“Itty Bitty” Annabella Arrives

One week ago today I was blessed to witness one of the most joyous and redeeming births…ever!

To make a long story short, Michele and Aaron had a very difficult birth with their first child so things were slightly nerve-wracking throughout their second pregnancy. Even though their son is healthy now, fears of shoulder dystocia, fetal distress, and emergency situations were in the back of everyone’s mind. Hope for a different experience and trust in her body helped get Michele through an unexpected labor and birth.

After much discussion and attempting to induce labor naturally, the decision was made that an induction was medically necessary and was scheduled for 3/21 at 6:00 am. Annabella did not want her momma to go through that apparently! On 3/20 Michele’s water broke but there were no signs of contractions, I think I speak for all of us when I say at this point in time none of us had any idea how things were going to go down. Labor built quickly and by 9:00pm I was being called to join them. Upon arrival I was told she had progressed to 7cm in just a few short hours. Before we knew it push time had arrived! After lots of prayers, hope, and team work Annabella arrived at 10:23!

Michele asked me to attend her birth so they could capture all the moments they were not able to have with Anna’s big brother. I loved that thru all of this the thing that stood out to Michele was the fact that she believes she had to have a rough first experience to truly  enjoy her second birth.

Birth Photography Special – Summer 2013 –

I am so excited to announce I have a new photography partner in crime and we have a special deal just for mammas due this Spring and Summer!

2 birth photographers for less than the price of one!

BBBandBailey

What is “the price”?

The price for BOTH  photographers to attend your birth will be $225.

Birth photographers in the DFW area charge on average $600 per client and some are upwards of $1000

Why so cheap?

We prefer the term affordable rather than cheap. This is a new partnership so we have a system to work out and portfolios to build so we truly appreciate clients who are willing to work with us as we get off the ground. We promise just because our price is reduced we put in the same amount of work and effort all of our full price clients receive. We hope to reach clients that would not be able to afford a full priced birth photographer.

Why 2 photographers?

We formed this “alliance” because we both bring something valuable to the table.

I (Kelsey) have experience in the birth field as a doula and birth instructor. I am proud of my artistic ability and was a photographer for several years, but am a bit rusty on all the latest technology.

Bailey is a more experienced photographer with a great eye and west coast style. She is more technically inclined and has the equipment to back it up. She is also a lighting guru, which tends to be the hardest aspect when it comes to labor and birth photography.

Together we are everything you need to capture the irreplaceable moments of birth.

Having 2 birth photographers on call also reduces the likely hood of the photographer missing your birth

What kind of images will you capture?

Anything you want! Some clients want us there from the moment labor starts and other prefer us to wait outside until right before baby arrives.

You can see my photography archives here.

Bailey’s portfolio includes maternity and newborn photography as well.

What if I don’t want 2 extra people in the room while I birth?

We completely understand and respect your privacy. Birth is a very intimate time and we do not want to disturb your environment. If you prefer one photographer we would discount the price even further to $175. Which ever of us was on call first when your labor begins would be the one to attend.

What happens after the birth?

We typically stay about 1 hour after the birth to capture the first family moments. We would then put together a sneak peek for you available to view within 1 week of your birth. We would then put all of your proofs online in a protected gallery. You can choose from there to order prints or digital copies.

Please contact us with any additional questions you have. We look forward to working with your family during this life changing journey!

Kelsey Schwartz and Bailey Hall

(K) 214-477-2898 (B) 325-669-9336

email: bumpbirthbaby.northtx@yahoo.com

Mockingbird – a reflection on loss

I try to keep a lot of my personal life separated from my business page, but in this line of work it is hard. I get so emotionally invested in the lives of my students and clients and it is hard to draw boundaries.

I was listening to the radio with my daughter last week when a song came on I hadn’t heard in a couple of years. “Mockingbird” by Rob Thomas is a song meant as a break up song I know, but with where my mindset was last week it struck me differently. Read the lyrics or listen to the song and look at it from the perspective of a family who has lost a young child.

Here we stand
Somewhere in between this moment and the end
Will we bend?
Or will we open up and take this whole thing in?
Everybody else is smiling and their smiles dont fade
And you dont even wonder why you just dont think that way
Maybe you and me got lost somewhere
we can’t move or we can’t stay here
Well maybe we’ve just had enough
well maybe we aint meant for this love
You and me tried everything
But still that mocking bird wont sing
Well man this life seems hard enough
Well maybe we aint meant for this love

Take my hand
And I will lead you through the broken promise land
Yes I can, ah yes I can
I can be there when you need it
I’ll give it all till you can’t feel it anymore
I don’t wanna love you now, if you’ll just leave someday
I don’t wanna turn around, if you’ll just walk away
Maybe you and me got lost somewhere
we can’t move or we can’t stay here
Well maybe we’ve just had enough
well maybe we aint meant for this love
You and me tried everything
But still that mocking bird wont sing
Well man this life seems hard enough
Well maybe we aint meant for this love

Maybe you and me got lost somewhere
We can’t move or we can’t stay here
Well maybe we’ve just had enough
well maybe we aint meant for this love
You and me tried everything
But still that mocking bird wont sing
Well man this life seems hard enough
Well maybe we aint meant for this love

Maybe we aint meant for this love
Maybe we aint meant for this love

Think about the lullaby line “hush little baby don’t say a word mommy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird”.  Not every part of the song makes sense from that point of view, but I feel the overall tone sums up how I would feel in that circumstance. I pray that not only do I never have to go through that kind of loss but that everyone reading this does not have to endure that unimaginable pain. For those who have, my heart breaks for you. There are no words, no amount of time that can heal a wound that deep.

I have shared on here before the story of how I became a mom because of another families loss, but I always feel need to share it again. Here are some links to my personal blog that explain the story

http://letters2olivia.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/47-days/

http://letters2olivia.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/your-gaurdian-angel/

Finally I leave you with a few quotes and verses that have been on my heart lately. Please give your babies, new or grown, an extra hug and kiss today. Remember how blessed you are to have them with you.

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” 
―    A.A. Milne

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything,     and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,     a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3     a time to kill and a time to heal,     a time to tear down and a time to build, 4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,     a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,     a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6     a time to search and a time to give up,     a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7     a time to tear and a time to mend,     a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8     a time to love and a time to hate,     a time for war and a time for peace.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 
―    A.A. Milne

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

Beckham’s BIRTHday

Some families bring a smile to your face, others tears to your eyes, and a few make you laugh hysterically while smiling and crying! Lindsay and Adam are THAT couple. From Adam’s exclamations such as, “OH HE’S SO COOL!” and “DOESN”T HIS SWEETNESS MAKE YOU WANT TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY RIGHT NOW!” to Lindsay’s request for a Jimmy John’s Sandwich immediately after birth, they made a 3 day start and stop labor so much fun for those around without even realizing it.

I was so excited when these former students from my birth class asked me to assist them through their labor as a doula and photographer. Their sweet 8 pound (on the dot) baby boy Beckham made his arrival on February 23rd which just happened to be his actual due date (less than 3% of babies arrive on their EDD).  Most of the labor and birth images I captured cannot be shared on the web, but I did want to share some of the sweet family moments from Beckham’s first hours of life.  The joy in the room was contagious and everyone was smiling ear to ear. It was a perfect ending to such a long labor and a beautiful beginning in this family’s new chapter of life.

Cloth Confession #4

“Get me a REAL diaper”

cloth diapers

When we began this journey to cloth diapering my biggest skeptic was my husband. He could wrap his brain around the fact that it would save us money but that was about it. We started off with just 4 diapers so we could get through the majority of the day and then use a disposable at night or on days when I didn’t do laundry in time. I thought after months of discussion and convincing that Thomas was finally on board with using cloth as our main type of diaper, but apparently I was wrong.

 I work 3 half days a week and was getting quite frustrated when I’d come home to find that Thomas hadn’t put Olivia in a cloth diaper while I was gone. It was alway an excuse like “they weren’t stuffed” (we use pocket diapers) or “the pants I wanted her to wear didn’t fit over the cloth”. I never knew diapers could cause such an irritation between parents. What was funny to me was the fact that he never once complained if I was home and changing the diapers. So finally after a long stressful day I snapped (looking back it may have been a tad of an over reaction but it worked so….)

I’m pretty sure I yelled something along these lines, “IF YOU DON’T START USING THE CLOTH DIAPERS I’M JUST GOING TO GO SELL THEM BACK….NO WAIT I’LL JUST GIVE THEM AWAY SO IT’S A REAL WASTE OF MONEY”

Well that got my point across and Thomas suddenly stopped complaining about the cloth diapers. We ordered a few more to add to our supply and can now do laundry every other day. Things seemed to be going much better but I was still skeptical that Thomas was completely on board. I didn’t want to be forcing him to do something he really didn’t want to. Then this morning a wonderful sentence came out of his mouth.

Thomas started a diaper change for Olivia without realizing I hadn’t stuffed the diapers yet after last nights laundry. I figured I he’d just grab a disposable and we’d put her in cloth later, but mid-change he hollered, “Honey can you get me a REAL diaper I only have the cover”. Success! He then told me how he is glad they’re all clean today because the skirt he wanted to put Livy in would be too big if she were to wear a disposable.

I think today has proven that my husband is the true cloth convert of the this family not me. 🙂

Welcome Grayson!

My first birth of 2013 is in the books! Baby Grayson was brought into this world by loving parents Adrienne and Ryan on January 16th. This 7 pound 3 ounce bundle of joy sure did take us all on a crazy (and fast) journey. Here are just a few of the images I was able to capture as this family’s doula and photographer.

GCS 1 16 13 045

I’ll be honest, when I got the text at 6:30am requesting I head to the hospital I was a bit hesitant. Adrienne was only at a 2 and was not have very strong contractions. At this rate it was looking like a long day ahead. Then I realized if I waited any longer traffic would be horrible. So I jumped in the car and headed off…just in the nick of time.

I arrived around 7:30 to find Adrienne and Ryan laboring beautifully on the birth ball. The nurse was telling them they were cleared to walk for a while and in about 30 minutes she’d be back to start the pitocin since Adrienne had not made any progress since the night before when she was admitted for minor complications.

We headed out the door and before we could make it 5 feet *splash* amniotic fluid everywhere! The simple motion of walking ruptured her water and set things in motion.

GCS 1 16 13 001

Back in the room things progressed quickly. I hardly had time to take any photos since her contractions picked up in intensity. Another exam revealed in less than 2 hours dilation had progressed from a 2 to a 9. With more control than most first time moms (or any laboring woman for that matter) have, Adrienne fought through 30 minutes of rough labor.

GCS 1 16 13 006 - Copy GCS 1 16 13 009 - Copy

Before long she was ready to push and Grayson made his arrival at 8:57.

GCS 1 16 13 041 - Copy GCS 1 16 13 078 - Copy GCS 1 16 13 082 GCS 1 16 13 092

I can only hope the rest of my births for 2013 go as smoothly and beautifully as baby Graysons’.

Congratulations to the wonderful family! Thank you for letting me be a part of this special journey 🙂

Labor is a beautiful thing

Labor is defined in many ways

la·bor
(lbr)

n.

1. a. Physical or mental exertion, especially when difficult or exhausting; work. See Synonyms at work.

    b. Something produced by work.
2. A specific task.
3. A particular form of work or method of working: manual labor.
4. Work for wages.
5. a. Workers considered as a group.

    b. The trade union movement, especially its officials.
6. A political party representing workers’ interests, especially in Great Britain.
7. The process by which childbirth occurs, beginning with contractions of the uterus and ending with the expulsion of the infant and the placenta.
Gump 9 26 12 002
 As a birth photographer and doula my job (labor) is to help a family through birth (labor). The two meanings go hand in hand for me. Unlike most people (especially women) I look forward to labor. I use words like exciting, perfect, and BEAUTIFUL to describe the hard work I see put forth by mothers. When you’re going through it, the task of bringing a baby into this world can seem daunting and impossible, but more and more moms are starting to see the beauty and once in a life time moments that occur through their labor. I love when clients allow me to photograph and preserve these memories.
The final push
No matter how a labor ends (natural, medicated, or cesarean) experiencing the power of your body and feeling you and your unborn child working together is an emotion that can never be duplicated. Whether for one contraction or one hundred, I would encourage every woman, who is able, to experience some degree of labor.
Gump 9 26 12 007
For couples who tackle labor together, the process takes on a whole new dimension. Seeing not only a child but a family be born is a very intimate time a lot of people are not comfortable sharing with outsiders. However, couples now are starting to realize having photos taken of BOTH of them through the labor can be a testament to their grown child about how much love there was as he or she was welcomed into the world.
MJO 12 22 12 096 DSC_0014 Labor
Here are just a few more of my favorite moments I captured through 2012. Thank you to all the families who allowed me to be a part of your births and for those planning on having me attend their’s this year! I cannot wait to experience the miracle of life again and again for many years to come.
and of course you can’t have this many labor photos without a couple of baby photos 🙂

Cloth Confession #3

I keep waiting for the smell…

cloth-diapers-line

While trying to figure out if I should cloth diaper or not I read a lot of discussion boards aimed toward cloth mommas. A common concern I saw was that the diapers after a time would start to smell like ammonia or they couldn’t get the poopy smell out.

**Side note have you ever done something kind of strange and thought, “wow I’ve turned into a freak…well other moms must do it….ok this isn’t so weird”**

I now find myself constantly sniffing my daughters diapers while hanging them to dry, while stuffing the inserts, and while putting them up (now the side note makes sense right?). I guess I’m washing them correctly or I’m just lucky! 3 months in and still no smell…maybe it takes longer to develop? Honestly I’m stumped on this one but excited at the same time that I don’t have to deal with a stinky baby or unpleasant diapers 🙂

Speaking of cloth diapers! I am co-hosting another “Intro to Cloth Diapering” Class with Joyful Baby Planning!

Saturday January 9th @4:30 Allen Birthing Center 406 W. Main Allen, TX 75013

RSVP on Facebook today!