My House Is A Zoo

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Anyone that knows me is aware of my undying love for animals. I have had pretty much every kind of pet that one can have (both the common and uncommon types). When I was a little girl I was part of 4H so I had chickens, horses, goats, peacocks, as well as the typical dogs and cats. I lived in California on a 50-acre ranch. I literally lived the country song lifestyle, including the “red dirt road”. When we moved to Indiana we traded in the country life for more suburban living and left behind the chickens and goats for the more common animals and some not so common ones, like ferrets and sugar gliders.

I have had a love of all animals (minus crickets and grasshoppers…. well anything with the creepy hoppy legs freaks me out). I am, however, I lover of snakes, rodents, and other strange pets. When I moved out of my parent’s house I kind of went through my bucket list of dogs and cats that I wanted, but sadly I was not ready to be a good pet owner. I needed to learn how to truly want something and then keep it for its entire life. So when I started dating my (now) husband I made the decision that any pet that we decided to get would be with us from the day it was rescued/purchased/received until the day it was no longer on this earth. We have had one loss in all that time, Mr. Mozzie our Great Dane died at the age of 16 months from complications due to bad genetics/breeding. He was a wonderful dog and dearly missed. It was a rough loss but we continue onward. I dedicate this blog to all of our fuzzy and not so fuzzy “fids” (fuzzy, feathered, freaky- kids).

When Justin and I first started dating we lived in an apartment complex pretty close to a very busy state road. We lived on the ground floor facing the road but there was a large hill (sound barrier) between us and the road. The people that lived upstairs had this cat that they used to lock out on the balcony all the time. I mean like his cat box, food, and water bowls, everything was out on the porch. The complex we lived in didn’t have overhangs for the upstairs so he was sometimes in blistering heat and pouring down rain. He would sit on the edge and meow for hours sometimes. If we went outside he would ALMOST jump down because he wanted to be loved on so badly. One day I was reading on the couch that faced the sliding glass door and I saw this large object fall from the second floor, next thing I know the cat is standing at my slider meowing at me. I got up and ran to the door to let him in thinking he’d finally jumped down. He came in as happy as could be and started investigating the house. Next thing I know the upstairs neighbor is walking a cat box, bowls, and cat food to the dumpster. They had tossed him OFF the second story like garbage. I waited until they went back inside and then walked out to the dumpster to retrieve all of his things. My older son was two at the time and I asked him what we should name the kitty and he replied, “Ninja” and thus Ninja the Blue Point Siamese joined our family. He has always been a loving, sweet, and patient cat. He loves the kids, the other animals, and anyone that comes to visit also gets a meet and greet from Ninja as well. He sleeps in bed with someone every night and is the best cat I’ve ever had in my life.

About two months after opening the door and letting Ninja into our lives, I met the next member of our family. One day, in the summer of 2012,  I saw a brown dog running along the road. At the time I didn’t really think anything of it because we also lived in the country in a way (outside of the city limits) so I figured she belonged to someone down the road. I actually saw her several times over the course of a week and my father mentioned seeing her as far away as my grandmother’s house, which was about two miles down the country road going away from the state road. I started getting concerned when I saw her out on the busy road one day when I was leaving for work. I didn’t want her to get hit by a car but every time someone attempted to approach her, she would run away. A few days later I was bringing groceries in from the car and I noticed a bunch of the neighborhood kids chasing her around the complex. They were poking and prodding at her and she was showing her teeth and snapping at the air around them. I was pretty upset because I thought, “Where are these kids parents?”  because if she bit one of those kids, she was going to pay the ultimate price… death. I ran into the house and found some leftovers in the fridge and went back outside and started rattling the box until she noticed me and I put it on the ground. She ran over with the kids chasing her and started gobbling up the food. The kids kept trying to touch her and I finally said, “You know what guys, enough. She’s going to wind up biting one of you and it will hurt.” They backed off but the kept standing there looking at her so I grabbed the bag of dog food I had in my car that I was planning to leave out for her that night and made a little trail to my apartment. A reminder, I didn’t know this dog and I had a man, child, and cat living in my home. Thankfully, Rayne was gone to his Nana’s house at the time, but Justin was sleeping on the couch WITH Ninja when I opened the door and allowed this strange dog into my house. She ran around for a few minutes sniffed Justin’s hand and saw Ninja but turned and walked away from him without a care in the world. I was very nervous about letting her stay and originally I called all the shelters in the area to let them know that I had her with the intention of giving her back to her owner when they called. When Rayne came home a day later that was the big test, which in my mind she basically failed… or so I thought. Rayne was petting her and she showed her teeth and I said, NOPE out, and I let her out the sliding door with the hopes that she’d find someone else to let her in. She went on a little sniff and potty break and then promptly sat down at the slider and barked viscously at anyone that walked by like, “This is my house back off.” I sat there with Justin thinking what the heck am I going to do? I opened the door and said, “Look, I’ll let you in but you show your teeth at my son again and you’re out for good.” Thankfully I learned later she smiles and she was smiling at him that day. With that, Lexie Lu entered the family. We aren’t really sure what she is, at first I thought she was a boxer and lab, but I have since come to think she probably has some pit bull in her along with whatever else is in there. She a sweet dog that loves the kids more than anything. She protects the house enthusiastically and never lets strangers come inside until I tell her that it is ok. She’s a wonderful family dog. Oh, and about a year ago the Humane Society here in Morgan County called to ask if I still had her or if I’d ever found her owner and I told them No, she found a home with us. They were very happy to hear that she was home.

 

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Lexie Lu

It’s been four years since Ninja and Lexie came to live with us. In that time we didn’t really gain a lot of animals until recently. About a year and a half ago I decided to get another cat and I found a Bengal mix on Craigslist for free. She was super pretty and I loved her instantly. Since we had Ninja, I continued the theme and named her Samurai or Sammi for short. Unlike Ninja, she didn’t come prefixed and declawed so she remained clawed but she was spayed last year. She is a noisy cat and always lets me know that she is suffering when her food bowl is running low. She sleeps with one of the kids every night and loves to play with Ninja. She also likes to go exploring outside, for about 20 minutes and then promptly finds a window to sit in and yowl loudly until you let her back inside. She’s a lover for sure. She’s my inquisitive one that likes to see what everything is, whether it’s a bag or checking out what’s in the box she’s the first to investigate something new in the house. She’s also the brat child because when I worked for Serenity she ATE one of the finches I had in back stock… and it wasn’t like a plain zebra finch that costs like $15 it was a male Lady Gouldian finch that costs like $125. Brat cat but we love her anyway. I apparently don’t have any big girl pictures of her but she looks the same, only bigger in the photos of her as a baby.

 

I’ve always had a love of the scaled, reptilian creatures of the world. I’m not big on OWNING the venomous variety but I can appreciate their beauty from a distance. When we moved into the house Justin and I decided that we would have some reptile loves and have acquired a little crew of beasties to call our own. I love Leopard Geckos and when a friend of a friend told me that someone they knew was getting rid of all of their geckos for free I said that I would take them. I wound up with four (three females and one male) geckos that I love so much. They rewarded my loving hard work in caring for them with a single bratling last month. While I do not know yet if it is a boy or a girl, I am hoping for a girl. I love the youtube show from Geek and Sundry called “Critical Role” and in the honor of the show, all of my Leopards are named after characters on the show. The male is Grog while the spotted female is named Allura, the White female is named Pike, and the yellow female is named Keyleth. Even though I want the baby to be a girl I named her after a male character called Scanlan. They are great little creatures. I think my favorite thing is that they know my voice and come out of their house when they hear me calling them. Yeah yeah, I’m calling them for food, but they don’t come running when Justin calls them to eat. They know that I take care of them and they each have a little personality. Grog is laid back and likes to be held, Allura is a wild child and likes to come out to walk around on my lap, Pike originally was very shy and didn’t even like to come out of the house to eat unless I walked away. Now she’s the first one out to eat and even starts climbing the side of the tank when I get close. Keyleth is the quiet one, she likes to eat and come out, but she’s not big on being held. Scanlan is a little booger that bites, but A) it doesn’t hurt and B) it’s because she’s a baby and will grow out of it. They are funny little geckos and they climb all over their house during the evening hours. (Pictured- Grog by himself, Pike and Keyleth are next – Pike is facing the camera, and then Scanlan the baby and Allura has the spots).

The Leopards are not the only geckos that we have. We recently in the past year have found the joy of Crested Geckos and have one boy and one girl. A local pet store originally had the male with a different female priced with a breeder cage at $350.00 but no one would buy the set and in the end, the female was sold alone leaving the male and the cage. They know that we love Cresteds because we already had the female we have so they offered the male AND the specialty tank to us for $50.00. Yeah, that was a deal we couldn’t pass up. The Crested by himself was over that price let alone the cage, which has over $200 worth of stuff inside it. So we now have Joker to go with Harley Quinn that we already had from before. We do plan on getting two more a red named Deadpool and don’t know color named Vanessa (yeah yeah I know I’m crossing bad boundaries for some people having D.C and Marvel names but HEY I love them).  (Harley is the first three pictures and the Joker is the second three) Note: Crested’s lose their tails very easily and unfortunately they do not grow back. Both Harley and Joker lost their tails before we got them. We are hoping when we decide to get the other two they will have and keep their tails.

Geckos are not the only scaled creatures we have at our house. We also have a single Ball Python named Mazikeen or Maze for short named after the character in the T.V. show Lucifer (Yes another comic lol). When we found her she was, according to the store associate, “Evil”. She tried to bite and would strike out at people if they got too close to her. They gave her to Justin for $20.00 because he wasn’t afraid to reach in and get her. I don’t know what her problem was at the store because she’s like a puppy dog with us. She eats frozen thawed so she really doesn’t have the predator drive to “hunt” things. She gets perfectly warm already dead mice to enjoy. What I love about her is, she is NOT a normal ball python. We lucked out that she was a brat at the store because she’s not a $20 snake. Maze is a Champagne Ball, which is a very pretty morph in Ball Pythons. One of the things I like about having reptiles is that they aren’t expensive to own. Yes, getting some of the things they need and be expensive but we already had a bunch of that stuff. Reptile food (if you know where to get it) comes pretty much in bulk. We buy a bunch of frozen mice at a time (the bag we buy lasts up to 5 months), a single bag of Pangea Gecko mix (probably once every three months), and $10.00 worth of worms for the leos every two weeks. They are not hard to keep at all and the entire family enjoys them very much. The picture I have a Maze is the first day we brought her home and it’s not a good picture. She needed to shed really bad because she had a stuck shed and she was really dry. She looks much better now.

Maze

Lastly, we have the feathered fids. We have a plan to have four total birds at some point but right now we have two. Crowley Scout is our Green Cheek Conure. I got him from a friend because she said he was mean and he would bite her. My parents raise Umbrella Cockatoos so the pint-size beak on a Conure scares me just about as much as sitting here in a chair. So I offered to take him home and work with him. I quickly learned several things; A) He is a lover not a fighter, B) He’s cage shy, and C) He was bored out of his mind. He did bite a lot when he thought it would do anything. He has learned that it doesn’t work with me and I will continue to ask him to step up even if he’s biting me. He is learning that hiding in the back of his cage and trying to flatten out so I can’t get him to step up won’t work either because I just pick him up by the body period. He had bad manners because he was allowed to act a certain way, now that he’s learning that he can’t act that way he’s not doing them as often. He also got some upgrades in his living quarters which really helped as well. I was taught that birds need a lot of different perches (different heights, widths, and textures) to promote healthy feet. It’s like standing in the same spot every day in the same shoes if you don’t give them a variety. Their feet get sore and weak. He now has several different perches of varying sizes and shapes as well as texture. I have noticed a change in his noises that he makes and his attitude since the upgrades. Next, we have Ash, the White Faced Cockatiel. He is still a baby being handfed at the bird place we picked him out from but he will be ready at the end of June. I have had a Cockatiel in my life all my life and recently we went to the Zoo and they have Cockatiels there that you can feed and it rekindled my want for one. I actually put my deposit down on Ash before I said that I would take Crowley, but that’s ok I don’t mind having a few of them. The plan is to have a Sun Conure named Castiel and Justin wants a Blue and Gold Macaw (no clue on the name), at some point in the future. And yes, they are all named after Supernatural characters.

We don’t have them yet, and we won’t for a while so these are just some generic pictures of a Sun Conure and a Blue and Gold Macaw for those that don’t know what they look like.

I would like to end my blog with a budget of cost on animal care. Once you get through the initial cost of purchasing your animal of choice and their accouterments and accessories they really aren’t that expensive. Thankfully for me over the years I have acquired an array of things like tanks, light hoods, heating pads, water bowls, etc so a lot of the things I need, I already have. I also have a knack for finding a good deal on the creature(s) I am looking for.

Our Current Monthly Cost in animals
Dog: Food $40 a month
Cats: Food $20 a month/ cat litter $25 a month
Crested Geckos: Food $8 a month for the liquid and $5.99 a month in meal worms or crickets (total rounded to $15)
Leopard Geckos: $23.96 (rounded to $25) a month for worms
Birds: Food $10 a month and we make their toys so the supplies to make them runs about $20 every couple months
Snake: $20 every few months in Frozen Mice (we buy a $20 bag of them and it lasts a long time depending on how many or how few she eats at each feeding)

Total Cost: If we had to buy everything at once every month: $185
Typical Cost since we don’t buy everything every month: Est. $120-$140 depending the the revolving thing

Beauty is we DON’T have to buy all of those things every month. It’s kind of a revolving change of what we need and it’s nice to have animals in the house. I think it makes for more well-rounded children and I like my house to be lively with different and interesting things.

The Forecast Calls for PICTURES

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I’m going to start off with an apology for being absent for a while. I have been dealing with sickness and children vacations. Now that everything is back to normal it’s time to get into the joys of the season. It is SPRING time!! It’s time for pictures. I am definitely looking forward to booking some Senior shoots and getting some great photos. I recently set up some networking with the local High School in my area and I am hoping to give my business card to some other High Schools not far from here. I love doing senior photography, aside from birth sessions they are probably the best.

I’m excited to get to use my zoo pass to get into the gardens and take pictures and I plan on going out sometime in the next two weeks and really scouting out some great areas for pictures. I hope to have several really good areas to help people find what they are looking for when they come for sessions.

I recently had the pleasure of taking birthday pictures of a little girl (family friend) at the zoo and they turned out very lovely. The colors and the vibrancy for the day just made it the perfect session. Lyric, the little girl, had quite the afternoon and had a great smile. She definitely had a great time being the center of attention for the day.

I hope that after my disappearing act you will return and join me on this journey through the summer as I, hopefully, get more and more sessions under my belt and continue to build my portfolio. I know this was a short blog but I am heading out the door. I hope everyone is enjoying this warm weather and the beautiful Spring Time flowers.

I wanted to share just a few more cute pictures from the session. Her birthday theme is Little Mermaid so we did a couple Prince Eric and Ariel pictures as well with my son Raynier.

Your Body is a Temple

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I have noticed a trend since I started my birth photography business. I don’t know if it has to do with the way the subject is broached with people, lack of knowledge, or what people see when they look up birth photography, but I have discovered that women are really worried that I’m going to post pictures of their body without their permission. I don’t know who would do something like that but let me be the first to say that I would never do something like that to anyone, let alone a woman who allowed me to be in such an intimate environment with her and her family. I rely heavily on word of mouth pushing my reputation forward in this business and that goes against everything that I am working hard to provide to clients.

First off, let me start off by saying I’m not interested in posting anyone’s privates on the internet. While I personally do not mind showing all the aspects of childbirth myself, that is a choice and I would never make that decision for another person. Every woman has their own comfort level. I have been to several births and each and every single one has been different. However, every single mother had the same concern- that I would post photos of them in a way that they were not comfortable with. In fact, one mother didn’t want me to take pictures of the baby being born at all because she was concerned that I would post them before she saw them. Standing in the room with legs up in stirrups I asked her again if she was sure and when she said she didn’t want them posted I realized what the problem was. I assured her that they were her pictures and I would not post anything without her permission. She was able to get some truly incredible pictures of the birth of her daughter and while I was not able to post them on my portfolio, I was happy tor provide those special photos for her. A different mother almost chose not to have birth photos at all because of modesty. After a long conversation with her and letting her know that I would do whatever she wanted, she changed her mind and again, I believe she was very happy with the photos that she had of her special day.

I want every soon-to-be mother and potential client of mine to know that while this is a business and I do want to post photos of their day (especially in blogs), I would never post them without permission. I have had a contract written up by a lawyer specifically for birth photography and model release. I have three different choices 1) I can post any and all photos from the session- full release, 2) I can post photos but only after they have been viewed and approved by the client- Limited release, and 3) Declined Release- No photos can be used ever. I take my job and their privacy very very seriously and I would never do anything that jeopardized my company in that way. When my first was born (I did not have the same opinion about my bits being shown as I do now- for childbirth ONLY) there were photos that were taken that made it online and to facebook before someone noticed. I’ll be honest when you are spread up in stirrups with a doctor’s hand up your vagina up to her wrist because she’s moving the baby around and someone snaps a photo that winds up on the internet without your permission, you pretty much want to die and also kill the person that posted it. That photo was removed but not before a lot of people saw it. It taught me a valuable lesson about privacy and checking all photos before they are uploaded.

If you want to have birth photography done, make sure you tell your birth photographer exactly what you do and do not want. I have an extensive questionnaire for mommies to fill out and I like to meet at least once with a client before delivery to discuss everything so there are no mix-ups. I never ever post pictures without consent and I always keep track of all the photos I’m told I can post. I am happy to offer my services to any and all moms.

 

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Everything is Better with Two

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I was really happy to get to meet and work with Samantha when I learned she was having twins. A family friend works at a preschool and asked me if I had any business cards because she knew some pregnant moms that would possibly be interested in my birth photography. She said she even had a child in her class who’s mother was pregnant with twins. I was super excited and told her to please give Samantha my business card. I was so happy to receive an email from her the next day to discuss birth photography. We met later in the week and we discussed the ins and outs of what she was wanting and I learned she was having one boy and one girl (how fun). I told her that she needed to discuss in depth with her doctor about allowing me into the OR to shoot their birth. Her schedule C-section was on March 6, 2017, at 8 a.m. and I told her to let me know what the doctor said after her next visit.

It turned out that the doctor was super on board with Samantha having a photographer with her. I wish that I had been more prepared the day of the event, though. I received a text message Monday morning from Sam saying she was in early labor and they were already at the hospital. Since it was 45 minutes to an hour away I asked her if she still wanted me to come and she said yes. I scurried around my house trying to get ready because of course I had put my clothes in the wash the night before and my pants weren’t dry. She was delivering at a different hospital than the one that I had been working at and truth be told I should have done a run to and from my house so I was more familiar with the area, but I didn’t. Oh, the joys of being overly confident. I am from the Southwest side of Indianapolis and there is little to no traffic on this side of town, I did not think about it being 7:00 in the morning on the Northside when I left and was driving to the destination. I actually made it to the hospital on time, but I was stopped at the front desk where they asked me a bunch of questions about where I was going and who I was there to see. They asked me to spell her last name and what my code was to get on to the floor. I knew where I was going and I was getting frustrated with the one finger tap on the keyboard while they were locating where I was supposed to be going. I happened to see the elevator open and I took off running and slammed the door close button. I made it to the maternity floor and pressed the call button. They were already expecting me so the nurse came flying around the corner with the stuff I needed to put on for the OR and we booked it down the hallway. Skidding to a halt outside the OR she said hang on and walked in. I glanced at the clock at it said it was 7:50 a.m. the nurse came back and I had missed it. LITERALLY by three minutes. Baby A was born at 7:47 and Baby B at 7:48 a.m.

I was really upset because the amount of time wasted downstairs is the ultimate reason I didn’t make it. I totally understand that they have a job to do but I was obviously aware of where I was going and in a hurry to get there. At the very least go with me to make sure I’m not a creeper instead of holding me up from 15 minutes downstairs. I did learn they had waited as long as possible for me to get there, but due to concerns for Sam they had to go. Switching modes I am happy to say I was able to capture daddy holding both his babies for the first time because the nurses were holding the door open for me.

Samantha and Ryan were very understanding about the fact that I was seconds from being there on time and I am glad they didn’t wait for me. Samantha was in actual danger because her uterus was rupturing from the first time she had a C-section. The Doctor was excited that I offer C-section photography and I gave her my business card for future C-section mommies. Samantha looked amazing after her surgery and when they brought her in I was able to capture her holding Anniston and Rafe for the first time. She did an incredible job as a twin mom. These two little bits were a perfect weight and healthy as can be. Rafe decided it would be a great idea to take a big gulp of his pool water on the way out (I’m seeing a trend with boys) and so he was having some respiratory issues but he figured it out with help.

Samantha and Ryan are an adorable couple. It was so sweet to see the love between them. They are genuinely and madly in love. Ryan was very attentive and listened to his partner closely. Samantha was in the lap of itchy luxury with her pain meds (they make you itchy) and gazed lovingly at her new babies. She was definitely done with being moved around by her nurse, though. I think originally daddy was super excited to get another boy because he took Rafe first while mommy worked on feeding Anniston. It was very cute because the little girl was wide awake and looking around while her brother was fast asleep for the most part. Two very different personalities were very much making themselves known.

Daddy was definitely quick to learn what happens when he’s handed his baby girl, being a daddy’s girl myself I thought it was adorable to watch her wrap up around her tiny finger from day one. I thought it was especially sweet to see a dad take the skin-to-skin moment with real enthusiasm. Both babies got fabulous skin-to-skin time with both parents. Having two boys I saw the sweetest moment between mom and baby boy as well. She loved all over his little head and looked lovingly into his little face. There is nothing like newborn smell and cuteness. Rafe was whining because his tummy was bothering him so the nurse placed him in the bassinet on his belly to help him figure out how to get comfortable. He never really got comfortable laying on his back, but he did enjoy sitting with his head in my hand and or daddy’s hand and bouncing gently. I did get a cute baby burp from him and I think it helped a little with his breathing.

At the end of my time with them, I watched brother and sister reconnect on the outside. They had been separated at that point for about an hour and a half and they were both very relieved and immediately relaxed when they were placed next to each other. Anniston and Rafe are BEAUTIFUL babies. They didn’t spend any time in the NICU and they went home two days after being born with mommy and daddy. Big brother said he did not want a sister and I have it on good authority that he has since changed his toon. He has taken to being a big brother like a champ and loves both his baby brother and his baby sister very much. I hope to do more sessions with them in the future. They are adorable little ones.

Anniston born 3-6-17 at 7:47 a.m. weighing 6 lbs 8 oz and was 18 3/4 inches long AND Rafe born 3-6-17 at 7:48 a.m. weighing 6 lbs 12 oz and was 20 inches long. Congratulations Samantha, Ryan, and Xander on the birth of your babies. They are stunning. Great job Samantha carring TWO babies so long and bringing perfectly healthy little ones into the world. I was honored to share your space. Thank you for letting me hold them both, that was a once in a lifetime experience for me.

 

 

 

The Birth of Winston

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I really enjoyed the quiet strength of this birth. A mother of three other little ones, Priscilla is one of those mothers’ that gets the job done. I’ll admit to a lot of funny events leading into the literal run to the delivery room.

I had talked to the Dr. earlier in the week and it had been decided that they were going to go ahead and induce on Friday. Originally, when I booked this birth I was aware that we were super close to my best friends’ wedding (March 4th). So, when the decision was made for the induction to be on the day before the wedding I was pretty much dealing with a freaking out bride all day. A lot of planning had gone into the weekend for my children because I didn’t think my youngest would sit through the wedding. The choice was made for him to go to his grandmother’s house for the weekend and I had said he was going to be dropped off at 4:30 p.m. I had laid down to take a nap knowing this was going to be a long weekend so I was unaware that at 12:45 p.m. Justin had left to take Liam down to Martinsville (30 minutes min. drive away). I woke up to a text message from the Doctor at 12:55 saying she’d broken moms’ water and asked if I was close by. I said yes I was at home just waiting. I got up and went hunting for Justin while chatting with the bride on the phone to update her. In an instant of “Oh crud” moments, I realized that Justin was gone and my camera was in the back of the SUV. I called him and told him to turn around immediately and bring it back to me. Hanging up the phone I called my best friend back saying things like “I can’t believe I left my camera in the car.” and then changing to “I can’t believe he left without telling me.” My phone buzzed at 1:44 p.m. with the message, “Ready.” from the Doctor and I think I let out every bad word in my vocabulary as I hung up on Sara and called Justin back and begged him to fly like the wind. I’m pretty sure I told him I didn’t care how many tickets he got just get back here. I still don’t know how he did it but in five minutes flat he made it back to Mooresville and I ran into the hospital at 2:06 p.m. smashed the call button and walked into the room composed as can be. Baby Winston made his entrance at 2:11 p.m.

        (Per mother’s request I will not be posting pictures of his actual birth)

The amazing part about this little one is that the parents did not know if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl. It was quite exciting to find out when HE arrived. Winston was my first baby boy birth and he was such a cutie pie. He had gorgeous red hair and the sweetest little pouty lip. He took a big gulp of his “pool water” on the way out so it took a minute to get going but he figured it out very well. He was a very quiet baby, which I think had to do with the fact that he had three siblings poking and prodding and shouting around his “house” when he was inside mommy. When the nurses were trying to make him mad to clear his lungs it wasn’t working very well and I honestly think it’s because of the brother and sisters.

When the nurses were looking Winston over, giving him the ok, and waiting for the scale I snuck around the room and I was able to get an adorable picture of daddy tucking mommy’s feet in because she was cold. I thought it was a sweet moment between two parents. They were old pros at this birth business. Bets were made about how much little Winston would weigh and how long he was going to be. I loved the fact that right after having a baby, it was time to eat. I guess because I had both of mine after a super long labor I just wanted to sleep, but Priscilla was ready for food. I’d say after 6 hours of labor she’d earned it. Winston weighed 7 lbs 13.5 oz and was 19.5 inches long.

About an hour after he was born and had eaten his first meal in the outside world (and I got to hold him. *I love my job). Winstons’ brother and sisters arrived to meet him. They were super hoping for a girl and they were NOT happy that he was a boy. I think the sisters got over it pretty quickly because they were super excited to hold him. I think my favorite part of the day was at the end before I left, the group of older kids crowded up on the bed with mommy while she was trying to eat, squirreling away bits of her food. She just laughed and shrugged her shoulders while handing off cantaloupe to her oldest.

Congratulations to the entire family on the arrival of baby Winston. Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day. You have a beautiful family.

Winston born 3-3-2017 at 2:11 p.m. weighing 7 lbs 13.5 oz and was 19.5 inches long

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Newborn Shoot with Willow

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I had a fantastic afternoon yesterday with none other than baby Willow, my first birth photography baby. She is/was the best little model I could have asked for. I have been doing photography for 9+ years in a studio setting but this was my first session in the private photography endeavor. I’ll admit I was a little nervous, but it was less about getting the pretty pictures and more about the fact that at the time I booked her appointment I totally spaced telling her mother to make sure she was awake and or had just fallen asleep, had a clean diaper, full tummy, and her first outfit on so we could get started right away. That was a rookie mistake on my part to be sure. The morning started off with a flurry of activity, I completely overslept and I had ordered something special for Joanna and Willow that I still needed to go pick up. I had originally planned to get up, take a shower, get dressed and go to the store…. I wound up getting dressed and leaving with no shower. I did, however, manage to still arrive promptly at 1:00 for our session at their house.

To start off with, I could not have asked for a better space to take pictures in with natural light. They had the best windows and a nice neutral wall to shoot against. Of course, little Willow was out like a light when I arrived and I was told she’d been that way for about 4 hours…. OH NO!! She also did not have her little outfit on (again this was ENTIRELY my fault for not letting mommy know). So it was time to wake little miss thang up for her outfit change. This, in turn, led to the serious “I’m hungry” tears and wails of a newborn that will not be pacified with anything other than nummies. So we sat chatting while she ate and got her in her cute pink tutu.img_0416

I was able to capture ONE photo with her eyes open before the tears started

Happily sucking away we at least got her maneuvered into her first position and she dozed off enough to remove her bottle of goodies for a few seconds in order to snap a few shots. I learned another valuable bit of knowledge yesterday, my bean bag newborn poser needs at least another bag of beans. That thing was not cooperating at all the whole time. I was able to have a “Make it Work” moment as Tim Gunn says on ‘Project Runway’ but I was seriously stressing out. I didn’t want to mess up on this shoot. Not only are Willow and Joanna my first birth clients but as I said they are my first non-studio newborn shoot as well so I was internally freaking out the whole time. I have to say what made these pictures so adorable is definitely Willow. While I would LOVE to take credit because of photography skills, she is what made these pictures so beautiful. She is all wrinkles, peeling skin, and pink in all of the right places and she has an absolutely stunning head of dark hair. She is quite beautiful, just like her mommy.

The smiles by far were too cute for words. She really is a stunning angel baby. Next up on the to-do list was getting some photos with her daddy’s Army gear. This was very important to the family and I couldn’t wait to do these because she was so cute and pink and his gear was the urban digital fatigues so the contrast was/is quite lovely. It was around about this time that I realized it might benefit Willow to have the heat in the house turned up every so slightly because I could tell she was getting chilly. Once she was situated on her Daddy’s gear and we wrapped the arm of the jacket around her with the heat turned on a little higher she was quite content to go right back to sleep after finishing her second bottle. There are some gorgeous photos of her with her dad’s dog tags but due to safety, I will not be posting any photos where you can see the information on his tags. They are very sweet though and I’m happy that mommy and daddy loved them a lot.

So after successfully managing to remove her tutu and her headband without waking her up. Joanna handed me an adorable pink sparkly teddy bear that had belonged to her as a child and a tan blanket that said “Willow Love, Papaw”. I loved how pink the teddy bear was and the pictures turned out very beautiful. It has definitely been a learning process for me as well in this. As I edited pictures there were things that I wished I’d done a little differently or additions that I should have thought of, however they are super precious pictures and I love each and every one of them.

Lastly, if you have been on my facebook page you will have seen that I have some super cute little knit outfits for newborns that I’m using as props. I asked Willow’s parents which one they would like to do and they decided to go with the turtle outfit because apparently, they have turtles (?). At first, I did them without a bow, but I didn’t like that she looked like a bow so mommy found a cute little mint green bow to add to her outfit and perfection ensued. Willow was the absolute perfect little model and I hope to continue taking her pictures over the months and years to come. (Outfits are: Turtle, Fox, Mermaid, Snail, Ladybug, and angel wings. I plan on getting a peacock, bumble bee, and a fish as well.)

Thank you again to Joanna, Damon, and Willow for a wonderful day. I loved staying and chatting after the shoot and talking about your special day when Willow arrived.

The Birth of Rosalie

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Normally you hear about the long hours in birth photography. When you get started you hear about being in the hospital for days and running on zero sleep. The uncomfortable waiting room chairs, the sometimes not so great cafeteria food, and the ever-present fear that you’re in the way of the nurses and or doctors are always an issue when you are a photographer on call for babies. In case people are unaware, babies tend to take their time entering the world. However, February 19th did not go that way at all, at least for me.

I received a phone call at 11:30 a.m. from Jodie’s mother telling me that they were still going to stay home for now until contractions were more regular. We talked about what pictures they were wanting to capture and what angles they were hoping I could achieve for their photos. I did not have a chance to meet Jodie in advance so that we could talk about everything that she wanted and/or did not want. It was a very quick phone call and I told them I would have my phone with me all day. I heard nothing most of the day with the exception of a text from the Doctor every now and then letting me know that nothing was happening yet, but she’d let me know.

As midnight came and went I realized that I should probably get some sleep so I sat at my computer desk with my phone tucked into my shirt so if it went off there was no way I wouldn’t hear it. At 2:55 a.m. said phone went off and it was my mother asking how everything was going. I told her I still wasn’t at the hospital yet so we sat talking until the long awaited text message at 3:24 a.m. flashed across my phone. “She’s ready!!” it said and I told my mother I had to go. I think she thought I was just done talking because she was like “Oh… uhh night night”. I was like, “No, as in I have to go.” She wished me luck and away I went. I arrived at the hospital at 3:30 a.m. and went right in.

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The thing that I love about working with this doctor is- one the phone calls and messages that make it easier to plan my day around a birth and two being able to get onto the maternity floor without much delay. On the flip side of that is I walked into the room with Jodie already in the birthing stirrups and everything. I will always say it is better to have a little bit more time to talk to mommies before this moment because I feel like I am distracting to people when I have to ask them questions. Earlier in the day her mother had said she didn’t want any pictures of the baby actually crowning or “down there” at all. After discussing with Jodie that I would not post any pictures without her consent she changed her mind and did want some of the baby making her debut. Jodie was nervous and I was able to capture a sweet moment with her sister before all the action began. Probably one of the most special parts of this birth was finding out that Grandma (Jodie’s mother) worked in the labor and delivery unit at the hospital and would be scrubbing in to deliver her own grandchild. I really thought that was special and a once in a lifetime experience to get to be a part of.

Phone calls were made to other family members that lived nearby (I believe) and then it was time to push. There was much discussion about weight and length as well as the time of the baby’s arrival. This was a mom that was right on time as her due date was actually February 19th. I moved quickly around the room shooting Grandma gowning up and setting up my stools that I bounce around the room on. Jodie waited patiently for a contraction during all of this and thank goodness she had to wait because baby girl was READY. Jodie is one of those mom’s that most women just wish they could be on a delivery day. Her epidural was working beautifully and she was what one would call a fantastic pusher. As I stated before I arrived at her room at 3:30 a.m. baby Rosalie was born to the world at 3:45 a.m.

Grandma was all nurse and business like at the beginning but as baby Rosalie slipped from her mother into the waiting arms of Missy (grandma) I had the unique perspective of seeing her face change and become a wealth of smiles and joy. It was an incredible experience to behold. The business of being born was over and it was time to cut the cord. I’ll never forget the look on Jodie’s sisters’ face when the doctor handed her the scissors to do the honors. The funniest moment was when phones started ringing and the sister answered with “SHE’S HERE!” from where I was standing on the other side of the room you could hear the “What? No way!” It was very funny. According to the family that arrived later, there was intense and heavy fog in the area and they had driven slowly to avoid an accident. To be honest, on my way to the hospital I could not tell you if the fog was out at that point because I do NOT remember it.

I knew when the family had arrived because a nurse opened the door to go get the scale and they were all crowded around eager to come in and meet baby Rosalie, it was very sweet. According to grandma and auntie bets had been made on how much little girl would weigh and there was a pot of money for whoever won if I’m not mistaken. Let me tell you what, this little munchkin was perfect. She had not been in the pelvis or birth canal long enough to get a cone head, she didn’t have stork bites from pressure being put on her has she passed through her mothers’ body. She was like a C-section baby, pure perfection. She did have quite a pair of lungs on her and she let the whole world know that she was very displeased from being evicted from her swimming pool. She sounded like a little squeaker toy, too cute. Little Ms. Rosalie weighed 6 lbs 9.5 oz and was 18 inches long. Coming from a mommy that had two 8+ pounders and neither was less than 21 inches long (me), she was TEE-TINY and absolutely precious.

After receiving her first diaper and getting all of her stats and vitals it was time to eat and this little nugget was hungry. She did wind up having a little bit of trouble due to having a short tongue but she got the general idea from mom and help from grandma. The doctor said it would be a quick fix that she would do in a few days to rectify the issue and baby girl wouldn’t feel a thing. I always encourage mothers to try and breastfeed if they are able. I understand there are reasons that some cannot, but if it is something you are on the fence about I HIGHLY recommend it. The skin to skin time for mommy and baby is very beneficial and it winds up being much less of a hassle when it’s time to feed your little one. I always suggest the book, “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” to any mother that is thinking about and/or wanting to breastfeed. I am hoping to continue this shot (below) that I am getting for as many mothers’ as possible in the future. I was able to get it for both Jodie and Joanna so here’s hoping.

Probably one of the silliest moments of the whole evening was when the doctor was holding the baby while the nurses helped Jodie get into position for the other visitors to come in and meet Rosalie. The look on the baby’s face was absolutely priceless. When it was time for everyone to come in and meet the baby I moved quickly around to the baby’s warmer bed so I could see their faces. I always love watching their faces when they walk in. It is a unique and adorable moment that I try to capture each time. This was grandbaby and niece number one so this was an even more special occasion for those that arrived after all of the hustle and bustle of the birth was over. I really enjoyed capturing these moments.

Baby Rosalie is a well loved little girl. The joy and excitement on each persons’ face as she was passed around was priceless. The tears of pure love from auntie’s face, the baby talk from her godmother were all moments I was glad to be there to capture for them to remember. It was a short night as far as birth photography goes, but after a bunch of congratulations and a quick see you in a few days I left and walked out into the brisk early morning light, and guess what…. it really was the foggiest morning I’ve ever seen in the 16 years that I have lived in Indiana.

48 hours later I returned to the hospital for two reasons, one I wanted to see the precious tidbit again and two I needed a better photo of her little feet. I met up with the Doctor who was coming do her check up and we walked into the room to see the cutest little Cheetah baby ever. Jodie was happy to see us and we talked about how things were going and how happy she was about going home soon. The doctor took Rosalie to the nursery and I was able to get some super cute pictures of her feet and her face. Afterward, I returned to Jodie’s room to wait for the baby to come back and we talked about future pictures and when she would get everything I had done already. The best part of the day for me was getting to cuddle with Baby Rosey when she came back. I have to say I LOVE MY JOB. Sharing in an amazing moment for a mom and family, seeing new life joining us, watching family meet the baby, and at the very end getting a few minutes to cuddle with fresh bundles of job doesn’t get much better than that for me. I did tell my husband that every time I hold one it makes me want another just a LITTLE bit more. I have a long way to go before it is time for that, though.

Baby Rosalie Ann born 2-20-2017 at 3:45 a.m. Weight 6 lbs 9.5 oz Length 18 inches

Thank you, Jodie, for allowing me to be a part of your special day and capture such a sweet little nugget.

 

You can contact me for your own special day via:
Website: http://www.feywildphotography.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/feywildphotos
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/feywildphotos

The Walking Dead: Learning How to be a Full-Time Mom and Photographer

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The last time I carried a “Daily Agenda” around everywhere I went, I was in High School. I have not been this busy in years and I am absolutely loving it. I have so many meetings and things that are in the works that it can get a little overwhelming- thank god for my cell phone and agenda. I am learning just how well I can stay focused and organized. Rayne, my oldest, has Karate three days a week and will be starting a fourth private Karate lesson in the Spring. He is also Homeschooled which means throughout the day we have a lot of work to do with his online school. Liam, the baby, is learning how to talk more and more and he’s a lot of fun to try to have a conversation with. Looking at my day-to-day activities I am sometimes surprised that I can get everything done in a day. The photography business is taking off. In my previous blog, I brought you into the birthing suite and showed everyone what I do when I am part of your birth environment. I plan on continuing that passion with more birth sessions this month and in the coming months. I am also looking into Wedding photography through vending with “Perfect Wedding Guide” in Indiana and on a wedsite called Wedding.com. I am a walking “mombie” but I’m making it work and I enjoy pushing myself to be a better person, wife, and mother.

I truly didn’t know how much I could cram into a day until I started Homeschooling Rayne while starting FeyWild. I have since learned that I can run on very little sleep and function well with the help of coffee. I really enjoy flipping through the pages of my agenda and seeing all the things that I have to do in a day and/or week. Through my business, I have gained a valuable networking path and joined a planning committee that puts me in touch all the professionals in the area that working in the birthing/baby community. I also have several meetings with business lawyers to help me with the more legal aspect of my work so I have been meeting with them once a week for a while. Rayne has between four and five classes a day throughout the week and through all of the business work, I still help him get his school work done. I am so glad to have my husband around to help with that as well. He really enjoys helping Rayne do his work and doing the Art and P.E. classes

On top of the business meetings and working with potential clients or network groups, Rayne is homeschooled and in Karate. He is a straight A student and is way ahead of where he was in public school. He had a test recently that was supposed to take at minimum 30 minutes according to the instructions. There were 30 questions on the test and not only did Rayne finish it in less than 15 minutes, he also got 30/30 correct. When we were all sick he fell pretty far behind in classes and it was a lot of work to catch up. He is now finished catching up and is completely on track in all his classes. When Rayne is not doing school work or spending time with the family, he is an avid Karate student. He currently has three classes a week and in the Spring he will be adding a fourth class for Private Lessons with one of the owners. He is very excited to be moving up through his belt colors. I am so proud of Rayne. I love going and watching him practice his Katas. His father and I are beyond proud of his accomplishments in both school and Karate. I also love how wonderfully sweet Rayne is to everyone that meets him. He’s a very loving and friendly child that everyone enjoys spending time with. I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future has in store for my sweet Rayney. He is very hopeful to get straight A’s on his final report card and get to his birthday because I told him he would be getting a Hedgehog for his birthday. The reason is because Rayne likes to have spiky hair and when it is long it is very curly so his little nickname is “Hedgehog”.  It will be cute to see his face when he gets to pick out his Hedgehog.

Liam, our baby, turned two in January and in the past few weeks he has really come alive as his own person. He’s really trying to communicate his wants and needs more. We are really working on his impulses, he likes to hit when he’s excited. He has a hard time sharing mommy with his brother. However, he and his brother on the floor are fabulous friends and loving brothers. My little blue eyed baby is ready for the warmer weather to go outside and play. His brother and mommy are ready as well. One of the cutest things that Liam does is when Rayne is doing his Katas at home, Liam does them with him. It’s adorable to hear them doing their Kiais together. When Liam turns 3 he will be able to join the Dojo as a Mini Dragon (his brother is a Dragon Flame- two levels higher than Mini’s). It will be adorable to see him already know Kata I when he starts. I am very proud of my littlest boy for learning to talk and being who he is. Next step is to start potty training… phew oh boy I remember that with his brother. We will see how that goes.

I am pleased to say I was able to get, at least a start-up website going. I am very excited to see the results when people start filtering onto it over time. Please check it out and I would love to hear feedback on it from all of you. Thank you in advance.

https://feywildphotography.wixsite.com/website

I have been on the phone nonstop with so many different opportunities. People that work in “Perfect Wedding Guide” a vendor show here in the area for couples looking for everything they need for their wedding. I am looking into Wedding.com to get in contact with brides in the area as well. I am hoping to sign up for International Association of Professional Birth Photographers to network with mothers looking for a birth photographer. I have been working with two business lawyers to have the best contracts and Model Release forms. It is awesome to be this busy all the time.

My phone was buzzing today with another call from the Doctor that I am working with in the area for birth photography and she was letting me know that I have at least one more mother that is interested in Birth photography this month. I am looking forward to hearing from her soon (especially since she is due on Sunday the 19th). I also have an incredible opportunity with a Doula. Together we have teamed up to give three moms in the area an AMAZING birthing experience. If you want more information on that please contact me on my website or facebook page. Trust me, this is something that you don’t want to miss out on.

This is the busiest I’ve been in my life since I first graduated High School and I was working three jobs and a full-time college student. I LOVE being busy and working like this. I cannot wait to continue forward with this work. My children, my husband, and my business are the most important things in my life right now. I appreciate all of you following me through this journey.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/feywildphotos
Twitter: @FeyWildPhotos
https://feywildphotography.wixsite.com/website

Unforgettable

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Yesterday is going to be one of those days that I never forget for as long as I live. It was just an amazingly fun day. It started out with my usual morning coffee and discussing the day with my husband. My friend had purchased amazing tickets to see “The Little Mermaid” Live at the Murat Theater downtown. I spent the morning getting ready and, of course making sure all of my camera gear was ready. My first client’s due date had been the day before on Friday, February 10th and I didn’t want to be caught out and about without my gear. I charged the batteries on the camera, checked my lenses, and made sure I had an extra memory card. I was still worried that I only had one battery and, knowing the unpredictable length of a labor, I was hoping to have a second before I was heading into my first session.

The show was amazing. Absolutely adorable. The costumes were beautiful and the singers/actors were incredible. I’m really glad that I got to go with her to see the show. Afterward, we decided to go out to dinner so we left the car parked at the Murat and took an Uber across the city. Shockingly we got a table at the restaurant, sit down, order our food, and my phone goes off…. “She’s in early labor!!!” flashes across my phone screen from the doctor and I pretty much felt my heart hit the floor. I look up with a gasp at my friend and say “I have to go! Right now.” She starts laughing and I’m sitting there staring at my phone trying to calculate how long it will take me to get to the hospital (this includes calling another Uber to pick us up to go back to the car). Finally, my brain kicks back in gear and I call the doctor to ask if I need to leave right then and there. She laughed and said I had time because my client was still going through the check-in process. I hung up the phone and told my friend that we could enjoy dinner and we spent the next twenty minutes talking about life and how exciting that night was going to be.

I’ll be honest, I spent most of the time trying to calm my racing pulse and nerves. I kept thinking, “What if I mess up?” or “What if she changed her mind and she asks me to leave?” or even worse, “What is she hates the pictures all together?” I kept looking at my phone to check the time and I think I may have inhaled dinner so that I was ready to go quickly. We made our way back out onto the busy sidewalk and called for another Uber to return us to her car. I was so nervous in the car that I had to turn on meditation music to relax. It wasn’t that I was scared of what was going to happen. I have given birth to two children so I know what goes on in birthing environment (mostly). I was nervous that my pictures wouldn’t be good, my lens would malfunction in the darkened room, or that I would get in the way of someone with a much more important job. I knew as soon as I walked in the door to the hospital the nerves would evaporate and I’d go into work mode, I just had to get there first.

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I am so glad I had my camera gear with me because I might literally have exploded with nerves had I left it at home. I arrived at the hospital at 8:15 p.m. Thankfully, the nursing staff was aware that I was on my way so they let me into my clients’ room right away. She had told me at our meeting that she was wanting to go through labor naturally and she was not happy with her choice at that moment. She was calm and quiet, but definitely ready to not deal with labor pains anymore. I snapped a few pictures of her and met her nurse and Damon, her birth partner. The nurse informed her that the anesthesiologist had arrived but it would be a little bit because he had to change into his scrubs. The nurse asked her to start getting in the position they request for moms to be in for an epidural and mom asked dad and me to leave. I knew she was in a lot of pain but that original fear started creeping back in that she was going to ask me to leave. I wouldn’t have blamed her because of how she felt. So Damon and I journeyed out of the room to wait for her epidural to go in.

At first, we were going to go sit in the waiting room but I remembered a spot where my family had sat when I had a baby so we went down to the end of the hall and sat facing the large floor to ceiling windows and watched the rain fall outside. It was at that time I had the pleasure of getting to know Damon. The sweet nervousness of a new daddy telling me how he and mommy met and what he did for a living (can you guess?). It was very touching to discuss how he felt about becoming a dad and how they came up with the name for their baby girl. They are my kind of people, the ones that try to come up with unique and interesting names. We waited what seemed like probably 20 minutes and figured she was probably done and ready for us to come back so we ventured back down to her door only to find that it was still shut. We stood outside talking about how bad he wanted to go home and shower so he could change and it made me laugh because he was too nervous to leave. As we waited, in walked Joanna’s sister and Damon’s mother. It was smiles all around as we introduced each other and caught up on what was going on. The nurse ushered us down to the waiting room and so we waited. The family was very excited to have a new baby coming and couldn’t wait to meet her. I instantly took a liking to Damon’s mother who told me that Joanna had needed a little convincing to have birth photography done. I appreciated that she saw the value in what I was offering and had explained it in a way that had her jumping on the bandwagon.

Finally, after almost an hour people were getting antsy and nervous because it was taking so long for the epidural. Damon decided that he was going to go check on her and then head home to shower. His parting words out the door were, “Although, my luck will be I’ll get to the stop light and get a text saying it was all over and I missed it.” with a grin he departed. We sat together in comfortable silence for another 5 to 10 minutes and the doctor stuck her head in to say hello. I immediately gathered my things and followed her down the hall. She smiled and said, “You know she’s ready, right?” I started laughing saying, “No. Are you serious?” In we went to room 301 and she was indeed ready to push and thankfully Daddy was there still dressed in uniform a stark contrast to the feminine area we were all working in. Grabbing a nurse I asked if I had enough time to run back down the hall and tell the family that the baby was on her way and she smiled with a yes. Off I went, poking my head in and saying, “Wanted to let you know… the baby is on her way.” The shocked expressions I will never forget as I said, “See you on the flip side, gotta go.” and dashed back to the delivery room.

Joanna was a rockstar once she got into the swing of pushing. You think you’d know what to do, but I swear every time the doctor or nurse has to go over it at least two times. She was so sweet in between pushes we could get her to laugh every now and then, but the best part was the things that she said. She was too worried it would scar dad for life if he looked because it was gross. She told us she thought her breath was horrible and that the second the baby was born she wanted to brush her teeth, and my all time favorite was when she said she was hungry. We offered to tell the family out in the waiting room to go get her something so it would be there by the time she was done and then she said, “No, I’m not hungry I don’t know what I want never mind.” Everyone laughed, even her.

It took 40 minutes from the start of pushing to finish. Joanna and Damon, along with the Doctor and nurses were an amazing team. I was humbled and honored to be allowed into their sacred space to document her journey into motherhood. She was incredibly powerful and what I like to call, a warrior woman. Having a baby naturally is a lot of hard work and she really did take on the task at hand like a true pro. It was cute when she said in between contractions that she would never have more children, only adoption. However, I am sure that will not be the case for this momma. One look at her new baby and she pretty much forgot about all the pain and work she’d just done and only wanted to hold her baby. Daddy got to cut the cord, which he was very excited about. A fond memory he will have some day that he can share with his daughter when she is older.

I have to admit, I held it together right up until the above picture. When mommy had her baby skin-to-skin and was able to just take a moment to bask in newborn heaven I got a little teary-eyed. As the Doctor and Nurses went about cleaning up and checking baby vitals, daddy asked the sweetest question about doing skin-to-skin too. It was such a precious and intimate moment they shared.

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That picture right there is why I wanted to become a birth photographer. On the night Willow was born there was no one but Nurses, the Doctor, and the two of them. I was the fly on the wall and I wanted to capture these special moments for new parents. Willow is less than five minutes old in this picture. It was a beautiful moment to witness.

My favorite picture of the night was proceeded by baby Willow doing the newborn nuzzle in her hunt for some yummy in her tummy. She wound up finding her thumb and going to town on it in a way I’ve never seen in a newborn. She was ready to eat. This moment below is when she not only found what she was looking for, for her mouth but she also discovered the face that went with the voice she knew so well. It was the sweetest most special moment of the night, as mommy looked down and Willow looked up and it was almost like she was saying “Oh, hi there. I know you.”

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After a moment of relaxation and almost like a refreshing breather it was time to weigh and measure Ms. Willow and she was no happy to be taken away from her warm nest with mommy. She did, however, seem to enjoy being able to stretch out her little legs. She had such cute long feet and a pretty little rosebud mouth. Her skin was so pink and her cheeks were just perfect. Mommy commented that she had the cutest little booty which made me laugh because she totally did.

After all the hustle and bustle and of course, the rude removal of mommy it was time for daddy to hold not only his daughter for the first time, but hold a baby in general for the first time according to mommy. She was wrapped up tight in a swaddle and handed off to daddy by a happy Doctor who showed him what to do and then turned him to face mommy so she could see the whole moment. Daddy was a quick learner and before he knew it, he was even doing the baby bounce dance so she wouldn’t cry. They were natural parents, I could tell. And of course, we got the first family photo of them all together.

At last, and with much anticipation, it was time to meet the rest of the family that was waiting as patiently as they possibly could outside the door. Joanna’s two sisters and Damon’s mom walked into the room and the happy looks on their faces were absolutely priceless. Everyone took turns holding baby Willow and talking about how they could hear everything but then it had gone quiet for a bit and finally, they had heard the baby cry. There was much passing around and cooing towards Willow and it was a joy to stand in that moment and photograph everyone holding her for the first time.

In my final moments of being there, I was able to capture a very happy mommy content to hold her precious bundle of joy who wound up certainly being in a hurry to meet everyone. Baby Willow was born on February 11, 2017, at 10:17 p.m. She weighed 8 lbs 2.3 oz and was 21 inches long. She had a full head of luscious dark hair and perfect pouty lips. She is a perfect way to end a perfect day.

Congratulations to Joanna and Damon on the birth of a perfect little Willow! Thank you for letting me be there with you. You both are very sweet and wonderful people. I think you are going to be awesome parents and Willow is lucky to have you.

You can contact me for your own special day via
Website: http://www.feywildphotography.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/feywildphotos
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/feywildphotos

Why Should You Hire a Birth Photographer Named Destiny

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If the idea of someone being in the room taking pictures while you give birth makes you cringe, this is the blog for you. My name is Destiny, a budding private photographer (8+ years photography experience) with a passion for birth photography and I’d like to tell you why you absolutely should at least consider hiring someone to document the birth of your child.

When I was pregnant with my first child I had never even heard of birth photography but one thing I did have was my mother who is a photographer and she was there to take pictures of my journey into motherhood. However, the pictures that were taken came from family members that were, in all fairness and reality, distracted by the impending birth of a new family member and first grandchild. While I appreciate the rawness of those images when I look at what a birth photographer offers I wish I had known about that kind of photography. On top of winding up having to have an emergency c-section that first experience into mommyhood was rocky, to say the least.

Move ahead to five years later and the impending birth of my second born. I knew a little about birth photography but I had no idea how to go about getting one and/or hiring one. I also had planned to have a VBAC but as my due date loomed and no sign of labor I was scheduled for a c-section. That ended all ideas I had about “birth photography”. Thankfully, I wound up going into labor while in the Surgery waiting area and I did get to have my VBAC. My mother again came to the rescue taking fabulous pictures while I labored, but again the pictures were of a certain few hours about mid-day into labor. At 3:30 a.m. on January 28, 2015, they said it was time to push. Where was my mom or my best friend who had been taking pictures? I had fallen asleep for about 3 hours and they had stepped out into the waiting room to chat with all the other family that was there waiting for the baby to arrive. My husband was distracted, obviously because my left leg was completely numb from my epidural wearing off – all the meds had drained into that leg- and he had to hold it up for me every time I pushed. It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal not to have those moments, but after having to have a C-section the first time getting to have a successful VBAC was a big deal for me. The pictures I do have I cherish profusely, the ones I don’t have I wish for whole-heartedly.

So, why should you hire a Photographer name Destiny to photograph your birth? I will give eight excellent reasons. There are many others but I feel like these are the most important and natural reasons why.

1) Memories:

First of all, I can’t think of anything better than reflecting back on the photos of when I brought my two boys into the world. While I am missing a lot of moments I know that what I have I will cherish when I’m old and grey. The long labors, the hard work, our first time locking eyes on each other, the way my husband looked at me when his whole world was just turned upside down in the most beautiful of ways, and the sweet moments when our family met the baby for the first time. What fun to have a picture of the parking lot and see what cars were in style when your baby was born, what the weather was like that day, what the face of the hospital looked like that year. My heart literally sinks deep into the depths of love and happiness just remember all of those moments. Sure, I have them imprinted deep in my heart, but a photo is a tangible way to take us right back to special moments that we may not fully recall. Photographs like these aren’t always to be shared with the public eye but tucked aways for our own precious memories is just as special. I offer the option to have all of the moments beautiful captured so you get to remember and have tangible memories forever.

2) Captured Moments and Details You May Not Remember or May Miss:

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that as a birth photographer I can capture. There may be times that I am required to leave the room such as when you get an epidural or if you are getting some well-deserved sleep in between contractions. I can journey to the waiting room to photograph friends and family eagerly waiting to hear the news of a new arrival or grab snapshots of your room number and nurses station. I’m the fly on the wall photographing tender and lovingly intimate moments between you and your spouse while they support you through your labor. I will capture all the moments big and small so that you can relive them all over again.

3) You Can Be Present:

Labor is just plain hard work. They definitely do not call it LABOR for no reason. The whole process of pushing a baby out of your body just plain takes it out of you. It is hard enough to focus on your breathing and count to 10 and all that, never mind having to worry about who is holding the camera and what photos they are getting. Take the pressure off yourself and let me take care of capturing those moments for you so you can focus on the task at hand.

4) Your Spouse and Family Can Focus on YOU:

If this is your first baby, for example. Your husband is just plain overwhelmed. He can’t decide if he can actually help you through labor or if he is is just in the way, and it is also a whole lot of emotions that he probably has never felt before all at once. This is a new experience for him as well and he wants to support you and hold your hand. He is proud beyond words of the power and strength you are exuding to bring a baby into the world. He is in awe of his wife or girlfriend or fiance. When I asked my husband how he would have felt if someone had thrust a camera in his hand and asked him to take pictures instead of being with me he said he would have hated it because he would have felt less involved. He loved getting to see the baby come out, cutting the cord, and all that. So, if you have a photographer there that is only there to capture your birthing day not only does he get to witness your awesome mommy powers but he will have photographs that take him back to those special moments as well.

Your family is busy being excited about the impending arrival of a new baby. There really is nothing like holding new life in your arms. Sure they will be snapping away but there will be moments that they want to be a part of instead of just bare witness to. You get the best of both worlds if you have your photographer there.

5) Quality Photographs:

In the age of the iPhone, there is no doubt that someone will be taking pictures at some point that is a part of your birth group. However, cell phone pictures cannot compare to the quality of a professional photographer can do. I have spent many hours studying and learning about my camera and the settings it has. Hospital lighting is not that great. If you are planning on having a home birth lighting can be even worse in a house because most births have low lighting that can be difficult to compete with but through research, your photographer (me) has learned the correct lenses and setting on their camera to retain the quality of the image even in those low light settings.

6) Professional:

Not only can I provide excellent quality photos, I also know how to remain professional in the birthing environment. An experienced birth photographer will know the flow of birth and how to position themselves so they are not in the way but still able to capture the moments you hired them for. I have a personal relationship with my OBGYN because she also delivered one of my kids and is the Family Doctor of my whole family. I have known her since I was thirteen years old and I feel like it gives me a unique ability to know when to get out of the way and move to a different spot in the room and/or when to just plain get out so she can do whatever it is that she needs to do. I have not had the chance at this point to be a part of a birth center birth or home birth but I am very much looking forward to working with a Midwifery in the area to provide this option for moms that are looking for a more intimate setting than a hospital.

7) I Know What It Is Like NOT To Have The Pictures:

I feel I am uniquely qualified to do birth photography because I know what it feels like later NOT to have the pictures that take you back to special moments in your birth. It really does bother me not to have them and I want to make sure that any mother that is thinking about hiring me or any other birth photographer really does THINK about it and then hopefully decide to go through with it because it truly is an amazing gift/special set of photos to have later when the intenseness of the birth has wound down or when you pull them out years from now to look at them for fun. You have the most amazing story through photos that you can show that baby when he or she is old enough exactly what the day was like when they came into the world.

8) An Amazing Postpartum Gift:

Days and weeks after the baby is born; the family has gone home, you are sleep deprived and the baby is finally sleeping for the first time in forever; when the reality of having a newborn catch up to you and things “just got real”. You can sit down, scroll through these pictures, and smile as the feelings rush back and you are transported back to the moment they laid your baby in your arms, your spouse cut the cord, your parents met their grand baby… all of it will be there for you, forever.

 

You can contact me for you own special day via:
Website: http://www.feywildphotography.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/feywildphotos
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/feywildphotots