Spring Bloom Sessions

When I was a little girl we had a list of the first signs of spring, then we competed with each other to see who would see the signs of Spring first! The only one I remember, oddly enough, is the first robin of spring. Now, as time has gone on I've noticed robins make their appearance quite early, I saw one a couple weeks ago, then I realized there was an entire flock flying about the neighborhood. I couldn't help but get giddy! I called for my kids, look at that beautiful bird, the one with the red tummy, she is telling us that spring is coming! Fall is my favorite season overall, but I don't think any season makes an appearance quite like spring. Even if you love the snow and winter, spring is spectacular! The whole world coming back to life, the grass revitalized and green, the plants slowly making their way out of the ground, the birds chirping in the early morning, the warmth of the sun, the smell of a spring rain, it is absolutely spectacular! As I've grown one of my new favorite signs of early spring is when the trees begin to bloom, in Denver, Colorado they are typically pink or white and so beautiful! 

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We had quite the winter in 2016, with the birth of my littlest love, it was a busy season of yoga pants until noon, oh who am I kidding, yoga pants all the time, way too few showers, too much take out, and just a lot of surviving. Something about the spring popping up around us made me want to get out and really live! I let me kids choose their outfits, nothing fancy, I grabbed a lovely pastel quilt and we went to City Park in Denver, Colorado for some snuggles. I had my brand new camera, the Canon 5d Mark III, and we took some time to just enjoy the change in seasons and make some memories. I told myself, that I was going to make images, but I wasn't going to interfere, I wasn't going to get frustrated because my kids weren't cooperating or looking at my camera. I wasn't going to interrupt their play time or tell them to go over there or do something cute, I was just going to lay out the blanket and let the day unfold naturally.

The very first image I made that day

The very first image I made that day

It was a stress free day and the images are some of my very favorites. My kids really let their personalities shine through, we snuggled, climbed trees, walked around, no one got frustrated, no tears, just beautiful memories and beautiful images.

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I really felt that I grew as a photographer that day, I took capturing authentic moments to a new level. I was able to sit back and let moments unfold and work myself around the moments. I was able to put the camera down and interact with my children, anticipating their movements, and calmly and decisively making a decision of which role to play, which is so important when you are a photographer and a mother, to make choices of when you will play each roll so you can be as successful as possible at both.

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So I took what I learned this day full force forward into my business, my rebrand, my sessions, my work, and my mothering. And this day is so special to me that I wanted to do it again, but this time with YOU and your family making memories while I capture them in a beautiful authentic way, with the beautiful backdrop of spring, you can't go wrong!

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For these sessions I will be supplying beautiful spring quilts, a lovely quaint tea set, my bubble machine, and La Patisserie Francaise in Arvada will be providing lovely treats for your family to share. We will work together to decide which, if any, of my supplies will be perfect for you, we will also discuss if you would like to bring your own fun extras for your playtime to make the session uniquely yours or you may choose to just be you and snuggle on a blanket counting the clouds, and following your hearts as we did that day. These are not mini sessions, each family will get up to an hour of my time, as well as full consult and design services for final art pieces. I want your heart to be full of love and memories and for you to be reminded of that each and every day.

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These sessions are great for babies, toddlers, children, families, even maternity! The session itself is $225 and as my special gift you will receive a 8x10 print in a colorful boutique frame and the matching digital file. All other prints, products, and files are sold separately. There will be a no obligation wait list for these sessions that I will be releasing on Sunday, March 5. If you sign up for my wait list before March 15 you will receive special pricing of $199 for the session and framed print as well as get first choice on very limited sessions. Then the wait list will remain open until I begin formally scheduling sessions as I get a better idea of what to expect from mother nature. Please contact me if you have any questions otherwise please come back March 5 to reserve your spot for these very special sessions! The waitlist is live! Please click here to sign up! Thank you so much and I look forward to playing with you, beneath the blooming trees!

Never Grow Up, Dear Child, But When You Do Be Great

I had a blog post I intended to write today, but I just couldn't bring myself to sit down and write it. My thoughts too deep, my heart too heavy, so I decided instead to go with what's on my heart, be authentic with you, from my heart and soul, which is often a divided place, pulled in many directions, but limited resources. This is my heart today.

I built this business around my passions and heart and I hope my absolute love for what I do always shines through, in everything I do and say. I feel an unwavering passion for children, the beautiful perfect innocence of childhood. Their little details so perfect and easily forgotten from whispy lashes, to chubby cheeks, the way their eyes light up with an honest joy we so rarely see in grown-ups. Their words always true and their love always pure, to be able to capture a peak into this time of life that is so true and amazing and also the foundation for a life that has miles of potential. Will we look back and realize those days spent reading built an award winning author? That all those hours spent weaping over a stubborn toddler created a world leader who despite the struggles, did gain an unwavering respect for those he now leads? A young one always making messes or noises grows to be an amazing artist or notable musician? A child who lines up her teddy bears for play school, grows to be a teacher molding the minds of the next generation, pulling from both the joys and mistakes of her childhood to impress upon them how to do it better, to hold on to that pure innocent outlook that can only truly be found in the heart of a child? We can't help but think all this pure honest love and perfection is lost on the littlest too small to utilize it, but then I see it again. I see it again when I see the way a parent looks at his or her child. The mother who beams once again with that pure and perfect love when she sees her child take a first step or clap his hands, or say her name. That father who beams with the utmost pride when he helps his son reel in his first fish or he watched his little girl grow up into the amazing young woman he knew she would, reminding him of those days of his youth and his perfect young bride.

The circular connection in life and love and family keeps alive the sweet innocence of childhood and the pure love of a baby first peering up at his mother alive and well, in spite of the dysfunction, messes, mistakes, apologies and disasters we all come back to this place. I strongly believe that even if you have lost heart in your relationship with your parents, that when you have a child of your own you will still come back to that place of a pure heart with your child. There is a healing in that place, a healing that can never be undone. These three beautiful babies of mine have brought more healing to my heart than I dreamed possible and we love fiercely. When I hug them, I feel their love melt me. These children are my why.

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Often times I get so lost in all the mundane work of running this business, from book keeping, to paying taxes, to trying to get my message heard, my heart known, that I lose focus. Hear my heart when I say I desperately want to serve you and your children, to show you this perfect love, to capture this imperfect time you never want to forget. I want you to see yourself the way your children see you, with that pure, perfect, healing love. I want your children to see their memories in a way that they can come back to that place and remember that time, when they start to loose their own focus in life. I want them to be able to remember those connections, their passions, their drive, as young children, so that they may have the passion to take them wonderful places! And I know, I just know it, that when they achieve great things, and they are standing there in front of crowds of people being praised for their hard work, their drive, their success, they will think back to those albums they flipped through so many times, and say without a second thought,

"I owe my success to my parents, who loved me fiercely, who provided me with constant encouragement to be better, do better, and grow. Who encouraged me to follow my passions even as a young child, I stand before you today, because they gave me a foundation for success!"

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And then again sometimes I have to pause and remember this truth for myself, to find that balance, to remember they are my why and deserve my full heart. I want to give you this beautiful gift, of remembering such a tender fleeting time of having young children, but I also want to give my children the same gift, the gift of beautiful memories, great love, and the ability to remember it, so that they can learn and grown and hold on to their childhood in a way that drives them to the endless success I know they are so capable of. So today my heart is finding that balance with snuggles and deep thoughts. You may read my words and think, gosh honey, they are just pictures, but if you hear my message and my heart you will realize they are so much more than that. They are your love, your moments, and a glimpse into a time soon gone. I put my heart and soul into my work and by doing so I hope I am able to put yours in there too. If you hear my message and it resonates with you then I would love to serve you, otherwise I will continue to whisper between the moments of building my own perfect love circle as well.

 

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A Family Maternity Session in Golden: Colorado Maternity Photographer

"To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched- along with body- making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings." -Anne Christian Buchanan

I love capturing images of mothers during this time of transition, to show them how stunningly beautiful they are as they put all of themselves into the development of their littlest love. They are holding this secret in their belly. The secret of a life yet lived, a personality yet developed. Oh to be so unapologetically in love with someone you've yet to meet. I had so much fun with this sweet family, capturing their connection as a soon to be family of 5, capturing their love and anticipation of this little boy, who will bring their family so much joy and soon as he arrives, the time before him quickly becoming a dream, feeling like he always was a piece of their family.

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Not only do I give Michelle 5 stars, so does my little family. She has been AMAZING! She told my girls a story about how she had chickens and a little background on them. She talked about her son and engaged the girls in conversation the whole time making them feel more involved! They even went to Grandma’s house and bragged all about her stories, the chickens especially.

Love love love, highly recommended! Our photos were not just “smile for the camera”, she captured beautiful moments between my family that had stories behind them and that made the photos the most special. Thanks again! We will be coming back!
— Karlie (mama from this session)

I was so honored to receive this glowing review from this sweet family, that is not only so sweet, but so true to the heart of my sessions. I hope to see them again very soon!

Are you expecting? Contact me today and we can tell your love story, right from the beginning.

Interview with a Doula: Denver Baby Photographer

I have a strong belief that as small business owners, and as women it is so important for us to come together, to support each other, to lean on each other, to help each other grow. I am so honored to work with some of the most fantastic women in both the photography and birth community and I would like to introduce you to one of those women today. This is Jennifer Valencia of Metropolitan Birth Support. Jennifer provides support for mothers and families during the prenatal period, birth process, and postpartum period as well. She also teaches Birth Boot Camp prenatal classes, which are a full prenatal class that educated both the mother and her partner about how to have a healthy pregnancy and a happy birth, she is extremely passionate about the success of this program and has moved as far as training other Birth Boot Camp educators in the region. I had the honor of photographing one of her classes, as well as interviewing her about her role as a doula for families. I learned so much about doula services in this process and I think you are going to enjoy hearing what she has to say as well!

I started off with the most basic of questions, well because I don't think everyone knows. In fact every time I try to tell my mom what I doula is, she says "Oh, in my day we called those midwives" well, no mom, midwives still exist so, what is a doula exactly?

What is a doula?

Well, the dictionary definition is : a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. What a doula provides is relational support and she bridges the gap between medical and relational needs of the family. She is full of compassion and is able to directly mold to the family's needs.

What would you tell a mother who is scared of birth?

I would recommend the mother seek counseling to work through her concerns. There can be a number of reasons that a woman is feeling those emotions and working through those in advance can dramatically help her feel confident in the birth process and therefore improve her birth experience. It is important that women feel valued and respected, in whatever they are feeling. Motherhood is a major life change and sometimes they need a little help to embrace the transition and make the most of it. Taking care of herself should always be a priority. There are a number of counselors that specialize in motherhood/parenthood related support and there is no shame in asking for help whether is is prenatal or postpartum support. A high quality childbirth class, such as Birth Boot Camp can also be an amazing resource for those who are a little nervous, and don't necessarily need counseling.

Why did you decide to become a doula?

I was actually attending nursing school, I was talking to a fellow student, telling her how I wanted to work in labor and delivery and the type of compassion and care I wanted to provide for the family and she said to me "well then, why don't you become a doula?" I hadn't heard of a doula before that point, and after doing research I realized that was my true calling. I pulled out of nursing school and began to pursue a career as a doula. 

Tell me about your first experience as a doula

It was before the birth of my first child, in 2007. I wasn't a certified doula at that point and a friend asked me to come on as her support person. We were in a small town and the hospital was not supportive of my presence. They told me I was not allowed in her birth space and I was unsure on how to handle that so I felt I had no other choice but to leave. I realized how much advocacy was still needed for women to get the birth they want. So much has changed in those few years. Some hospitals still need to hear advocacy for women getting the birth space they desire, though it is important to note that during a birth is not the time or place for advocacy, during that time it is critical to keep the working relationship between providers as positive as possible. Then at another time all birth professionals can come together and work to make any necessary changes to create mother-friendly care.

What sort of prenatal support does a doula provide?

Prenatal appointments with your doula are so critical. Your doula can take the time to educate you about your options and support techniques. During birth is not the time to learn new things. This coupled with a childbirth education class will leave both mom and her support person feeling confident and prepared for birth. A doula can provide support no matter what birth choices you make, but it is important to be informed so you can make the best choices for you and your baby. 

Are there any births that have really stayed with you?

Any birth that ends in a loss really stays with you. One birth I attended had a placental abruption and resulted in a loss, that was heart breaking. But truly, I learn something from every birth I attend.

Can you tell me what your role is specifically during a birth?

During a birth I take on a very professional role, I actually do my best to stay on the outside of the birth space and handle the behind the scenes interactions that mom doesn't need to be taking care of, such as hospital staff shift changes, requesting supplies or interventions as needed. With a doula present, the hospital staff often feel more comfortable with a more hands off approach as they know a professional is truly present, my support to both mom and her partner also allows the partner to be able to be fully present instead of having to step away to take care of little things. Though I am fully capable of providing hands on support, I would rather assist the birth partner to be able to provide the support needed. Birth is a very intimate experience and I believe it is important to keep that space within the family, so I am more likely to assist the birth partner, make suggestions and then I step in as needed or to provide breaks for the birth partner.

Where do you hope to go with your career?

I have a strong passion for teaching, I would love to get a degree in teaching and move my work more into training the childbirth educators to expand the knowledge needed for women to have the best births possible.

What would you like to see change in the birth world?

I would really like to see all women take a good childbirth class. High quality education is so critical both for pregnancy and birth itself. I see people going to the internet with so many questions and if they took an excellent class they wouldn't need to do that. Birth is a huge life transformation, like a wedding, and I think people should take the time to really prepare for birth in the same way, really take significant time to prepare. I would also love to see more relational support provided for the family, as it really is a full family trasformation as well.
The gorgeous group of ladies from Jennifer's most recent class.

The gorgeous group of ladies from Jennifer's most recent class.

Jennifer includes a newborn session with me at Littlest Love Photography in some of her packages, so you can combine services and save!  If you would like to learn more about doula services I highly encourage you to contact Jennifer, she is an amazing woman who is so passionate about birth and providing high quality care for all families at any stage of the birth process.

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Introducing Baby M: Littleton Newborn Photographer

Standing there in the bathroom, arms shaking you stare down and see those 2 red lines, the third test you've taken, this is real, you are pregnant. You almost pick up the phone to tell your husband but instead drag your self to the store bursting with the fear and excitement of your secret.

You wander the baby aisles and it takes a whole new meaning. You look at the itty bitty baby things and put your hand on your belly, is this real? You choose the perfect little sleeper, blue with lions, in your heart just knowing it's a boy.

You grab prenatal vitamins, saltines, and ginger ale, maybe some ice cream. You go to the check out and wonder if the cashier now knows your secret too. Get in the car and pause a moment holding up that little sleeper in awe of what it means.

You go home and busy yourself waiting for your love to come home from work. He comes in and notices you're uncharacteristically quiet and goes in the room to change only to see that itty bitty sleeper on the bed. He comes out holding it "does this mean.... Are we.... Are you?" He stammers and you smile with your hand on your belly. He comes over and your eyes lock, he touches your belly with a slight tremble. "I can't believe it," you share I love you's and a kiss and sit in silence dreaming of what the future holds.

And now he's here and will fit in that sleeper for a very short while, but seeing him there brings it all back, those secret moments of love and anticipation and all things new.

I can remember like yesterday the emotions I felt surrounding my first pregnancy, such mixed feelings of excitement, fear, and anticipation. Sometimes the transition from a couple to a family is a bumpy road and sometimes it is smooth sailing. This sweet family came together so perfectly, the way they held each other and found peace, intimacy and joy was inspiring.

If you would like to tell your family's story through imagery. Contact me today.

Mommy and Me Snuggle Sessions

Sitting in a warm chair, looking out the window, watching the big fluffly snowflakes drift slowly to the ground, daintily covering the world in white, a baby clutched to my chest a blanket surrounding us, I look up and see the fire blazing letting off a warmth that is somehow different than the heat of the summer sun. I hold my baby's hand and close my eyes taking in the silence and the occasional pop of the fire. The snow somehow bring a peace and silence with it. Have you ever stepped outside, early on a winter morning, and listened? The silence is strong, like any sound is covered by the blanket of white.

My inspiration for my Mommy and Me Snuggle sessions is this moment, the silence, the peace, the warmth brought about by a snowstorm. Climb back into bed, or lay on the couch with a blanket or two, build a pillow fort on the floor and climb in. Pause and take in these moments, taking the time to feel each moment. Feel your child's finger wrapped around yours, the warmth of their skin on a cold winter day, that sweet smell, so uniquely theirs. Close your eyes and feel the moment, connect with your child in a way we often get too busy for in our fast paced world. The snow has you stuck, nowhere to go, the world has found pause in the storm. Bring out the hot chocolate, or cookies and milk, turn on the holiday music and sing and hold hands. Run your fingers through the baby soft hair, kiss each finger and toe, these moments are precious and your very own. Simple and intimate, warming you to the core.

These sessions are all inclusive and make a wonderful holiday gift for the mother who gives her family everything.

When my son sees these images he asks me ‘mama will you read to me?’ and my heart skips a beat. I love that he relishes those moments as much as I do.
— Jennifer

I believe these moments are so much more than an opportunity to capture pretty images, but also an opportunity to fill your mama heart and give your relationship a space to feel refreshed and revived. As mothers we get so caught up in being better, doing more, but our children see us as nothing less than perfect. I want you to have something to look back on to show you the perfect love that you share, so you can never ever forget because at the core there is nothing more perfect. Contact me to schedule today, only 4 more spaces available!

 

Introducing Baby E!

When baby E's mom contacted me for her newborn session I was so excited! I love that I can say that every family I meet with truly fills my heart with joy. When you inquire with me about a session I get giddy, dreaming of your moments, planning a session that will fill your heart, I put my soul in my art from the moment you call, until the moment the final artwork is in your hands.

Baby E was so perfect, his little mohawk hair and his sweet parents clearly loved him and each other so much. I think the images from this session say so much more than my words every could, so with that said, here is sweet baby E!

Aren't they just the sweetest? I have so loved watching baby E grow on mama's facebook too, he is cuter than words! Leave this family some love and if you would like to schedule your own in home newborn session, contact me today! No excuses, your family and home are perfect.

A Time of Make Believe

Children have the grandest of imaginations. Somehow in the course of growing up we tend to lose that little bit of spark, that fire, that allows us to reach for the stars and see an alternative reality. I've always been a daydreamer and I love watching my children dream up stories, pretend to be someone new, see the world in a different light, it's inspiring and I love to help them make their dreams a little bit more real. To see their face light up when they realize that anything, truly is possible. This past week a foggy day took over our home and I knew the time was right for make believe, or as I told my children, an adventure. I grabbed my morning coffee and we drove around looking for a place to inspire our imaginations and boy did we find it!

The story of Little Red Riding Hood, the Huntsman, and The Big Bad Wolf

By the time we left we were cold, refreshed and inspired. If you would like to bring your child's make believe to life contact me today and let's dream and play together.

Is he a good baby?

A couple of weeks after Tyler was born we went to his two week check up at the pediatrician's office. He was growing well, doing fine, afterwards we met my husband for a quick fast food lunch and then I went to the mall because I needed a new, much larger, nursing bra. I didn't buy one of those snap in strollers so here I was lugging this giant infant bucket seat with my sleeping baby in it up to the store that sells nursing bras. I get the lure of the portability of those seats, but it really is like lugging around a bag of concrete. I got up to the store, got fitted for my nursing bras, made my purchase, and by some miracle, for the one time in his tiny baby existence, Tyler slept through the whole thing. As I'm checking out the cashier asked me that dreaded question, the one that mother's of high needs babies hate.

Is he a good baby?

 

I froze, panicked, how do I answer this? "Ummmm, I guess," is what I said, not wanting to bare my soul for this cashier. I know what the question is asking, is he easy? Does he sleep well, eat well, cry little? Well no. But what is the alternative, if I say no, he's not a good baby, what does that make him? A bad baby? He's not a bad baby, he's my baby, my whole world. And whether we are struggling, staying up all night, bawling both our eyes out or sitting in perfect, easy going baby bliss, is irrelevant. My brain reeled for some time.

We got home and Tyler cried, we nursed, we napped, and he cried.... for months. I drowned myself in education. Is it a breastfeeding problem? Maybe it's a growth spurt, learning leap, sleep regression, teething, gas, colic. Maybe he's just having a bad day. I drowned myself in reasons why my baby cried so much. He cried with his daddy, his grandma, everyone. It felt like the only time he wasn't crying was when he was asleep or nursing. There were moments I was so overwhelmed with his crying that I could do nothing else but to cry with him, for some reason that made him stop. Hmmmm, at least something worked.

I later heard a story that changed my perspective on crying. Maybe you've heard it too. A gentlemen goes to an orphanage, filled with babies and it is eerily silent. Why aren't the babies crying? The worker expresses that they do cry for a week or two and then they stop, realizing that no one is coming for them. My babies cry because they know I am listening. Children in foster care often cry very little, if at all, crying is a sign of healing. My babies cry because they are healthy and cared for. It almost seems contradictory, we don't want our children to cry. How can I really see crying as a good thing. Your child's crying upsetting you is also a sign of health, you care for and love your child. You want him to be happy. You listen to his cries and respond, he knows that. This is good.

He is a good baby. You are a good parent.

 

I am often drawn to capture a crying child because I see such beauty in that interaction. The child fussing, the parent responding with a soothing voice, a gentle touch. If you have a fussy child take pause and know your child cries because he knows you care.

I was always so scared to tell anyone the depths of our struggles. I thought his crying reflected poorly on me as a parent, but it didn't. I showered him in love, I responded quickly to his cries, I soothed every way I knew how. We survived, I took up baby wearing. I did whatever it took to find peace with my child. You are not alone. Talk to your doctor, talk to a friend, talk to your family, but a crying baby is not a bad baby.

A Rainy Day in May

On a rainy Saturday afternoon in May I drove out to the W family home. Driving down the bumpy dirt road, greeted by a large red barn and a coop full of chickens, the rain pitter pattered on my windshield, and the clouds loomed above threatening a larger storm. As I pulled up, some guests were just leaving. Mrs W invited me in and showed me around their lovely farm house. We started in the nursery, while mom slipped off to freshen up. Dad told me how he built his son's crib himself and his mom, baby F's grandma, crocheted the little elephants in baby F's crib. Every detail was perfect.

 

Baby F loved being bounced up and down by his dad and snuggling and nursing with his mom. The love between this sweet little family is so strong and the joy they feel over their perfect little man is clear.

I truly enjoyed watching Mr. W take care of his wife as she took care of their son. This is always such a beautiful transition to watch between couples. Mr W was regularly offering his assistance, bring her sips of water, and making sure she was feeling ok. They worked together as family as they cared for baby F and each other.

At the end of the session baby F took a bath with his dad. He had been a little fussy during our time together, but in the water a sweet peace took over. The rain falling on the window, as the two enjoyed these special moments as father and son.

I then left the W family to take a nice afternoon nap, the rain was coming down quite heavily by this point. I can imagine them all snuggled up resting their eyes and listening to the rain, such peace. I have no doubt this sweet boy will have a life full of memories and love and I am so grateful to have been able to capture this little piece.

Welcome to Motherhood, not quite what I expected

I woke early in the morning, two days before my due date, it was August in Arizona and so very hot. I lay naked, partially to find relief from the heat and partially because hardly anything fit my body anymore. My belly had stretched to a point I felt like my baby might just rip right through my skin. On this early morning I felt these soft little hugs in my belly, early contractions, I laid there trying to time them and failing. I had my appointment that morning so I eventually got up to shower, even the cold water is warm during an Arizona summer, so I let the warm water spill over my belly, feeling him stretch and dance inside me, "You can come out now", I said patting the space I was pretty sure was his bottom. I found one of the few outfits that still fit and still left me feel like a beautiful woman and after a light breakfast I drove to my appointment.

A peak into my family history will tell you I was feeling quite anxious on this particular morning, I was so close to my due date and due to a family history it is highly discouraged for me to go past my due date. My family has a family history of still birth from blood clots and that chance increases drastically after 40 weeks. Anyways, I really didn't want an induction, the moms in the birth groups I'm in had me scared to death of pitocin, like something straight out of a birth horror story. So I expressed all my fears to the Dr and she suggested a membrane strip followed by an induction if it failed. If you don't know what a membrane strip is, it is exactly as awful as it sounds. I then hobbled accross the hall for a NST, a non stress test, done to check the well being of my baby and placenta, due to my family history. The tech mentioned contractions, could I feel them? Oh yeah, those little hugs, they were still there. I laid there and rubbed my belly day dreaming of what the upcoming days had in store for us.

After my appointment I went to return the baby mobile I had ordered online because I didn't actually come with any of the cute little toys that you buy a mobile for, how annoying. I decided it was highly unlikely this baby would stare at the mobile anyways so I just returned it and wandered the store because that's supposed to be good for early labor. Then I went home, where my husband, Kevin, was on the computer because he had the day off. I proceed to clean our house as I knew birth meant my mother-in-law and she is the cleanest person you'll ever meet, seriously, her and her boyfriend mop the garage floor, while I can't even see my garage floor. I tell my husband, if you wanted a super clean wife, you married the wrong woman, I do my best but a perfectly up kept house just isn't in me and I have accepted that. A little mess makes a house look lived in anyways. Well the house was clean and our bags were packed and those hugs still coming fairly regularly, I was so desperate for them to work that I'll be honest, I exaggerated them a bit.

By 4 pm Kevin thought this has been going on a long time, maybe we should go in and get checked out, so we did. The nurse checked me and I was having contractions and was 4 cm dilated, she sent me for a walk to see if I could progress. We had some dinner and returned to the unit. I think the nurse sensed my anxiety and played a long with my game and said I made some small progress, even though the next nurse insisted I hadn't at all many hours later. They checked me in and the little hugs continued and progressed to cramps as we settled in for our baby to be born. At 2 am when that next nurse said I was still at 4cm they decided they wanted to give me pitocin (enter horror story mind set here) so I asked for an epidural, even though I originally hadn't wanted one at all. I also thought to myself that I could get some sleep, since I may never sleep again (at least I was realistic about that). My sweet nurse, Barb, held my hand during the epidural, I'll never forget that lovely woman and I mention her because she actually wound up at my second birth as well. Epidural, pitocin, definitely no sleep, we were going on 24 hours. Morning shift came and I was 5 cm, seriously? So they broke my water thinking that would get things moving. My mother in law came by mid morning and we all watched shows and I had popsicles, red and purple are clearly the only delicious flavors and that really didn't do wonders for my "post baby" look, I wouldn't do that again.

Around noon they said I was very close to being complete and all the hormones and anxiety took over and I threw up all those red and purple popscicles. When it was time to push the nurse held up one of my legs and my husband held up the other. Due to the epidural I had a hard time figuring out exactly how to push, so they turned it down a bit to help. They'd raise my legs, I'd push, he'd come down, they put my legs down and he'd go back up, joy. After a few rounds of this, I told them maybe they shouldn't put my legs back down. The tactic worked and the baby engaged. The dimmed sensations from my epidural made for a strange, frightening experience when the baby began to crown, though after having given birth 3 times I now know fear it a normal part of this phase for me. I was convinced I had ripped open from one end to the other, if you know what I mean. Thankfully I hadn't. My son was born and brought to my chest where I fell in love and he cried. They weighed him and changed him and bathed him and all those things they do and he cried. He didn't stop crying until we nursed. I said to my husband "oh no, we're in for it" because at that moment I knew in my heart he wasn't going to be an "easy" baby and I was right. I think that's where we'll stop for today. He was born at 1:31 pm on August 24th, 2012 and will be 4 next month! Tyler Joseph Duclos made me a mother and it has been quite the transition. Parenthood was much more challenging than I expected. The complete and total self sacrifice required for this little person was overwhelming, but I know it was more than worth it. What about your journey has been different than you expected? I'd love to hear a piece of your story in the comments.