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Congratulations “P Family!” On September 7th, 2012 they welcomed their third child into the world…a surprise BOY after two girls! This was a very special birth for me – it my last in 2012 before my maternity leave – AND it was super awesome ūüôā This family practices the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, and had both of their two girls naturally in the hospital. Their doula moved away (lucky for me!) and I was brought onto their birth team as the doula and birth photographer. I experienced something extra special while watching this mama in labor… it was as if I was watching myself. We labor and birth very similar so while I was observing I got a glimpse into what my own doula experiences. Wow, pretty profound morning! I was called early in the morning and joined them while it was still dark. We hung out in the bathroom having light conversation and laughing at the old way of timing contractions vs. the new “apps.” They even had their last birth contractions on paper to show me. Mama was relaxed and somewhat in denial still (she had been experiencing practice contractions for a few weeks), but daddy and I knew it was the day and that it wouldn’t take long. When we arrived at the hospital a few hours later, mama was still smiling and calm, completely trusting her body and relaxing with each birth wave. The nurse said “well, I’m gonna have to check you to see if we are going to admit you…” I was laughing inside thinking, “well, the nurse will have a good surprise when she finds out this baby is coming within an hour!” And low and behold, mama P heard the news of her life when her exam revealed “just a rim of cervix left” (aka: almost 10 cm dilated). She erupted in glorious happy tears and soon the urge to push came. I LOVED our OBgyn and Nurse. It could not have gone better. Plus, there was lovely light pouring through window (always a plus for birth photographers who only use flash when needed). 15 minutes and a few pushes later, baby Charles was born! “I have a SON?! Oh my God, I have a SON!” ¬†Beautiful family, beautiful birth. Thank you P Family for inviting me. XOXO

 

This beautiful couple, the “M Family” had their first baby and I was blessed to attend and capture the birth. They kept the sex of the baby a surprise – I love that! – and little Nash kept his parents on their toes the last few weeks. At 39 weeks he TURNED from vertex to breech presentation. This mama wanted her little baby to choose his birthday, so she opted out of an elective cesarean at 39 weeks and instead used Chiropractic care, Accupuncture, and various other natural methods to encourage her baby to turn back to a vertex position. It worked! And then we waited…early labor started on Sunday August 12th during a wild tropical storm when mama was 41.2 weeks. I joined the family for doula support for about 9 hours. When I could tell it was tapering off instead of getting closer to birth, I gave the family privacy to rest and recoup for the big day. I went home and waited…and didn’t get called back for a few days! Sometimes, that is how birth is. It’s not always a quick process…and that’s OK! Baby Nash chose Thursday August 16th for his birth day – at 41.6 weeks. I am so happy for this mama because she worked hard for 5 days to birth her sweet son. It was a fabulous day and a beautiful birth.¬†Welcome earthside, baby Nash! xoxo

I am a huge breastfeeding advocate and was thrilled to be invited to photograph The Big Latch On event at Babies in Bloom this year. There was a fabulous turnout of almost 60 families! Even a few dads came out to support this worthy cause and their wives. At the beginning of the event there was a table to sign in and pick up your raffle ticket, nursing toddler-T, and gift. Refreshments were served for the gathering mamas and the official latch happened at 10:30am. We had a great time mingling and the playing with the adorable kiddos. One even wanted to help me photograph! I was very proud that a few of my Bradley students were there ūüôā ¬†It was a great morning and a very neat way to celebrate the beauty of breastfeeding. {see ordering instructions below}

If you were a participant in this event and would like to order images, please go to the following online GALLERY¬†{There are a total of 129 images – not all of them are posted here}. Enter the password “babiesinbloom”

The gallery will be live for 3 weeks. In that time you may order your images at a special discounted rate for the event. All orders will be placed on September 14th

and will be available to pick up in Temecula at no charge, or you can choose shipping for $8.50.  Standard sales tax for Temecula applies to all orders.

The following products are available to order through the gallery:

~ Print sizes: 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, and 16×20

~Digital negatives with print release

~FREE 5×7 Group Photo with each print order

I am donating 15% of all proceeds to www.ImprovingBirth.org !

On May 12, 2012, my friend and fellow Bradley Method instructor, Rachel, had her second baby at home in water. An hour after I arrived, Levi Harris arrived at 8:49pm, weighing 8pounds 7ounces. It was a beautiful birth attended by one of San Diego’s finest home birth midwives, Michelle Freund. Big sister Galilee was very excited to see the arrival of her little brother. She played with grandma in the back room and then joined happily to watch the quick water birth. This family is so fun! I was blessed to attend and capture this special moment for them. Thank you for having me Harris family! Welcome to the world little Levi. xoxo

This is such a fun family! We had a great time in the park last weekend. Super cute big sisters are having a surprise sex little sibling – and I am the excited doula & birth photographer that can’t wait to find out who this little baby is ūüôā The girls hung in there pretty good, considering they go to bed at 7pm and that is when we ended our session. How beautiful is this mama?! xoxo

These sweet babies were born at 32 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 2 months. I had the pleasure of dating their uncle when I was in high school. Little JJ was named after his uncle, who passed away at the young age of 18 years.¬†Their grandma is a very special lady and attended my first birth. This family means a lot to me and I’m honored to have been their doula and photographer! ¬†Here they are, Drew and JJ, at 9 & 10 lbs and perfectly healthy. Such a miracle! Thank you “L” family for trusting me with your precious cargo. It was an awesome day! Mom and Grandma ROCKED as my assistants. We were laughing, sweating, and thankful the men stayed inside to watch the Olympics while we did our girl thing on the front porch. It was a gorgeous summer day in San Diego, so this session was held outside in the shade. I know, I know. We ARE spoiled. So much fun! I can’t wait to watch them grow ūüôā xoxo

I met the “M” family at the end of their third trimester. What a lovely family! They are expecting their first baby any day (or week) now and the sex is a surprise. That is always so fun for me as the Doula and Birth Photographer. I can’t wait! I love seeing the look on their eyes and feeling the love in the air when they call the sex and we hear the baby’s name. It’s so special! ¬†The nursery is super cute and crafty – complete with custom painted walls by the parents, and hand made bedding by the mama. We had a fun shoot even though dad wasn’t very mobile. He hurt himself on his motorcycle and recently had surgery, so we had a few challenges getting him around. The field was hilarious. We were getting hollered at by passersby and were cracking up. Those are some of my favorite shots because if you know me, you know I like to laugh ūüôā I am excited to capture this super sweet family’s birth and newborn images too. Thank you for inviting me “M” family!

If you missed it, check out Day 1 of the training. Here is our group (almost everyone) on the last day. So many awesome ladies. Some pregnant and some nursing, all enthusiastic about the benefits of placenta medicine. Abby of Sanctuary San Diego started the morning off with a little essential oil therapy for the babies who were overtired.We had a few midwifery students among us! The two ladies on the right go to Nizhoni school of midwifery in San Diego.We watched videos on the big screen and Amanda accessed current research and laws for us on her little computer.Jennifer of The Family Room Рcarrying twins as a surrogate. Such a cool lady.Day 2 hands on training: grinding the dehydrated placenta into powder and encapsulating it. Amanda fills her capsules by handAnd Jennifer demonstrates how to use the Capsule MachineViola! A neat little pill with tons of benefits! 

Thanks for a great weekend ladies! Happy encapsulating ūüôā

The first week in June, 2012 I attended the Full Circle Placenta Encapsulation Certification workshop in San Diego. Amanda flew out from Florida to train this fabulous group of birth professionals and placenta enthusiasts. A huge thank you to Care Messer for hosting at the Birth Education Center of San Diego. It was¬†truly¬†a great weekend. You may be asking yourself if you should read this post… well, if you don’t like the site of blood or placentas, then this is not the post for you. If you are not¬†squeamish¬†and think it’s awesome, then you are in the right place! ūüôā ¬†Keep reading…

How cool is this art?!

At the end of our classroom instruction for the day, we went to a local home and continued the hands on portion of the training.

We are required to have a food handler’s card, so proper hand washing and handling of the placenta is always followed.
We did both methods of placenta preparation: TCM inspired and RAW

Lemon, ginger, and pepper are used to steam the placenta in the TCM inspired preparation.

This is what it looks like when it’s done steaming. Next up, slicing for dehydration.
Second placenta – thawed from frozen – prepared to be dehydrated raw (not steamed first).Amniotic sac is removedOne of my doula clients from 2011 was with me! How fun is that?!
Thin slicing ensures faster and proper dehydration.Set it and forget it! ¬†ūüôā Not really but I think that slogan is hilarious. It takes anywhere from 6 to 11 hours to dehydrate depending on the size of the placenta and the brand of dehydrator.

DAY 2 up next…

I had so much fun with this family 2 weeks ago! I’ve been very busy attending births and finally got a work day in the office today. Yay! I love this time of year in San Diego. The yellow flowering weeds are my favorite ūüôā

Little Christian just turned 1 year and is just adorable. ¬†He had a blast exploring the park, playing in the dirt, and flying high with mommy and daddy. 1 year olds are so precious! Thanks for hanging out with me “L” Family!