The Birth Story of Avery Claire – Atlanta Birth Photographer

This was a very special and very awesome birth. I feel a deep connection with this sweet Momma and love her to pieces. She has such and wonderful heart and fun spirit and that is going to make her the best mom she already is. The birth was the final transformation for Rae into motherhood. It was so sweet because she told me to text her that I made it home safely after the birth and again after their home newborn session.

This is the first birth that I was a doula for as well as the birth photographer. I do have to say sorry for the first few video clips as there was some lights in the room that were making those lines in the video and I tried a few different things before figuring out what was causing it so bare with me. One of the fun parts about being a birth photographer is the technical challenges to the craft you face when it comes to hospitals (cramped spaces and not the best lighting just to name a few).

Since Dad was playing at a football game that night and would be at the hospital till 1am (GO FALCONS!) I didn’t want Rae to be alone and smuggling her necessities into the hospital. I picked her up around noon and we grabbed a bite to eat and then got the call from the hospital saying her room was ready. We arrived at the hospital around 3:30pm and did some walking around and getting situated until the start of pitocin which was about 7pm. We had a visit from one of Rae’s best friends Amanda, who actually has some responsibility for how we got into this whole thing in the first place ;]. Amanda was Rae and Jeremy’s match maker. Amanda and Rae had a two hour long trial of trying to get Jeremy’s game to play on any device that would. So that is why you see them canoodling on an array of apple products. Unfortunately it didn’t happen but Dad was safe and made it to the hospital and we had some fun entertaining Rae with some Mad Libs.

I really never thought labor and birth could be really really fun. I mean its amazing because of what a miracle it is and all the neat moments, but one of Rae’s coping techniques was cracking jokes. I have never laughed so hard at a birth and I think it was a first and a last. There are many memorable jokes. So Rae decided to get things moving along and had her waters ruptured around 10pm. Rae believed she turned into a crazy person but she really didn’t. She was very calm, relaxed and in control. I know it might have not felt like that in the inside though.

Dad arrived on time when he said he would and that’s when things picked up a little shortly after. One of my favorite parts was when Jeremy climbed in the hospital bed with Rae (he is close to 6″9) and the nurse came in and he immediately said “I was told to do this” like he was going to get in trouble. I don’t think anyone is going to tell someone his size what to do. Parents snuggling really helps get that natural oxytocin flowing and progress things. After a little bit of that it was about 3am and Rae decided it was time to get her epidural and get some rest. Though the sleep was on and off we all got up and moving officially for the day around noon. I grabbed a quick lunch, came back in and Rae was complete.

Dr. Arona is completely awesome. She let me stand where I needed to, to get my shots, and always explained what she was doing very thoroughly to Rae and asked for consent. That made my job as a doula very easy and wish there were a lot more OB’s like her. We were also blessed with fabulous Nurses to work with as well. Sweet little Avery made her transition to earth side at 2:21pm weighing in at 7lbs 1oz and 20 inches long and mom was very happy she had a perfectly normal size head since she had been told it was going to be a big one.

I am so proud of Rae and how much of a trooper she was. So if she tells you she turned into a crazy lady while telling you her birth story, she really did not. That was just all in her head. She was strong and calm. I loved that Rae’s first words to little Avery were “Oh, I love you so much”. After spending her golden hour on momma’s chest Avery got her bath and then it was Daddy’s turn. Jeremy is so in love with his sweet girl and got to do some skin to skin time with her. Its all over his face in the photos and when he was holding her. He lovingly joked that he was going to set a 30 minute timer for Rae so they had even holding sessions. I am so thankful for this sweet family and awesome birth experience and cannot wait to see Avery grow. She made her way to some wonderful parents who love her dearly. Here are some of my favorite photos and why!

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Gorgeous momma in her “push” gown.
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Amanda brought Rae her favorite candy!
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Just shows how fun she was during her labor! She had all her nurses laughing.
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Love this sweet snuggle time before we headed into the next day.
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Sweet sweet release! She is finally here!
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It was a challenge to get all 6 feet and 9 inches in the camera frame but if you look you can see how big Jeremy’s smile is. He was really so happy!

 

This little girl was snuggling Mommies chin letting her know it's ok.
This little girl was snuggling Mommies chin letting her know it’s ok.

IMG_0792Loved Dr. Arona, and little Avery did too! You can see her smiling!

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She loves laying on Daddy’s Chest
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Big sister Percie is all about the camera.
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I don’t know if I need to explain this one. Its just beautiful.
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Love her little wrinkles on her back.
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Go Falcons! As Dad said “she will always now know why she was a peach baby”.

 

 

 

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The Birth Story of Shannon Rose – Atlanta Birth Photographer

I arrived at the hospital at 5:45am before they started Stacey on pitocin at 6am (which ended up being around 6:30am). Dad was catching some last minute sleep before the big day begun and Stacey was just so excited to get things going. With how mom’s first birth progressed with big sister LA I didn’t want to miss the birth of baby Shannon.

The rooms at this hospital are so big but I found it really funny that their room had fake windows in it. Contractions from the pitocin started rolling in about 20 minutes later becoming more and more intense. Stacey really handled them well. Grandma was so great coming in and playing doula, she made great eye contact as well as helping Stacey by counting through the contractions. Around 11:30 Stacy had progressed to 7cm so we all got kicked out while they started the epidural.

We got back into the room about an hour later and had a new visitor come who was very helpful near the end of labor. We fought SO HARD to get Mom some pictures with LA before go time. LA was not liking the camera at that point so I had to add a few of the hugs we finally got because we were all so happy she finally gave her Momma some love.

Shannon got a little fussy in there so we were rocking moms bed to keep her happy. We developed a great rhythm to keep those contractions regular and very quickly Mom was fully dilated. The doctor was finishing up another delivery so we had to wait a while but that was a good thing too because that extra time helped baby come down more so Mom didn’t have to push so much.

The doctor came in about 30 minutes after and it was go time. Everyone got in their places and big sister LA got to watch from a distance as her little sister became earthside. Shannon made her appearance at 3:56pm with only 3 contractions of pushing. After her head and shoulders were delivered Mom got to grab her and pull her up to her chest. It was really cool getting to witness that. I loved grandmas reaction to the whole thing as she stood next to Stacey during the delivery. It was so sweet. After some quick check ups Dad got to bring Shannon back over to mom and he had a smile ear to ear. It was probably one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen.

A few days afterwards I got to join the new family of four back at their beautiful home. I loved all the photos Stacey has around her house, you can tell pictures mean a lot to her. I asked LA if she enjoyed having her little sister home and she playfully told me “uh-uh”. She never strayed more then 5 feet from her little sister and watched me like a hawk. Those big sister protective instincts are already taking over. I was about her age when my littlest sister was born so it was neat getting to relive that experience with her.

Thank you Stacey, Mike, and LA for letting me in on this special time welcoming Shannon. She is so loved by you all and I can’t wait to see her grow. Here are some of my favorite photos!

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Love peeking in on cuddling!
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Sweet little feet
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Stacey is just way to gorgeous!
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Sweet moment with her girls
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Love this shot in the nursery
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We worked hard to get this shot
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Shannon loved being wrapped up tight
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This nurse was so awesome. She helped with eye contact and getting Stacey to that 7cm!
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Gotcha LA :]
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Awesome shot of mom reaching for her baby. The doctor said to me “now that will be a good shot” right at this very second.
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Love this moment. Just right after her birth and her first time on Mommy’s chest.
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Sweet smiles at Daddy
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Mom cuddling with her girls
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Sweet LA I got you again ;]

 

 

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The Birth Story of Oliver – Atlanta Birth Photographer

So this incredibly strong Momma was in active labor for over three days and her beautiful baby boy was delivered by cesarean section early on a Sunday morning. Sometimes our birth plans don’t turn out exactly how we hoped but I believe that putting her baby’s needs before her desires are what gives her an amazing start to motherhood.

 

It started on October 17th when contractions were happening and I got a text to head on over. So around 1pm I grabbed all my gear and headed out. Unfortunately labor stalled out so we all headed back home to wait again.

One week later I got a text around 6:30am that contractions were 5 minutes apart and have been that way for an hour so I threw on some clothes, took care of some hygiene necessities of course ;] and headed out the door. It was a dark and cool morning with light traffic so that was nice being in the city, but then I got stuck two minutes out by a train moving 2mph. It was a nice (ha) throw back to living in the suburbs.

When I arrived Mom was handling contractions beautifully (she really did the whole time). Those lovely low hums and hip swaying positions is an important part of the birth experience.  So day one came to a close but contractions were still coming strong and mom wanted to try and sleep so we all did. They were very kind to have a futon and bed waiting for all of us to use just in case and boy it was nice to get a little sleep. So after six hours sleep (for me poor momma didn’t get much) everyone was up and in high gear to get that baby out.

The wonderful doula (Dzifa from A Womban’s Place) took her on walks, had her climbing some stairs, and of course a little dancing to lift the spirits and get those hips moving. Contractions really started picking up so since I am trained as a doula, we switched out assisting mom (see if you can spot the photo of me and mom!). We had thought it was the end a few times that day just based on mom’s sounds and how far apart the contractions were but we were to see another day. That night everything got quite around 1am and finally went to bed at 2am. We were awaken around 4:15 am saying that mom was exhausted and wanted to head to the hospital.

We all packed up and made our way down and arrived at 5am. Momma got some well needed rest with some help of good medicine and then awoke again that evening with very regular contractions and sounding like stages of transition. We were only to find she was still only 5cm dilated but baby was at a +1 station. So after a about 2 hours, mom decided to get an epidural and get some more rest and start pitocin in the morning. Well baby didn’t like those plans, and with his little heart rate dropping off then coming back up through most of the night, around 5:30am it was decided to do a cesarean.

As the doula and I staid behind, I turned my camera on auto and handed it to dad to get shots of the c-section because I was not allowed in the OR. Little Oliver made his appearance around 6:00am and boy was he ready to meet his parents! Dad did get some great shots and glad my camera made it in there to capture those important first moments of life. They had found that the cord was very tightly wrapped around his neck and it was said this was stalling the progress of labor and causing the baby’s heart rate to drop.

We met mom in recovery and got to spend some time with them. It was time to head home shortly after because I was running on about 8 hours of sleep for the past 72+ hours and left the hospital around 8:45am.

I got to meet back up with them 5 days after the birth and do a little newborn lifestyle session. All the images were so sweet and not posed at all. I love lifestyle sessions because you get to really see what life is like after the new baby is home. Mom and Dad are very much in love and I think everyone can say they have never seen Dad smile so much. Excited for all the things to come for this new family and I hope their wonderful story can provide healing and memories to last lifetimes!

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There is never a wrong place to get comfort in a contraction. Smart mom had knee pads.
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I love his little hand reaching out like he is trying to touch his Dad.
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Sweet tiny feet
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This little guy has some strong eye contact!
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Sweet intimate moment.
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Mom and Dad soothing their little one.
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UH! Look at that face!
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Love breast feeding shots. Intimate and beautiful.
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Hey Mom! I love you!
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Sweet little guy embracing being earthside.
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I love this shot. Dad’s expression, and the motion of them going to get that baby.
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Gorgeous sleeping beauty. Jealous of that glowy skin!
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I love that it looks like he is trying to give her his strength.
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To die for silhouette!
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Beautiful support from Dad
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Healing and helping hands

 

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