Kelsey’s Top 5: Reasons to become a midwife

5. This country NEEDS more CNMs. The biggest difference between most midwives and most OBs is their philosophy on patient care. Where OBs are looking for a problem or focused on their own schedule midwives are focused on their client; what does this mom need, what are HER preferences, how can I make her more comfortable.  “For normal births, midwives offer care at a lower cost, use lower intervention rates, have lower mortality and morbidity as a result of fewer interventions, and fewer recovery complications.” So why are less than 10% of babies in this country born with midwives? I plan to be an evidence based care provider, like all should be, and to give my clients every opportunity to have the birth of their dreams.

4.  My motivation is to help others not myself. The transition from doula to midwife seemed like a no brainer to me. I’m actually surprised more doulas do not go to midwifery school. It filled my heart to help moms through tough labors, to support people as they became parents, and to encourage friends to keep going when they wanted to give up. To know I will soon (yes I’m calling 8 years soon!) be back to serving families is what gets me excited for and will get me through school.

3. Now that I’ve witnessed the miracle of life again and again I can’t stop. Attending births as a photographer and doula has been the greatest experience of my life so far (aside from my own birth 😉 ). It is truly indescribable. The day I am able to be the care provider and have midwifery be my full time job can not come soon enough. When I thought about giving up attending births all together to simplify my schedule, I was on the verge of tears. Deciding to become a midwife means I will get to have this amazing opportunity on a weekly basis.

The 2nd birth I attended 9/29/12

The 2nd birth I attended 9/29/12

2. I don’t want to “work”. You know that old phrase “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”? That is what I want! That is what I will have! I know the 2 am calls and 24+hr labors are tough, but I don’t care. Working in a birth center has given me a first hand look at all the hard work that goes into being a successful midwife that clients never see. I am ready for the challenge!

1. This is my calling. Plain and simple, I prayed and prayed about this and one day it just clicked that I HAD to return to school. I was good at birth photography but not amazing, and I was a good doula but could not commit full time. Between my family and co-workers constantly telling me “sooner or later you’ll be a midwife”, I should have known it would only be a matter of time before I’d have to say, “you were right”. Everything in my life has led me to this decision. If I had gone to college right out of high school it would never have been for midwifery or even nursing for that matter. I had to go on this journey to find the right career for me. There are still moments when I think this will be impossible, but I know God has a plan and I wouldn’t have this drive if I wasn’t meant to complete this mission.

Fundraising OPEN!

college-savings-1

My “Support” Page has been updated and my fundraising campaign is ready to go! I am super nervous and excited to see how this goes. I truly hope my expectations are blown out of the water and I have plenty of funds left over to start a “Future Midwife Scholarship” (creative name ideas for the scholarship are welcome). This dream is not for me; it is for the families that deserve to have access to midwifery care.

Sean’s Surprise Birthday

I never know how parents, especially first time parents, keep from finding out the gender of their baby. Tears and anticipation filled the room as Sean made his entrance into this world. His parents were beyond joyful to meet him (and find out he is a him) after a short and intense labor. Not a dry eye in the room as his mom proclaimed, “I have waited my whole life for you”. This couples love for each other and their newborn son does not come through in these photos. I know parents love their children, but Sean will be cherished each moment of each day.

 

 

 

 

To be a part of this birth as a doula and photographer was very bitter sweet as I will be taking a break from both soon (more details will be posted later).  I thank them from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to serve them.

Caden James

A write up for this sweet birth is coming soon but I couldn’t wait to get the picture sneak peek up for the family! Enojy 🙂

Caden James

4/30/2013 3:56am 7lbs 2oz

Joyful Baby Momma

You might be thinking the name of this post is a little  out of the ordinary compared to my usual birth sneak peek posts, and it is! For several reasons:

  1. I couldn’t use baby’s name in the title because this sweet girl is still being referred to as “new baby”.
  2. Her parent like unordinary names…hence why they’re being a little indecisive about her name 😉
  3. This was the birth of my friend and co-birth field worker/associate/referral/personal diaper supplier, Kristina who operates “JOYFUL BABY PLANNING

Title make more sense now? 🙂

I was so excited when she asked me to capture the moments right after the birth of her next “surprise baby”. The only scary part was her last labor for her 2nd child was very fast and we were all prepared for this one be even quicker. “I know I’m going to have this baby in the car,” she told me several times, and that prediction wasn’t far from true.

We arrived at the birth center at the same time (just 2 hours after she text me “I think I might be in labor”) and she hurried inside to be checked. 10cm! She had showed up complete and ready to push. It wasn’t too long of a wait before a screaming, pink baby made her debut. Her parents were so relieved to have her in their arms they didn’t even check for gender until about 3 minutes after birth!

It's a Girl

It’s a Girl

The great moments didn’t stop there! Since she arrived so quickly they had time to call their other two kiddos and tell them the good news….or bad news to big brother who was certain the new baby was going to be a boy.

Baby Girl R 4 19 13 057

Listening for a reaction from big brother…something…anything

He was not happy with the result, but his reaction sure was amusing for all in birth room! After crying, "nooo" he hung up on his parents. I'm sure he'll come around.

He was not happy, but his reaction sure was amusing for all of us in birth room! After crying, “nooo” he hung up on his parents. I’m sure he’ll come around.

I am so blessed to have been able to witness the birth of this family’s newest addition, and look forward to learning what name this precious girl has been given.

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

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. 🙂

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 🙂