It’s that time of year again. There’s a change in the air, and that can only mean one thing…time to book your fall mini session! This year we will again have two dates: October 11th for an urban location and October 19th for some traditional fall color. Book your 20 minute session with four digital images included for $300 OR pay $400 at booking and receive your entire gallery of images. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Malcolm’s birth was special for many reasons. One of the big ones for me is that his birth was the first time I have photographed THREE births for ONE family. My first three-peat, if you will. I met Diana when she was just days from being due with her first baby, Evangeline. We spent twenty-one long hours together as she and Stephan worked to bring Evangeline into the world.
Then a few years later, speedy Vivica, who took her sweet time starting labor, raced into the world before I even got to the hospital. I met Vivica when she was twenty minutes old and her mom was beaming in triumph over her completely intervention-free birth. My heart soared for the new family of four.
Finally, on April 12th, Malcolm made his debut a couple of weeks earlier than any of us expected. Determined not to miss the actual birth this time, I showed up to the hospital when Diana was still in the early, early stages of labor. I settled in, thinking we would have quite a bit of time before baby made his appearance. But after a short while, Diana started closing her eyes and breathing through contractions, a sign that they were strong enough to require some focus. She listened to her hypnobirthing affirmations on her phone and just kept breathing. Long slow breaths. Strong, but not forced. It was amazing to watch. Diana’s doula, the wonderful Paula, laid cool cloths on Diana’s forehead and gently rubbed her arm, responding to Diana’s needs and preserving the almost-reverent atmosphere in the room. I say almost-reverent because Eva and Viv were also in the room, eating their snacks and exploring. Sweet Vivica, 18 months old, kept coming up to see what was going on with mama. She was a little doula herself.
And then there was a change. Soft moans escaped with Diana’s breathing, a sign that the intensity of labor was increasing. But Diana was handling things so well, so calmly, I don’t think any of us realized how close baby was to joining us in the room. There was quite a scramble with the midwife and nurses when it became obvious that baby was coming NOW. Diana had us all fooled.
One of my favorite moments from this birth was looking over at Stephan immediately after his son was born. He was hugging his two daughters and watching his son being lifted up onto his wife’s chest. There was more than a little emotion on his face and it was beautiful. I also love that Evangeline and Vivica had front row seats for their brother’s birth. I love birth as a family event, and I love watching families grow right before my eyes.
Welcome to the world, little Malcolm!
Like a lot of people, the first of the year is a time for reflection and goal setting. This year, when I thought about my work and my business, I realized that while I love the ease and convenience of selling digital files, I wanted to provide my clients with something tangible. Something they could hold in their hands and show their children and their grandchildren. While I love canvases and wall art, I know not everyone has the space for them, and after a few years, you start wanting to change things up again. There are all kinds of other cool ways to display photos (on metal, inside glass blocks, printed on wood) but I can’t help thinking that those trends will pass with time. The album, however, the album endures. Photo albums are handed down through generations, everyone has space for them, and they tell stories. Perfect!
You may have noticed that my 2014 pricing looks a bit different from years past. The biggest difference is that I’m including a book or album with each collection of digital images. It is important to me that you have your story in a format you can hold and love and share in person. I just ordered my sample albums and I’m THRILLED with them. I think they are truly beautiful. Gorgeous leather, pretty fabrics, padded covers, thick lay-flat pages, and layouts that use white space to really highlight your images. Love.
When I photographed Bronson’s birth a year and a day ago, I still had a tiny baby myself and was just trying to keep my head above water. So I didn’t get a chance to post a blog for Nikki and Jeff. A year makes such a difference, and now I’m trying to catch up a bit. But instead of writing my photographer’s perspective of this birth, I thought we’d let mama tell her story herself. Nikki is a strong believer in sharing the beauty of birth, and I’m so honored to help her do this. I have to admit that reading Nikki’s story brought tears to my eyes. There’s nothing like hearing a birth story from the mama’s perspective. So much love. Enjoy!
Dear Baby Brummond –
Your birth story… It begins on the night of St. Patrick’s Day, March, 17th, 2013. It was a normal Sunday but we had a St. Patty’s Day party at Jamie and Ryan’s that afternoon. We attended and had a great time but left around 8pm because we knew I needed to get some rest. We just assumed your dad and I would be going to work the next day. Labor started at about 10:00pm that (Sunday) evening. We had climbed in bed and about 30 minutes later the mild cramps I had been having throughout the day turned into something that I could time. Meaning I could tell when the pain started and stopped. I was having contractions! They were mild and very low by my pubic bone. I started timing them at 10:30pm and they were about five minutes apart lasting 50-60 seconds. I was shocked because they were already so consistent. I timed them for an hour because my midwife said she wanted me to wait until they were 5-1-1. So at 11:30pm after an hour I called my doula. My doula said that I was definitely in the early stages of labor so to continue laboring at home and keep her posted if I needed her to come over. I wasn’t in pain; it was more annoying than anything because I couldn’t sleep. Your dad told me I needed to sleep so I quit timing from 11:30pm-12:30am and tried to sleep. I was able to ”snooze” in the five minutes between contractions but was definitely awake as they were getting slightly more annoying. At about 1:00am I told your dad there was no way I was sleeping so he went downstairs and got the Bradley book and was telling me where I was at in terms of stages of labor. It was kind of funny, I was calling him Dr. Jeff. “Hey thanks for the update honey!” At about 2am I was really hungry so your dad made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I knew it might be a long night.
At about 2:30am your dad suggested we get out of bed and try some other positions. We went out into the loft area upstairs and I sat on the birth ball, we walked around and did some sway dancing. We did that for about half an hour and then I decided I should probably try to rest again. As I went to climb in bed, I sat down and it was like you punched or kicked inside and then a balloon popped. My water broke! A HUGE gush of water came flowing out and it was the weirdest thing ever! I hollered to your dad to get a towel all while laughing because it was pretty comical. I made my way to the shower to rinse off and your dad paged the midwife. To our surprise she said we should probably meet at the birth center so we planned on meeting in an hour at 4:45am. My doula came to our house and helped me through a few contractions before we took off for the birth center. The car ride was not as bad as I had expected however it was not comfortable at all. At the start of a contraction, I needed your dad to roll the window down for fresh air because that seemed to help.
We got to the birth center right about 5am and I started walking the halls and doing some stairs. My midwife checked me next and I was very nervous but to our surprise I was dilated to a five. She said getting from 1-5 centimeters is the hardest and I was there. Phew! I would lay on the bed and have a few contractions and then go walk stairs and the hallway and then start that process over again. We did that for about an hour maybe 90 minutes and then we needed something new. I sat on a chair in the shower with water beating on my back. I was cold but it seemed to help. After the shower I was too tired to do anything other than labor on the bed. A few times I got on my knees and laid on the birth ball but the contractions were getting pretty painful. At this point there were a few times I said I could not do it anymore. It was hard. I felt as though my team was ignoring me when I’d say I couldn’t do it anymore because they knew I could. At about 9:45am we drew the water in the tub because I was having hot flashes and cold sweats and we believed I was in transition. The contractions were VERY hard but still only low. I can’t imagine if they were all over my belly, yikes!
I made my way to the tub which I don’t even remember doing because I was in a lot of pain. I got in the water and was on my knees with my hands up over the tub’s edge. By this time I didn’t have to try to push, the urges were just there. It was crazy, like I had to take a big number two and I couldn’t hold it in. My body just pushed for me. (Sorry, a little TMI) Your dad was very hesitant to get in the tub with me because it made him nervous but the doula and midwife didn’t really give him the choice and told him to get it. Boy am I glad he did! I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I leaned against him with my arms over his thighs. I had my legs open and would push against the opposite end of the tub while bearing down. After a few contractions my midwife checked me and I was fully dilated so she said to continue letting my body do what it was doing. While in the tub, it was the most painful and hardest part. I wanted to give up so many times and even said it but knew there was no turning back. I was nauseous and had dry heaves but nothing would come out. It was a very surreal experience. I could tell my eyes would roll back in my head and I was making an open mouth roar-like sound during the contractions. I kept wanting to give up and my midwife said there was no point because she could see your head and that it had lots of hair. I was thrilled yet disappointed with each future contraction because the pain got worse and worse and I felt like the contractions were not doing anything. With the help of your dad, grandma, my midwife and doula I was reassured I was making progress. I think I was leaning against your dad for maybe 30 minutes pushing when they suggested I try going back onto my knees. I did this and the first contraction in that new position was so hard. I think I pushed through maybe four more contractions in the knees position with my hands over the edge and finally….finally you here! You came out in one push! I was so frustrated that you weren’t coming so apparently my pushes were just crazy strong. Out came your head and my body still had the urge to push so I kept going. You shot out behind me straight towards your dad (because he was still sitting on that step behind me) and my midwife pushed you back through my legs. I turned over and up you came to my chest. My sweet baby boy, I was in a complete and utter state of shock that you were finally here but at the same time so proud of myself that I did it. That we did it! There were a lot of people who doubted the process but I had done it. I brought you into the world the most natural way I could and I was so overwhelmed with joy at that moment. I will admit it was the hardest, most painful thing I have ever experienced but every second was worth it!
After about ten minutes your dad cut the cord and we got you all cleaned up so I could get out of the water. You went with daddy to bond while I got cleaned up. I was helped out of the tub, got cleaned up and climbed into the bed and you and your daddy came over to join us. It was then that we were asked what your name was. Up until now, your dad and I still had not made a firm decision. I looked at your daddy and he looked right back and me and said, “Well go ahead, tell them.” I had no idea what to say. I guess this meant it was my final say! This is when I proudly announced you as Bronson Joseph Brummond. Baby B finally had a name!
Grandma and Grandpa Brummond were in the waiting area most of the time I was at the birth center so they were excited to come in and meet you. Grandma Suzie was in the room the entire time and helped bring you into the world. Grandpa Marty arrived around noon and was thrilled as well. We stayed at the birth center until about 4pm, resting, visiting with family and just soaking up all the love for you. The cool thing about having you at a birth center is there is no overnight stay. Your dad and I were able to pack you into the car seat (which you looked so tiny in) and drive you home that same evening. We were home before 5pm and the sun was shining. It was a beautiful day! You were born at 10:48am weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches long.
So now we begin this wonderful journey of parenthood. Bronson bug, you are my angel, my miracle, my boy. You are our son and we cannot wait for this life together!
Here is the slideshow of Bronson’s beautiful birth.
And if I’ve photographed your birth and you’ve written down your birth story and want to share, please send it to me and I’ll do a post like this for you, too! Thank you!