Lesleigh Cetinguc's journey to becoming a mom of two has been one filled with hope and strife. The mom from Kansas conceived her first son, Lochlan, through IVF. But while trying to get pregnant a second time, she suffered two devastating pregnancy losses. By trying IVF once more, Cetinguc and her husband welcomed their "double rainbow" (a child born after two losses) baby Lennon, born on December 14, 2017.
On Instagram, Kelley said she saved all the IVF paraphernalia she had used "in hopes that one day I'd be able to turn something that on the outside looks very harsh and medical into something beautiful." That became a very special photo tribute created with her family photographer, Kelley Walker-Chance.
"This picture of you at the base of a colorful rainbow created from every single needle, vial of medication, patch, and pill bottle that we used in the past two years became that shot," Cetinguc wrote in a letter to Lennon, published on Love What Matters. "It represents hours of injections, sticky residue from medicine patches, and pills carefully tracked. What it doesn’t show are the countless doctor’s appointments, my bruised abdomen, our hopes lifted, our dreams crushed and many tears shed."
The photo shoot was inspired not only by Cetinguc's experience with IVF but images of other families' rainbow babies. “Through the years I’ve seen what other moms have done with their IVF medications to document their journeys," she told Babble. "A lot of moms chose to place them in a heart formation surrounding a precious sonogram of their miracle(s) and a little onesie. Those pictures always resonated with me because I had walked that journey once before with our first son when we did IVF back in 2014. While I also noticed the beautiful pictures celebrating rainbow babies, it wasn’t until after our first miscarriage, that I started to really sit back and soak in what those pictures actually meant.”
How Cetinguc's journey played out is a testament to the power of women supporting other women on their unique -- and at times heartbreaking -- path to motherhood. To that end, she shared a powerful message for others who may be facing similar fertility challenges: “Listen to your heart and know that you are stronger than you could ever imagine. What is someone else’s path might not be yours. Infertility is a very personal journey and you get to make the call on what you feel comfortable doing going forward. Find a community. Reach out. There is a wealth of support out there and it’s important that you connect with other women who have been there too. Some of the strongest women I’ve ever met have been in the local support groups that I’ve joined and the social media accounts that I’ve connected with. These women have been through it all and are so welcoming when another woman joins the pack. Above all, always remember that you are strong, you are loved and you are not alone.”