The Birth Story of Amelia

Remember my, “It’s a Small World” post? (If not, you can find it here: https://pushphotographyblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/its-a-small-world/)

Well, Stefanie had her baby! For Stefanie’s first birth, she attempted a natural birth at a birth center, but her poor bub was malpositioned and she required a cesarean birth. This time around, she opted for a hospital TOLAC (Trial of Labor After Cesarean). Stefanie found the best midwives in the area at UNT Health in Fort Worth, Tx and was able to succussfully have her VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)!!! Yay! It was an absolutely amazing experience and I was honored to be present. Stefanie prepared herself well, surrounded herself with amazingly supportive people including her husband, Andrew, her doula, Jessica Abbott, and of course, the midwives. And, Stefanie ROCKED HER BIRTH! Congratulations to Stefanie, Andrew and Big Brother, Finnley for the birth of Sweet, Baby Amelia.

You can check out their slideshow here:

ITS A GIRL

Maternity photo shoots are by far one of my favorites. I love documenting the connection between the couple who is sharing this remarkable experience. They are on the verge of something really wonderful, but for now, it is still just the couple and a dream. Yes, the baby is THERE, but there is still so much unknown. The baby is wrapped inside leaving the parents filled with so much wonder and anticipation. And even with that unknown, there is a connection with the baby as well. When I look at the maternity pictures I make, my heart pitter-patters. This is the start of a family and it is grand!

Meet Brittany, Stuart and Soon-to-be Baby Gracie:

Quinn Maternity

This is my friend Jessica and her sweet family. I know Jessica through her sister, Yessenia who is one of my best friends. We grew up around the block from each other in Austin, TX. Jessica was a few years younger than Yessenia and me, so we didn’t play together too often (seriously, little sisters are supposed to be annoying, right? LOL! I don’t ever remember Jessica being THAT little sister, but still…haha!) Back then, I was pretty much a fixture at their house. Their mother nicknamed me “Kimmie” like DJ Tanner’s best friend from Full House…I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. LOL! Nooo, I know she meant it endearingly…right? Anyways, that was from about 3rd grade to freshman year of high school for me and then, they moved far, far away to Dallas, TX. Luckily, we stayed in touch and years later, as fate would have it, I moved just about 10 minutes away. Of course, living so close and having known each other pretty much our whole lives, we started to get to know each other again. That has been such a joy to me! I love seeing Jessica as an equal and not just my friend’s little sister. Plus, Jessica and I have a lot of the same interests. For one, Jessica and I both have degrees in Psychology. Also, as many of you know, I worked in OBGYN for 6 years and have since become a “birth junkie” and a birth photographer. Well, Jessica has since become an L&D nurse, so obviously that makes for fun conversations for us. I just love that I can talk birth with her and it doesn’t freak her out. Yay, birth! Haha!

Aaannnddd, that brings me to this! Jessica is expecting her second baby! Jessica and her husband, John already have one of the cutest and sweetest little boys ever, Liam. Gawww! Look how cute he is!! They certainly could not out-do him with another boy, so this time around they are having a beloved baby girl!

Meet Jessica, John, Liam and soon-to-be Harper Grace:

The Allen-Stern Family

These are my neighbors, some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I met them in August of 2012 when we moved into our new house. I was 9 months pregnant at the time and about the size of a house! From the very start, they were friendly and welcoming to us. They are definitely the kind of neighbors you want to have. Since then, they have seen me begin this great adventure into photography and they gave me the greatest compliment ever by hiring me to photograph three generations of their family. It was such an honor! And, to make it even better, they were so much fun!

Meet The Allen and Stern Families:

It’s a Small World

I am a member of a Birth Photography group here in the Dallas area. One day, a girl named Stefanie asked if anyone was available for her upcoming due date to photograph her birth. I immediately threw my name in the hat. We chatted back and forth for a while, and shortly thereafter, we discovered that our husbands both work for the same company. Wow! How cool is that? Stefanie and I decided to plan a play date for our kiddos and so we could meet in person. I cannot describe just how cool that meeting was. It felt like Stefanie and I were long lost sisters or something. We had so much in common! Her and I both got married in 2008 and our kids are only 1 month apart in age. We have similar parenting styles and philosophies on life. We both left our previous careers to become birth photographers. And, it’s really kind of a big deal that both of our husbands work for the same company. That means we live the same kind of lifestyle which most people just don’t understand. We talked for HOURS. It was an instant connection! And, the funny thing is, she is from Germany. It took me meeting someone from all the way around the world to find someone with whom I have some much in common. Like I said, small world. Since then, our families have become friends and I had the honor of photographing her maternity session with her husband, Andrew and their son, Finnley who has got to be the most adorable little boy ever with those blue, blue eyes…I die! Stefanie and Andrew make such cute babies, I can hardly wait to see how gorgeous Miss Amelia will be.

Meet Stefanie, Andrew, Finnley and Soon-to-be Baby Amelia:

My First Birth Story: Baby Wesley

I’ve had an appreciation for photography since I was a kid, but I thought of it as something for another lifetime, something I would only enjoy vicariously through others. But, in 2010, my husband bought me a “real” camera, so of course, I wanted to learn how to use it. It’s embarrassing when I think back on my first days, weeks, months, even years, lol, of trying to learn my camera. I mean, truly embarrassing!, but the best way to learn is by doing and that’s what I did. Photography soon became a passionate hobby for me and I was taking my camera just about everywhere I went. I figured that that’s all it was though- just a hobby. Then, after the birth of my daughter, I decided I wanted things in my life to change. I had new priorities and with that, I began considering new career options. I wanted something that would allow me more control over my schedule and that would be something enjoyable.

It was also about that time in my life that I became what I affectionately call a “birth junkie”. I had previously worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology for 6 years, so I already had some interest and existing knowledge, but throughout my pregnancy, my desire to learn more and to engage in the birth community grew. I began attending birth network meetings and I joined online birth and parenting groups. It was then that I decided to specialize in birth photography- combining two things that I had grown very passionate about.

I very much wanted a birth photographer for my own birth, but we couldn’t afford it, and I deeply regret that. If I could do it all over again, I would do whatever it took to afford it. That is something we cannot get back. We do have a few snapshots and I am grateful for that, but it’s just not the same as having a professional present. Birth is such a special experience, and to me, it deserves photographic commemoration just like any other special occasion (i.e. weddings). I feel that having birth documented through images is such a gift. If I can offer that gift to others, it would be an honor.

Since then, I engrossed my time and effort into all things photography and birth. Every single day for the last year and a half or more, I have been studying my craft. I want very much to be successful at this. And, it is hard starting out, very hard. (I often get the crazy eye when I tell people I want to be a birth photographer. I’m most certain they don’t understand what that means because there is no way it is as terrifying as they are imagining.) And, it doesn’t matter how much I want to be a birth photographer, if others don’t see that potential, I don’t have a business. Without having photographed a birth before, how was I supposed to show people what I was capable of? I had a vivid vision in my head of what I wanted to do, but I needed one brave soul to give me the chance to prove it.

Well, last month, I found that person. April and her husband, JL were willing to take a chance on me and they gave me the opportunity to attend and document such a sacred moment in their lives. I am forever grateful. It is hard for me to express in words how honored I am to have had such a privilege. I think birth, all births, are beautiful and real and raw. They may not all go according to plan, but it is my hope that those moments are respected and cherished in a way that is meaningful to the family. I hope I was able to give this family even a portion of what they gave me.

Without further ado, here are a few of the images from my first birth. Y’all, birth is AMAZING! I truly hope when you look at these images that you too can see the beauty in these moments.

Meet April, JL, Big Sister Sarah and Baby Wesley:

And, please check out this slideshow:

p.s. I would like to add that this mama ROCKED her birth. She was dedicated to having a natural, unmedicated birth. She took childbirth classes and she prepared herself as best she could. It was not easy. It was a very fast labor and because of that, her pain come on quickly as well. But, she never gave up. She pushed through it and had the birth experience she wanted. April, you are AMAZING! Way to go, mama! Aaanndd, it was a surprise gender birth too which made it even more exciting! It was a PERFECT, sweet baby boy! Congratulations!

If you like my images, please visit me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pushphotos. Give me a “like” and comment on your favorite photos. It would be much appreciated! Cheers!

Soon-to-be Baby Tripp

I met Heather at my previous job. I was a social worker and she’s a licensed professional counselor. We worked in a high stress environment, but this girl was always there to help provide some much needed perspective and comic relief. She helped me keep my sanity among literal craziness (and I’m not talking about the consumers), and she was fantastically funny just when I needed it. Sometimes, it was just a clever joke and other times, it was her busting a move in the hallway. You know, whatev! LOL! I really do miss seeing her sweet smile everyday, but we have stayed in touch, so I’m happy about that! And, of course, I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph her growing family. It was such an honor for me to get to document this special time in her life. She looks absolutely stunning with her mommy glow and oh-so-perfect baby belly! I love it! The hubs and pup aren’t too shabby either. 😉

Meet the lovely Heather and her three favorite boys- Clint, Mr. Bear and the soon-to-be Baby Tripp. Aren’t they a good looking family?!!