the birth of seth tyrus maxwell, part two.

Be sure to read the first part of this incredible birth story, here.
Where was I? Oh yes, this incredible, and surprisingly big, baby boy was born.8lbs 14oz 21 14/in … and with a set of healthy lungs!Precious moments with his momma. It was so amazing to watch him just watching her face.Daddy stood by as they did a newborn screening and footprints. 

Big brother Anthem meeting him for the first time. <3
I’m pretty sure he loved him. :)

Such an honour to know such a beautiful family. What a memorable day, the birthday of Seth Tyrus Maxwell.

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a {different} beautiful dream.

It’s a moment I will never forget, probably because it was one that would either scar a person for life, or move them to tears. It was the very first time I witnessed a birth, at the young age of 13. I was watching the kiddos of my mom’s friend while she labored away in their home. My mom was there and as the time of their daughter’s birth neared, they asked me if I would like to be in the room. I decided I did and I have never regretted that decision since. It was beautiful and I knew at the moment, that was what I hoped for some day. I always knew I wanted a family (being the eldest, I always did), but now I knew how I wanted to birth my children. In the peace of our home.

Years later, I was 24 weeks pregnant, I had a wonderful midwife and a beautiful birth story all planned out.  But they were telling me that I was Group B Strep positive and I was told that I wouldn’t be able to have the home birth I had always dreamt of (I later learned, you actually can be GBS + and still have a home birth, but thankfully He knew what we needed at the time). I was crushed. I mean, devesated. I balled and balled. Ted, who was never fully at peace with the idea of a home birth, finally felt peace and knew this was the best decision for us. Then, at almost 42 weeks they told me the likelihood of me having to have a c-section was great. Many factors that weren’t adding up. I felt like the biggest failure, frustrated with my body for being unable to have my baby naturally.

I won’t go into detail Chase’s birth story, if you’re really curious – just click here as I have written his birth story online once before. To sum it up, 42 hours of labor, 3.5 hours of pushing, making it all the way to 10cm only to have him get stuck and unable to fit and come out. I had him by c-section, totally exhausted and drugged up and unable to remember anything or hold him until a day later.

My perspective has greatly changed since we’ve lost Eisley. I have since realized, through our own life experience, that any birth story that is able to bring the baby to your arms, alive, is the really best birth story there is.

Words can’t express how incredibly thankful I am that I was able to have Eisley naturally (vaginally) 73 hours of labor later I met our sweet girl face to face. It wasn’t what I had dreamt when I thought of having a baby but I am so very thankful that I was able to hold my daughter, to see her precious face before we said goodbye, and because of that, I wouldn’t trade any of those 73 hours in for anything. (we just recently had the 2nd anniversaries or her death -september 14th and her birthday – september 17th. Blog post about those precious anniversaries, soon.)

I decided to schedule a c-section with Shailo. There was really no question in my mind. I knew I couldn’t go through another long labor that would potentially result in a c-section, again. And also, I felt a natural birth was too traumatic from going through what we had with Eisley just shy of 14 months before. So, in regards to a c-section, even though it was a dream lost – I was able to have two beautiful boys due to them. So very thankful we live in a day and age that it is possible.

I kind of digress, but I wanted to share a bit of my heart behind what I’m about what I am really blogging about. When I was pregnant with Chase, Eisley and Shailo I enjoyed looking through photographs of birth stories – home births, c-section births, hospital births… I was constantly moved to tears by them. In my pregnancy with Shailo I really felt that God gave me an incredible dream. I wanted to be a birth photographer. I wanted to capture “that moment” for another. You know, that one moment when the mother first meets their baby face to face. The moment when they birth their baby and he/she is placed on their chest. The incredible emotion, the overwhelming love… that moment. That specific moment was one that I was unable to have but I wanted to capture that for someone else.

And, the story beforehand and those precious moments afterwards. But especially the moment the momma (and daddy) first sees their little one.

The question, “How could you photograph…”that moment”… something you’ve never experienced yourself?” started to plague my mind. And while that makes total sense in a way, I had to battle that. I honestly think there will always be this yearning in my heart. Wondering what “that” moment would be like. And even without the experience of a home birth or a completely natural, un-medicated birth, I feel that yearning so strong that I am able to truly capture the moments I would believe to be beautiful – as if it were my birth story. What would I want captured?

Another thing that began to draw out insecurity from within me was knowing that I wasn’t a professional photographer, so how could I just jump right in. My wonderful hubby jumped on board with my dream and wanted to help me in any way possible. So he has been teaching me. :) I have a lot to learn but I can already see a change in the work that I do. And also, I don’t want to be a professional photographer, maybe not ever, right now I just know I want to understand the camera and how to best captures those moments for someone else.

So how do I begin?

I knew that I wanted to start with friends, but even with close friends… how do you ask something like that? “Hi, I’d like to photograph your birth story, what do ya think?” The first thought of many is most likely – “I don’t want …down there… photographed!” haha. Thankfully, I was spared that awkward conversation and just 3 weeks after I shared this dream with Ted (October 2011), a friend of mine called me. She asked if I would consider photographing the birth of their son, Seth. I literally got goosebumps and tears filled my eyes. I was honoured to shoot my first birth in April.

During the birth of my friend Brittany’s son, I was asked to shoot my second birth by another dear friend, Bethany. She was Brittany’s doula and a long time friend and inspiration of mine. The amazing thing is that when I had shared with Ted about my dream, I had told Ted that I wanted to ask Bethany when they got pregnant with their next baby. And not too long later, they shared they were pregnant with baby #7! On September 15th, just a few weeks ago, I shot my second birth – the beautiful birth of their 4th daughter; Lilyana Elaine.

I hope to share both birth stories here soon. Today I will be posting the birth story of Seth Tyrus Maxwell (with permission.)

I am hoping for more wonderful opportunities like the two I’ve had this year. So very thankful for this dream I believe He’s given me and can’t wait to see how He will use this and bless others with it! Possible overseas someday? We shall see!

I just wanted to share a little bit about the story behind this dream that I believe God’s birthed in me (pun intended ;)) Thanks for stopping by!

bump to baby (a before & after)

we took a few shots during out maternity shoot with an idea to copy cat that very pose later, when “Boy S” came along. well, the outfit we chose fit a lot quicker than i had imagined. in fact it’s getting pretty snug. so we hurried along to our favourite place to shoot in our town; Old Town FoCo.

before (37 weeks pregnant) and after (Shailo, 2 months old)

this photo is a personal fave of the bunch because of his adorable little smirk, but as you can see it didn’t really copy cat the before picture ;)

{adore}

i should be posting a 3rd photo we did here, however …

as you can read on his face; DISTRACTED. so we never did capture that exact shot. What, might you ask, could possibly be distracting him from such a fun photo shoot (note the sarcasm, I mean, he’s 2)?!

say cheese! a camera, of course! We noticed his interest in Ted’s camera and this year spotted this amazing “kid’s tough” digital camera and knew this would be the perfect christmas gift for Chasey-boy.

and oh. my. word. does he love it.

i’ll be posting his photos soon! i’m planning to do a little series as he photographs!

Shailo’s 2 month photos coming soon too!

p.s. check out this amazing photo Ted took which captured the colour of Shai’s eyes!

Pregnancy After Loss {Part 1}: two pink lines & the feelings that followed.

March 4th, 2011- I ran to the grocery around 6 am and bought pregnancy tests and tampons; I knew it was one of the two. I headed home with this gut feeling but with a hope that maybe I was wrong. I could barely sleep the night before, out of fear that I was right, that I was a week late because I was pregnant again. We had planned on trying for another little one late summer, after I’d gotten to a healthy weight and place. I had just finished week 3 in a program called TurboFire and really wanted to be healthy and fit before I got pregnant again. I still had 17 weeks to go before I thought I’d ever have to “prepare” my heart and mind for another pregnancy. So according to our “plan”… there was just no way I could be pregnant.

I hurried home and used one test and watched with fear and utter shock as two pink lines showed up immediately. I was pregnant again?! …6 months after losing Eisley, I was pregnant again. How could I be pregnant so soon and while I’m still grieving?! I slapped my hand over my mouth and started panicking. I paced around the bathroom for a while and then ripped open another test and used it. Again, two pink lines.

I ran to our room where Ted and Chase were still sound asleep and woke Ted. I told him I had taken two tests and that I was pregnant again (I had warned him the night before I would be doing getting tests). As I shared we were pregnant again, I looked up at the wall beside our bed to see a photo of Eisley and me. Suddenly, I couldn’t breath. I began to panic. Memouries flooded my mind, the fear overwhelming. Ted sat up quickly and told me to calm down, for the baby, which made me freak out a little more. There was another little baby inside of me… so soon after Eisley’s death. I had another little one to take care or, to worry for…Ted finally calmed me down and just held me. I asked him how we were going to do this. He told me he was excited and that it would be probably be terrifying and bring up a lot of memouries but that we can do this. He believed, from the beginning, that this pregnancy would like it was with Chase.

I hoped, with everything in me, that he was right but the fear swept in much faster and swifter than the hope stayed…

Part 2 coming soon.

Here we…document… again!

So round 2 of documenting baby and I’s growth. This time I’m 16-18 pounds heavier than the beginning with Chase, but I’m not letting that ruin my documenting of this lil one. I guess I will be one of those moms who doesn’t loose the first baby’s weight til the second one comes! And I’m okay with that, especially because they’re only 17 months apart! (Whew, that still gets me, haha). Here we go again!

Introducing {little baby D}. (D for Davis) This time around, that’ll be his/her blog name. I think I am 7-8 weeks along. We’ll see May 7th at my first appointment.

Welcome sweet baby, can’t wait to meet you!