You know that stage.
They roll over with confidence.
They think you are funniest human being on the planet.
And they are now starting to sit on their own…
It’s the little things that fills us with pride.
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
This mama and baby are very dear to me and hold a special place in my heart. It seems like it was yesterday when she was this little. Baby Bella was eagerly awaited and welcomed with an insurmountable amount of love. I want to share with you a few words this lovely mama wrote in a letter to her unborn child:
” . . . When I wonder if I’m a good enough mother, please help me to know my strength again. When I fear failure, please pierce me with your eyes and smile. When I take things too seriously, I give you permission to make me laugh. Laugh often.
Please remind me that life is beautiful, when I might forget. I want you to be the best thing about me. I hope you always love me, I hope that you will be proud to be my legacy. I want to say, that you were the most amazing little lovely thing that I have ever seen before you even ever came to be. I will wait patiently for you, enjoying you on the inside. Come as you are. Come when you are ready. . . “
On this throw-back-thursday I wanted to show you this beautiful maternity session in Miami. A couple absolutely in love and comfortable with each other and in front of our cameras. Love our clients!
Often clients want to know what to wear to their maternity photography session so I wrote this post in an effort to help the process. Here are some things to consider when picking your outfit:
2. Stay away from logos. Huge designer brand logos don’t look great in pictures. Keep in mind that you will be looking at these pictures yearsdown the road and I’m sure you wouldn’t like the first thing to stand out be the designer that you were wearing.
In a previous week I wrote a post called It’s Magic where I shared with you a birth I was invited to attend. My hope was that in sharing, I would encourage other women to document their birth. Now I want to share with you the details of that birth. To follow is a recollection of the events as recalled by the mama herself:
My daughter’s birth didn’t go as planned…
I had a midwife so I could have a more holistic, personal approach to my overall care. I chose a midwife so that when I say, “I want my child to only breastfeed, co-sleep with me, and wait on anesthesia or narcotics she will back me up. Luckily, my OB group used CNMs interchangeably with the regular doctors for all routine care, which I loved.
Around 11 p.m. I went into labor. At about 4 a.m. after walking around my neighborhood under the moonlit sky and bathing in a warm tub in order to speed up my labor and help with my contractions I decided to head on to the hospital. On the way there, I remember thinking, “This is painful but I can handle it…I am going to go natural.”
I had chosen my support system during labor and delivery beforehand…which entailed my Mom, my sister-in-law, and my cousin. These are women whom I trust and love. After being admitted to the hospital I texted them to let them know it was show time.
After being in labor for over 12 hours, and the fact that I was still 2cm, wasn’t encouraging. The contractions were so painful that I was shaking uncontrollably. That’s when the tears started flowing. I knew I couldn’t take the pain of the contractions any longer. I looked at my midwife and she gave me a look of compassion and understanding…but I felt like a failure. I wanted no intervention, no meds, no anesthesia…I wanted a “natural” birth. With my luck the epidural only took on the right side of my body…it had to happen to me of course.
Three hours went by and I was still at 2cm when I agreed on getting Pitocin. That’s when the “party” started; I went from 2cm to 9cm. My midwife decided that I [should start] pushing. I couldn’t wait to meet my daughter. After pushing for about an hour and finding out my daughter was in a sunny side up position, my midwife looked at me and said, “Your doctor and I have decided you need c-section.”
A c-section wasn’t in the plans…it wasn’t in my mindset. I was terrified. I felt like my world was caving in on me. I had so many emotions at once. At that point I had been in labor for about 18 hours. When my OB/GYN walked into my room he gave me the absolute confidence that I had done everything I could and there was no other choice.
In the end, it wasn’t the birth I had plan, but I did amazing. I trusted my midwife and my Ob/Gyn to make choices with my interests in mind [while] encouraging me about doing what was best for my baby and I…regardless of what that meant. I had my best birth, and felt proud of what I did. It was in fact, the longest shortest time. I was happy with the outcome…a healthy baby girl and Mom.
Now I focus on the really hard part…Motherhood.
I love to hear birth stories because each is so profoundly different and meaningful. They are stories about brave women who face fear and pain head-on.
I would love to hear your birth story and document your birth with a birth photography sesion. If you would like to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and your story could be featured in upcoming posts.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theordore Roosevelt
I have this quote in my office and read it every time I feel overwhelmed with fear and insecurity about starting over. Lately this is happening more and more. Most of you might not know that in 2009 I started a business because I loved (and still do!) photography. Unfortunately, there is more to a photography business than loving what you do and taking pretty pictures. The day that my doors closed I was conflicted with a myriad of emotions. I felt like a failure, happy, sad, relieved, disappointed, and the list goes on. But deep down I always knew that photography would not disappear from my life and that the things that matter, just like love, always find a way.
Today, I have really exciting news. I will be opening my doors again! What would I do differently this time I hear you asking? I will give you more of me. I will be as clear and transparent as I can be with you because if there is one thing I learned is that you grow by connecting with people and bringing them along in your journey. That is the number one reason why I started The Crunchy Nest blog. I want to create a platform where I can share my experience about motherhood and life and the learning curve along the way. Not because I know all the answers, but because I’m searching for them. So if you are a former client, I hope you give me another chance to create new memories for you. If we have never met, well, I can’t wait to meet you!
For now the number of engagement, maternity, and newborn sessions I can book each month will be limited. So if you are pregnant and looking to book a maternity or newborn session in Miami-Dade or Broward County, make sure you contact me soon to reserve your appointment. If you have any questions whatsoever, please call me @ 786-797-2477, or email me at email@example.com, or send me a message through Facebook. Or you can simply leave a comment on this post. I can’t wait for us to work together!
What is enchanting about birth photography is that not every birth story is like we imagine and although sometimes things don’t go as planned, they are magical nonetheless.
Baby Bella was born via c-section after hours of labor. Grandma was beaming with joy.
I consider myself lucky to have shared this day with them. I learned so much about life just from being there. This is one of the many reasons why I love birth photography. If you are an expecting mom, I encourage you to document your birth. And if you don’t have the means to hire a professional photographer, don’t let that stop you. Ask a friend or family member to help you capture the memories. It is the ultimate longest shortest time. The waves of pain feel eternal, yet when it’s done it feels like a blur. Below is baby Bella during her first photo session a few days after birth.
I got a call from my mom while at work today. She was telling me how the baby, who is now fifteen months, was refusing to eat lunch. She explained how she tried everything and it wasn’t until she handed over the spoon and allowed him to feed himself that mealtime resumed and he devoured his lunch.
Smiling I ended the conversation with my mom and an overwhelming feeling of sadness came over me. This feeling is not new to me. I have experienced it many times before. It comes during moments when I realize that my babies are growing up and I’m running out of time to be the mommy that I dreamt of being for them.
You see, Gavin is my third child and this time around I wanted to get it right. I’m older now and my ideas about parenting and my body have changed so much since I had my first baby. There were many things I wanted to do differently, and one of those things was breastfeeding.
During the last weeks of my pregnancy I read books, blogs, forums, anything I could find about breastfeeding and how to succeed. I thought I was prepared. I felt empowered being surrounded (both in my personal life and in online communities) by mommies, mine included, who did succeed. I was excited and ready to meet my new bundle of joy and dreamt of our nursing time together.
Now looking back I understand the many medical reasons as to why my body did not perform as it normally would: I did not go into labor on my own (it was a scheduled c-section), it was my third c-section, I lost a lot of blood, the baby was not able to nurse right away, etc.. Yet all of this didn’t stop me from trying. For weeks I pumped around the clock, took supplements, visited a lactation consultant, rented a hospital grade pump, and drove myself to exhaustion. And although I know that I gave it my all, even as the chips were stacked against me, every time I see nursing mothers I feel like a failure. I had one chance to get this right – a chance that I will never have again – and I somehow screwed it up.
I realize that as time passes the guilt becomes more manageable. I hope that someday it is gone all together. For now, I try to remind myself that I did nurse and although I did not produce enough to sustain him, we did connect in ways I never could have imagined. I remind myself that my determination was not in vain, that I am human, and that there will be many more opportunities in his life – and the life of my other children – to get it right.
How was your breastfeeding journey?