heather J. Potter Photography. Please do not copy, edit, or use any photos or information from this website without my prior written consent.
I am very excited and honored to have been selected to work with Capturing Hopes Photography a non-profit organization that offers photography assistance to families with babies and children in the NICU as well as those living in the Ronald McDonald House of Winston Salem.
Because Capturing Hopes Photography is based on the East Coast, they reached out to me directly when they received a request from a family that is here in the San Diego area. The family has two beautiful little girls who are in the NICU at Kaiser Zion Hospital, San Diego. Because the babies can't leave the hospital just yet, I will be going directly to them in order to help capture their first professional newborn portraits. This is something the family has been wanting and waiting to be able to do since they were born. I feel honored to be able to help such this family.
If you or anyone you know have babies in the NICU or families that are at Ronald McDonald House within the San Diego County area, please let me know. I would like to be able to offer them a portrait session free of charge. I know this time in their life is precious and being able to capture the memories and moments are priceless.
Please pass this blog onto your family and friends as I would like to spread the word, if this becomes bigger than something I can not do alone, I will be reaching out to the community for support to include recruiting other photographers to join in my mission to give back through photography.
*UPDATE: Because I have already began to receive incredible feedback, I have started the process of creating a non-profit organization called "Paying It Forward Photography". As I pull everything together, I will post updates here and on the Paying It Forward Photography website.
I will be reaching out to the community for support to include recruiting other photographers to join in my mission to give back through photography.
#NICUPhotographer #SanDiegoCountyPhotographer#OceansidePhotographer #FamilyPhotographer #NewbornPhotographer
On October 3, 2014- 80 WWII Veterans accompanied by Guardians departed for a tour of Washington DC for the WWII Memorial Visit. The majority of these “Greatest Generation” Veterans are 90+. We are all grateful for the enormous sacrifices they made during WWII in the defense of our great Nation. These brave veterans returned to San Diego on Sunday, October 5 to an uproarious and cheerful crowd of hundreds of active, retired and former military plus many civilians.
Honor Flights are for WWII Veterans at no cost to our veterans. They are allowed one guardian, to accompany them on the trip. Through the fundraising efforts on behalf of Honor Flights San Diego, the Honor Flights recipients have the ability to fly to the Washington DC, to visit the WWII Memorial.
Honor Flights are solely funded by private donations from individuals and businesses. Donations are needed for our WWII Veterans to take part in this amazing journey and adventure. If you would like to donate to the Honor Flights San Diego non-profit organization, please contact David A. Smith, Chairman & Founder of Honor Flight San Diego.
If any WWII Veteran are interested in taking a tour of the DC WWII Memorial or would like more information please visit: www.honorflightsandiego.org. Additional information can also be found on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/HonorFlightSanDiego/
All photos below are owned and copyrighted by Heather J. Potter Photography and are not intended to be circulated or used in anyway without prior written permission. Please feel free to link this blog/website to your own page or share with others. If you would like permission to use the images on this site, please contact Heather J. Potter.
I was called not to long after Dakota proposed to Taylor. She asked me if I would be available to photograph their wedding in Texas, without even having a solid date, I happily accepted!
Though my travels to Texas from San Diego turned out to be a less than a desirable situation due to horrible weather delaying every flight, the wedding of Dakota and Taylor made everything better.
Dakota and Taylor recited their hand written vows for each other in front of their family and friends at The 80 Acres. The barn style ceremony site and reception hall in located within the peaceful town of Cookville, Texas. You'll see from the pictures, this wedding was simply elegant with a very beautiful county flair. From red and turquoise accent colors, cowboy boot center pieces, a bull grooms cake there was no mistaking that I was at a Texas wedding for sure and I LOVED every minute of it.
Because this is simply a sneak peek for the bride and groom, I will only be releasing a few images until the bride and groom have their entire collection.
Heather J. Potter