Archive for February, 2014

February 04, 2014

Katie and I went to Ursuline Academy together way back when, and had lost touch after graduation. She found me on Facebook and sent a message saying that another girl from our class had told her that I did birth photography. I was so flattered by the referral, and super excited to document her second baby’s arrival into the world! We quickly set a date to meet for dinner at Panera to chat. Katie had such a wonderful view on birth photography. She believed that since she had hired a photographer to photograph her wedding day, it only made sense to have someone capture the birth of her child – easily one of the most special days of her life! She did not have birth photographs taken for her first daughter, as it wasn’t really “a thing” then, but she didn’t let that stop her from wanting to do so for her second.

I loved having dinner together, and it was so nice to reconnect with an old friend. We were able to relate about teaching and all that goes into being a good teacher, as well as trying to find a balance between work and home life. We both left our meeting feeling excited for her due date of February 8th.

Well, we didn’t need to wait until February before we met again! I now joke that if you book a birth with me, you should plan on going into labor early. Most of my mama’s don’t make it anywhere close to their due dates! HA! Katie texted me and said that she was contracting in the early morning hours of January 13th. She went to the hospital, but was sent home because she wasn’t progressing very quickly. Plus, she was only 36 weeks so they wanted baby to stay put if possible! Claire had other ideas. We knew it was officially “go time” later that evening, so I hurried to Bethesda North after dinner. She had been progressing fairly slowly but steadily, and her water broke as I was pulling into the parking lot. The contractions picked up and she chose to go ahead and get her epidural. By the time I went back to see her, she was thankfully feeling pretty good and was able to visit with the wonderful entourage she had to keep her company!

Chris was a great support to Katie the entire time. I had not previously met him, but I could tell right away that these two had a great relationship. He rubbed her back, got her anything and everything she needed, and held her hand through it all. Those are probably some of my favorite pictures from her labor, as I love capturing the love and support a husband offers his wife!

Katie’s blood pressure dropped on and off, and Claire’s heart rate dropped periodically as well. This caused Katie to have to switch positions a lot and for her to need extra oxygen. She was thrilled about wearing the fashionable mask! 😉 While the beginning of her labor moved fairly slowly, the end seemed to be a whirlwind. She began to feel pressure and nauseous, so she got checked and was fully dilated! She had to wait on the doctor to get there, but once he came in the room it was a SUPER quick delivery. She literally pushed once or twice and Claire was born! Lucky mama!!! Claire Gray was born shortly after midnight on January 14, 2014. She weighed 5 pounds 13 ounces and was 18 inches long. Everyone fell instantly in love with her precious little face!
Since Claire was born late at night, obviously Big Sis Aubrey wasn’t able to meet her right away. There were plenty of other friends and family members to help welcome this sweet girl though! I snapped away as everyone passed her around. Typically I stay as long as it takes to get all of the pictures that the family wants. Most of the time the first bath and meeting the family are the last pictures. However, since Claire was considered a preemie, the nurses held off on giving her a bath until she was able to regulate her own temperature. Katie and Chris were so sweet in wanting me to get some sleep, so they sent me home even though I offered to stay. While I am bummed I wasn’t able to capture those photos for them, they promised that they would be fine taking some on their personal camera.

Since I wasn’t able to capture Aubrey meeting Claire the night of her birth, I headed back to the hospital the next day. I went with Chris to get Big Sis, who was waiting in the gift shop with her great aunt and uncle. We rode the elevator up to the recovery floor, and she had to have her temperature taken before going to the room since it was flu season. It was so sweet to see her face as we walked in and she saw her baby sister for the first time. I think Katie was equally excited to see her first “baby!” (How sweet are the pictures of Katie holding Aubrey towards the end of the video?!)

I try and let my birth clients be as involved or uninvolved as they would like when it comes to the slideshow. Katie chose all but one of the four songs in her slideshow (from a list of possibilities I sent her), and she decided that she would prefer them all to be in black and white. This is my first slideshow that doesn’t have any color photos in it, and I think it turned out great! She also provided me with a list of all of her favorite photos that she wanted me to try and incorporate, as well as a list of ones she’d prefer I leave out. She is a modest mama after my own heart, and I totally understand her not wanting to share the pictures we got of Claire actually being born or of her breastfeeding. While she said she treasures those pictures, she doesn’t want the whole world seeing them. I know sometimes people are a little hesitant about birth photography for various reasons; one main concern tends to be around the intimate nature of the photos. I appreciate being able to share Katie’s experience because it proves that birth photography can be whatever you want it to be! I am so glad that through us working closely together, I was able to create a slideshow that Katie loves and is excited to share with her family and friends!

Katie and Chris, thank you SO MUCH for allowing me to photograph Claire’s birth. You have been blessed with a wonderful family that I know will love and support Claire as they have you both and Aubrey. I am so glad that you have these photos and video to share with Claire as she grows. If she’s anything like my daughter, she’ll request to watch her “baby video” all.the.time! Thanks again, and God bless!

Click below to watch Claire’s birth slideshow! (Make sure you can hear the music! :))

Here are some of my favorite photographs from Claire’s birth:

BClaire Preview-2 BClaire Preview-4 BClaire Preview-7 BClaire Preview-8 BClaire Preview-9 BClaire Preview-10 BClaire Preview-11 BClaire Preview-12 BClaire Preview-13 BClaire Preview-15
BClaire Preview-17 BClaire Preview-18 BClaire Preview-19 BV1

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