Newborn Rainbow Twins 

I can easily say that going to Ted & Elsie’s home last year for their photoshoot was one of the highlights of my career as a baby photographer. I adore all of my little clients and their families but the more I learned about the Wheatleys and their surrogacy journey the more I wanted to meet them and create some beautiful memories for their family.

The twins’ parents, Cathy & Keith, went through a lot before being able to hold their beautiful newborn rainbow twins in their arms. They went through the pain of losing their firstborn, baby Helen and I was so honoured to be able to incorporate her memory during the twins’ photo session.

Cathy and Keith bravely shared their journey through Ukraine surrogacy on the recent Virgin 1 Documentary, ‘You, me and Surrogacy’  if you would like to see more of their wonderful story and amazing family.

Adorable Newborn Rainbow Twins 1Adorable Newborn Rainbow Twins 2Adorable Newborn Rainbow Twins 3

I was first introduced to the Wheatleys by my friend, Anne Marie Gillooley. Anne Marie has her own blog Looking for Starswhere she shares her story after the stillbirth of baby Max, their IVF journey and the amazing arrival of baby Flynn. 

I couldn’t think of a better person to talk about Cathy & Keith’s amazing journey than her. So here it is, in her own words. Thanks again Anne Marie!



“I first met Cathy and Keith just over 5 years ago. It was 2 weeks after my son Max had been unexpectedly stillborn and I walked into a Feileacain support group hoping for support and understanding in a world which suddenly felt alien to me. Little could I have imagined that as well as buckets of support and understanding I was to meet the most amazing friends for life.

Adorable Newborn Rainbow Twins 4


Cathy and Keith’s first daughter Helen had been stillborn around 8 months earlier. Seeing them that night gave me hope, seeing their love and support for each other, their ability to smile and laugh and most especially their infinite love for their baby Helen gave me the hope that one day I might smile again and most of all the knowledge that no matter what, I would never forget my firstborn.



Together we faced the various challenges of trying to conceive after loss and then infertility after loss. Together we went from finding rainbow babies (babies born after loss) a symbol of hope, to finding them a painful reminder that we may never have our own rainbows. I was fortunate that our IVF journey entered a happier chapter as we conceived our rainbow baby through our first round of IVF. Cathy and Keith welcomed our baby Flynn into their lives with the positive embrace that only a special few people can possess.


Adorable Newborn Rainbow Twins 6


Through all of their fertility struggles they continued to champion the memory of their beautiful Helen, filling their home with stars and butterflies and beautiful photos of her, they continued to invite friends and family to celebrate Helen’s birthday as a charity fundraiser every year, hearing their home ring with an ever-increasing number of children playing with the toys they owned to make them feel welcome, as every year brought a more deafening silence when people went home.


Adorable Newborn Rainbow Twins 7


I was so nervous for them when they started their surrogacy journey, I had seen how painful the process could be and was so nervous that they would encounter yet more heartbreak. And yet they hoped, and so I hoped right alongside them.

Their surrogate mother, the lovely Ivanna was chosen, Cathy, as always broke the accepted wisdom of keeping an emotional distance and instead embraced her as part of their wonderful family. Hope bloomed as 2 little heartbeats flickers on a screen and continued to blossom through growth scans and baby showers and gender reveals.

It was so wonderful to see Cathy and Keith get to experience this amazing pregnancy in so many ways, sharing regular contact with Ivanna, getting daily videos of her growing bump, holding baby showers and being showered with positivity and excitement by all those who loved them and wished so much for their happiness.



It’s hard to describe the excitement and emotion our little group felt as we stood in Dublin Airport arrivals and waited impatiently for Cathy and Keith to arrive home with their newborn rainbow twins Ted and Elsie.


Adorable Newborn Rainbow Twins 11


I happened to be with Lidi for a group dinner later that evening and as I told her the story and we were both overcome with the emotion, we started making a plan to see if she could fit in a photoshoot before her Christmas trip to Brazil. Packing was delayed as we headed down to Wicklow a couple of days later. I knew Cathy and Keith would love the experience of the photoshoot.

I knew how caring and compassionate Lidi was and how she would embrace Helen’s memory as part of their story. I knew that she would take the most beautiful photos imaginable and that Cathy and Keith and all of their family would treasure them.


It was so wonderful to see how much Cathy and Keith loved their baby photoshoot and were totally relaxed and comfortable with Lidi. They spent the few hours having a leisurely lunch and a snooze while Lidi set to work creating her very magical type of art with beautiful Ted and Elsie.

Cathy and Keith have missed out on so many of the elements of parenthood most people take for granted, all of the memories and moments they should have had with Baby Helen, all of the pregnancy memories with the twins, the middle of the night kicks and cravings. Now they are here and this wonderful family is getting to embrace the joy and chaos of life with baby twins.

I am so delighted that they also got to have this really special experience with Lidi and photos they absolutely adore. In the middle of the shoot, a beautiful butterfly even appeared and fluttered around the room before settling on Keith. Another beautiful reminder of Helen’s presence in their home now and always.”

– Anne Marie Gillooley