After A Long 9 Months

On November 13, 2016, I made my last post on my blog. Two days prior, my daughter Jennifer was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and she spent much of the rest of 2016 and several weeks of 2017 in the hospital. In March, she had a bone marrow transplant. It has been a long process but slowly she is getting better.  And as she gets stronger, I will be able to work more hours again. For now, I am being selective in how many jobs I take each month so I can continue to care for her and keep up. Hopefully by January, I will be back full time once again.

I am currently however accepting weddings for Summer/Fall 2018. I also am accepting lifestyle and birth sessions. Contact me for more information.

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Cora Is One | A Look Back |

A year ago, I spent my day with a couple of the most darling little girls as we waited for their sister Cora to be born!  I had previously done Cora’s big sister Charlotte’s birth story, which led to a wonderful friendship with her mom Kristen.

Happy Birthday Cora!

 

 

Welcome Braelon| Emotions Pulled in All Directions|

Three births in one week, with one in Cleveland and two in the Columbus area makes for one emotional week.  And emotions ran high, during the birth of Baby #3.

I first met Jodi at a Panera in late April.  She had contacted me and hoped to become part of my 21 Birth Days Photography Project.  I recognized her from the pictures of her I had saw on Facebook. She was a fair skinned woman into her third trimester.  With one of her children in toe, she sat down across from me and introduced herself.

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I noticed Jodi seemed nervous about this pregnancy as she smile and laughed between her words, as if she hoped it would help her cope with the previous still born she had nearly two years prior and with doctors telling her unborn baby may have some health issues.  As Jodi fidgeted with her hands, she explained she had learned the limbs of her baby were measuring weeks behind where they should.  At that point, genetic testing had been inconclusive but doctors were fearing Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 1, which would cause the baby to have fragile bones and even a vaginal birth could cause bones to break.

Jodi continued to undergo testing and was scheduled to deliver at Nationwide Children’s Hospital at thirty-seven weeks, just a few days prior to where her baby hide died in womb two years prior.  As his limbs continues to measure small, doctors again and again came back with no positive results of any genetic diseases.  Although delighted with the results, Jodi decided to still deliver at Nationwide.

Jodi arrived at the hospital at approximately 11:30am and pitocin was started at about 1:30pm.  Jodi had opted to not get an epidural because in her three previous pregnancies, she did not think they worked well for her.  As day fell into night, and pain meds  no longer helping her cope, she changed her mind and decided to try the epidural to relieve some of her pain.  Soon after she received the epidural, Jodi became fully dilated. With a  small push, the nurse attending to Jodi, decided it was time to call in the OB to deliver.

Soon the room was bustling with lots of people in blue and green coats and mask. With Nationwide being a teaching hospital, interns and resident doctors accompanied with  doctors soon filled the room.  A table of obstetric tools on a blue cloth now was uncovered, the bottom part of the bed was lowered, and the heat lamp above the bassinet was turned on. Jodi was instructed to take in a deep breath and let it out and then after breathing in again told to give a push.  With a couple small pushes, Jodi delivered her baby boy shortly before midnight.DSC_6786DSC_6702

Despite the easy delivery and strong heart, her little boy was having some troubles breathing, which we were told is  common for boys born at the 37 week gestation. Jodi watched on with her eyes filled with tears as the pediatrician and the intern worked on the small baby.  As we watched them squeeze the blue filled balloon of air connected to a mask that covered his small face, the child’s chest rose and fell caving deep into his little body. They took breaks every few minutes stirring his body and getting him to cry out.  And after spending several minutes working on him, they laid the baby, who was connected to monitors, on Jodi’s chest.

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Tears continued to fall from Jodi’s eyes as she worried about her little boy that laid on her. Her face was filled with both fear and exhaustion and quickly she asked them to take her baby as she wanted him to receive the care he needed. Attempting to insure her they were watching the monitors hooked to him, Jodi wasn’t having it. Soon they picked up his small little body and placed him back under the heat lamp and waited for the NICU transport team to come to her room. The baby boy was transported to the NICU, with making a short stop in the waiting room to meet grandparents.

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Because this Columbus, Ohio hospital is over two hours from my home, expenses have been incurred from doing this birth story, including gas, parking, food, etc. a Go Fund Me account has been started to help cover the cost of this Birth Photography Story. Any funds raised above the goal will go to covering future births for the 21 Birth Days Project. No mother is turned away once qualified for the project for inability to pay for services.

Go Fund Me

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After speaking to Jodi this morning, the baby boy is still getting care in the NICU and mommy has gotten to hold him for periods of time.  He weighs 5 pounds 8 ounces and is 18 inches long.

Welcome Austin Dylan | A Birth Story |

Life brings a certain amount of uncertainty.  Plans can be made and plans can be changed.  The plan was to photograph Austin’s birth on July 9 when his mommy was to have a c-section.  But on Sunday, May 29 both those plans changed.

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I first met Tess many years ago when her sister became college  roommates with my oldest daughter, Jessica. Tess, like her sister, was very short with deep black curly hair.  Over the course of the next decade, I would see Tess from time to time,  including at the birth of her first son in September of 2014.  Although Tess had planned for a vaginal birth, her little guy wasn’t having it and Aiden was born via cesarean.

On Saturday,  May 28 Tess was experiencing what she hoped was Braxton Hicks but when the pain didn’t subside,  Tess’s husband decided to take her to the hospital to be checked.  Sure enough Tess was in labor, despite it was only her 34th week.  The hospital she was suppose to deliver at, didn’t have a Level 1 NICU,  and so they transported her to another hospital,  where Tess would be having a vaginal birth.

When I arrived at 2pm, Tess was already at 10 cm., but had yet start to push.  They were allowing the baby to move further into the birth canal before having her push.  Finally at about 3:20pm, it was time and for the next 100 plus minutes, Tess would push until at 4:59 p.m., Austin was born.

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For awhile, Tess didn’t believe she would be strong enough to push Austin out. As she pushed through three counts of ten, Tess struggled to push for such long periods.  As her husband counted down from ten, I purposely whispered one ahead of him , joking if God had given us only nine fingers, we would be only counting to nine.  Tess didn’t seem to mind pushing for shorter counts.

When the moments of those final pushes arrived, the room instantly became overran by hospital staff, including a resident doctor, a obgyn, a pediatrician,  a respiratory therapist,  and nursing staff. Austin appeared limp with his chest caving in on himself and the respiratory therapist, pediatrician,  and nurses worked on him for several minutes before giving mom a quick glance of her new  five pound six ounce baby and rushing him to the NICU.

Over the course of the next several hours, Austin would begin to breath room air and prove himself to be much stronger than many 34 week infants. Tess was able to feed him get some skin to skin time with him. When I left Cleveland, it appeared Austin wouldn’t be needing to stay as long as once thought and in short time would be able to join mom, dad, and big brother at home.

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