Rachael Houser Photography » Wedding Photographer based in Western Kentucky

Two plus one makes three… but how? No, I’m not giving you a math question, exactly. I’m also not going to give you the sex talk. But how about we talk physiology!

It might be the nurse in me, but it’s also the infertile-momma-to-be in me that wants to pen to paper (metaphorically of course) about HOW exactly pregnancy happens and why it wasn’t happening for us. I think knowing where you came from is an incredible important part to getting to where you’re going. And if you’re here reading as a person struggling with infertility, I can only hope this helps.

A female is born with all the eggs she will ever have in her ovaries, in the form of immature eggs. Once she hits puberty, one to a few eggs mature once a month (ish) during her cycle due to a certain hormone: estrogen.

Those immature eggs do not mature because I lack enough estrogen.

About halfway through her cycle, the egg is mature enough to be fertilized and is released from an ovary and is housed in the fallopian tube, awaiting fertilization via sperm. Two hormones are responsible for ovulation: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

I also lack enough FSH and LH and therefore, do not ovulate.

The egg is fertilized by, you guessed it! sperm from the male. Sperm “swims” up the vaginal canal, through the the cervix, up the uterus, and into the fallopian tube where the egg is waiting. It’s not a short or easy journey! And then, once it arrives at the egg, it can take MANY sperm to spearhead the egg’s protective layer, which weakens the layer, to allow just one sperm through to complete fertilization.

A couple sperm analysis showed that Neil doesn’t have enough sperm to weaken the egg’s protective layer, plus, those sperm can’t swim fast enough to reach the egg before dying.

During the first 3 or so weeks of her cycle, her uterine lining is thickening and building up in order to make a nice home for the fertilized egg once it leaves the fallopian tube and imbeds itself into the wall of the uterus to start growing into a human. Primarily progesterone, but also estrogen, is responsible, yet again.

And yet again, I lack enough progesterone AND estrogen so my endometrium doesn’t reach the thickness needed.

After the egg is safely imbedded in the wall of the uterus and begins growing into a human, progesterone is still needed to supply the growth during the first trimester.

Again, no progesterone, no growth.

As you can see, Neil and I sorely lack pretty much everything we needed in order to become pregnant. Next week, I’ll talk about how science and God stepped in to make it work!

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Several weeks prior to Megan & Andrew’s big day, Megan and I met for dinner to discuss her wedding day timeline – a little meeting I like to call the pre-wedding consultation! Among the many things we talked about, one was her fear of it raining all throughout her wedding day. I pish-poshed, saying it hardly ever rained all day in October. Little did I know I would be eating my words on her wedding day and for many days after!

Our area has had more continuous rain in the past week than it did this past spring – which has all but ruined most of our area photographers’ fall portrait session schedule! We only have about 3 weeks of beautiful colors in the fall and an entire week was spent emailing and texting clients minutes before their sessions saying whoops, it’s still raining, let’s look at another day!

Of course, you can’t reschedule a wedding so we just had to take what we could get! That meant a disappointing amount of bride & groom portraits since it didn’t stop raining until well after the sun set. Normally, we would just schedule a Rain Check session for a day sometime after the wedding for their portraits but Megan & Andrew set off for their next adventure the very next day… they moved to Northern California! The silver-lining of Megan & Andrew’s rainy wedding day? According to Hindu religion (which they are not of, but still!), rain on your wedding day is incredible good luck! AND that means a short trip to California for a visit and a session for me a Neil!

Ceremony Venue | Lone Oak United Methodist Church
Reception Venue | Purple Toad Winery
Florist | The Green Door Florist
Coordinator | Joanie Jordan

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After what seems like 3 of the longest years ever, Neil and I are expecting!

Trying to conceive naturally and a year of fertility treatments led us to diagnoses’ where we learned of our only option – and through the miracle of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and God’s constant faithfulness, I am finally pregnant! In fact, just yesterday I turned 15 weeks!

When you’ve wanted something for so long, and have gone so long being unsuccessful, it doesn’t quite seem real when you finally get it. I’m still pinching myself! In the coming months, I will make good on my promise to recount our infertility/IVF story. One that has a happy ending!

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Miranda Cornett -

Awww!!! Congratulations!!!! Praying for a wonderful and healthy pregnancy!!

Amanda Venters -

Awesome. So happy for yall. Congratulations.

Micheal Cruse -


Connie Williams Smith -

Congratulations!! So happy for all 3 of you!! Wonderful blessing!

Maggie Gray Teitloff -

Congratulations y’all! So exciting!

Jenna Midkiff Shelby -

Yay! Congrats!

Ashley Rawlings -

Congratulations, Super exciting!

Jenny Owens -

OHMYGOSH!!!!! I am so happy for you two!!! Love you!!!! **hugs!!!**

Brittney Chavez -

Yay!!! Congrats girl I’m so excited for you and your growing family!!!

Lisa Hina Walton -

Congratulations to you and Neil!

Hardly ever does the “before the ceremony” events take LESS time that planned. Hardly ever do wedding party and family portraits go SO smoothly that you’re done a whole 30 minutes early. And hardly ever do I have time to eat lunch DURING a wedding day. All three of those things happened on Cindy & Josh’s wedding day this past Saturday, and if that isn’t a testament of how well planned Cindy & Josh are and how great the rest of the day went for everyone!

What made their day run so smoothly? Everyone got ready at the church in separate bridal and groom suites. Their hair stylist came to the church to do the girls’ hair. Both Josh’s mom and Cindy’s mom were in the bridal suite helping the girls get ready, which definitely came in handy when not one but two of the bridesmaids needed last minute repair on the bottom hem of their dresses. The wedding party and family had lunch delivered to the church. Family members were actually ready before the wedding party and were waiting on us when it came time for their portraits before the ceremony… a no one complained! It is my opinion that the events before the ceremony definitely set the tone for the rest of the day and I know I am not the only one who appreciated how well everything went!

Ceremony Venue | St. Thomas More Catholic Church
Reception Venue | The Carson Center, Myre River Room
Bridal Gown | Bridal Warehouse, Mori Lee
Bridesmaids Dresses | David’s Bridal
Suits | Mr. Penguins
Stationary | Exclusively Weddings
Florist | The Green Door
Videography | Edward A. Jones Photography
Hair Stylist | Bello Capelli Salon
Caterer | Artisan Kitchen
Cake Artist | Artisan Kitchen
DJ | Tyson Mauk

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Rachael Ann Houser -

love this

Having only been in Bowling Green a few times, I didn’t know how much of a treat I was in to shoot at the Indian Hills Country Club last Saturday! The ceremony took place out on the fairway directly behind the club house while the reception was set up inside the club house ballroom and flowed out on the back patio. And oh did we have the best weather!

My favorite things about Aarika & Wells’ day? Aarika and her girls all getting ready in the entirety of Aarika & Wells’ house that morning. Wells surprising the girls with in home massages while they got ready! Their chocolate lab Bailey hanging out with us right up until the ceremony. The yummy light that I found underneath the pine and oak trees for the family and wedding party portraits. The short and sweet ceremony, accompanied by violin and guitar. Doing portraits on a green! The delicious southern style finger foods for dinner (spicy pimento cheese dip and mini crab cakes?!? YES PLEASE!). The releasing of “wish” lanterns into the night! Such a great day!

Ceremony Venue | Indian Hills County Club
Reception Venue | Indian Hills County Club
Stationary | Art By Alice Orange
Florist | TLD Designs
Coordinator | Jaclyn Konow of Tickled Pink Events
Videographer | Scott Carroll of Ravenstone Films
Caterer | Indian Hills County Club

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