Hey, friends! It’s been so incredibly quiet over here- I know. As most of you probably know my husband, Christopher, & I were expecting a new baby boy and while I planned to take a maternity leave I had to take off a little earlier than expected. I decided after much thought to put down the social media for awhile and focus on my health and delivering this baby! I have always been SO terrified of birth. I envisioned passing out while pushing, being in labor for 3,987 hours… you get the point. I was coming up with every worst case scenario so I took extra time off to help prepare myself and get in a positive mind set for Chandler. After all he was going to feed off of my energy and I wanted to put out positive vibes for him.
So much has happened while I’ve been away and while I totally want to share the 42,547 photos I took of Chandler in just 2 short months I’ll just give you the highlights!
Here’s what’s happened:
— Starting with the CRAZIEST thing I think I’ve ever done… I took my maternity photos just hours before going into labor. Yes, you read that right. I took my maternity photos and Chandler was born just 20 hours later. Please please don’t follow my example. Bad Heather! Bad Photographer showing a BAD example. Haha! The honest truth is I was tired. So very very tired. I didn’t want to do maternity photos but I knew if I didn’t take the opportunity to do them while I could I would regret it. So I threw myself together, walked a block from my house, sweated profusely (because its the middle of summer- IN TEXAS), and took those maternity photos.
Props to my clients! Getting your picture taken is hard. But boy am I glad I have these to look back on- I almost can’t believe I was THAT pregnant once!
–Next craziest thing I did… Shot a wedding with Amber Elaine at 36 weeks pregnant! And guess what? SHE WAS PREGNANT TOO!
This is baby #1 for me and baby #5 for Amber! She’s a professional at the bump pics. We are the cutest!
–Baby Chandler & I were thrown the most wonderful baby shower. We had so many amazing people come out and celebrate us! Our baby shower was held at Lauren Warner’s house with the cutest “woodlands” theme. Lauren and her mom, Sabre, did such a great job with the decor, games, invitations, etc. Can you believe how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do?
Looking at these photos again while I make this blog fills my heart. It reminds me once again of the amazing people in my life. Those who traveled far to be here with me on this day & those who sent gifts. Thank you to my WONDERFUL hosts! …. aaaaaaand thank you to all of my guests who were patient with me while I put MY own party on hold so that I could take pictures of everything!
–LABOR. This was something I was dreading. Absolutely did not want to have to do it. If we are being honest here I have a zero pain tolerance. I was very afraid, but I spent my last few weeks while being pregnant preparing. Reciting positive affirmations to myself, reminding myself that it would be ok and cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning. After my maternity session, that took place just hours before Chandler arrived, I went home and started preparing to leave the house and go to the hospital. IT WAS BABY TIME! We loaded up the car, drove to the hospital and went inside to check in. After checking in and getting a room things started feeling real. Like really real. After a few hours of being at the hospital I finally got the medicine to jump start labor. I got those meds around 2:00 AM. I anticipated getting some sleep but I was a combination of excited for Chandler to arrive and nervous about what contractions would feel like. Around 11:00 AM my doctor came in. He greeted me, sat down at the end of the bed, and broke my water. At that point I really felt like it was go time. Contractions started in soon after and so did a little bit of the pain. At first I would hold my breath through the contractions but the nurse gave me the BEST piece of advice- breathe through them. Once I started doing that the contractions became so much more bearable. Around noon is when I was able to get my epidural. This was another thing I was super nervous about. When I saw the anesthesiologist enter the room with his giant cart of supplies my heart beat started rising! The nurse started preparing the room, raising the bed, & the anesthesiologist started prepping the back area getting ready to administer the shot. With the support of my amazing husband I took the epidural shot like a champ! When I tell you that being awake while having no control over the bottom half of your body is weird- IT IS WEIRD. After the epidural I had to receive some pain meds to help with the contractions because the epidural didn’t work 100%, but once I got those pain meds I was able to sleep through labor. Get this guys: The nurse had to wake me up to tell me I was dilated to a 10!! She had to wake me up! She sat the hospital bed up to a chair like position and guess what? I took ANOTHER NAP. Y’all I was extra tired. I took another 45 minute nap while dilated at a 10. After I felt rested enough I woke up and started pushing. 5-6 pushes with the nurse and she went ahead and called the doctor in! Yay! Chandler made is arrival at 4:00 PM. And he was born with the most AMAZING head of hair. I was in awe! From the time I checked into the hospital to the time Chandler was born was not even an entire 24 hours. My first pregnancy and it was such a breeze. To say I am thankful just wouldn’t accurately describe it!
The night Chandler was born I had so much help! I am so thankful because I was able to grab a few hours of sleep. It was enough sleep to give me the little bit of energy I needed to snap a few photos of my NEW baby! How could I not?
–I just could not pass up the opportunity to have a Fresh 48 session with my sweet little family. The wonderful and talented Mercedes Sudheimer with MG Photography came to the hospital and took our first set of family portraits ever! A lot of people wondered why I chose a photographer with a different ‘style’ than mine and my answer to that is really simple. Besides that Mercedes is such a great person & photographer I just wanted something different. That simple!
A huge shout out to my sister & everyone that was there at the birth. My family knows VERY well how important it is to me that I have special moments captured. So they all rallied together to make sure that someone had the camera in their hands to capture each moment. From the very last minute maternity photos, prepping to go to the hospital, checking in, labor, delivering and all of the sweetness that followed… It was all captured and it was all thanks to them. It’s the reason I am able to share with you what has been going on in my life the past few months!
Our first week home was rough. Becoming a mom to a little tiny baby who depends on you for EVERYTHING is hard. If that sentence alone didn’t tell you all you needed to know…. ‘depends on you for everything.’ Still I made sure that we captured his tiny little details at just 1 week old.
Of course there have been approximately 34,567 more cell phone shots that have been taken since Chandler’s been born but 1 blog post couldn’t possibly handle all of that cuteness! After his birth I finally ventured out of the house, attended doctor’s appointments and paced back & fourth in my bedroom rocking Chandler to sleep. It seemed as though it was wake up, change a diaper, make a bottle, feed my little screaming angel, burp said angel, rock him to sleep, get up, wash bottles, rush back to bed to try to catch a little sleep while he slept. AND THEN…. do it all over again. This newborn/mom gig is tough! I have gained a whole new respect for it. But I can’t stay mad. Chandler wears me out but in the best way!
Just hours before I gave birth I took the cousins for a walk, checked into the hospital and before you knew it- headed home!
As much as I would love to carry around my “big girl” camera all of the time I think my family might start leaving me at home. So for all of those day to day moments that still deserved to be captured I use my phone. Time flew by because just like that one week turned into one month REAL quick!
Finally! FAMILY PHOTOS–
Remember guys… It’s July! I did not want to take pictures on a summer evening because who does? But Chandler will only stay little for so long and we had a 3rd grader. Third! So we made plans to shoot family portraits, got outfits together & did it. It never gets easier play photographer & model but I will look back on these pictures as short as 6 months down the road and say: “Oh my goodness, look how little Chandler was!”
This has been a big year for us- our family has grown and it’s my favorite thing about 2019!