Zeke turns 5 months old today. I still can’t believe he’s ours. He’s found his toes (so much so he eats them), he’s rolling over, and giggling. We love him so.
A lot of people continue to ask me questions about my delivery, my pregnancy, and so I decided it was time to share about it and wanted to share it through pictures too.
A year ago in July 2016 we found out we were pregnant. Actually it was the night of the huge Ellicott City flood. We gave ourselves that month to get pregnant because we knew we had 30 weddings to shoot in 2017 and didn’t want to be pregnant in the thick of wedding season. We got pregnant in 10 days of trying. We were due April 4th. That meant we had to call all our April brides and grooms and let them know that I most likely would not be shooting their wedding (even though we surprised a few of those April clients by me showing up for shooting portraits 2 and 3 weeks after giving birth!) Patrick and Sarah (our assistant) dominated in my absence. The clients were ecstatic and excited which made me even more excited!
Once we got pregnant, my pregnancy was as good as one could hope. I didn’t have morning sickness so I started thinking, it must be a boy. I did have Charlie horses that were horrible and woke me in tears in the night. Patrick would have to help rub them out. I had ligament pain as I stretched. I was SUPER hormonal (Patrick’s still married to me so that’s all and good). I had swollen feet towards the end, MAD SWEAT (soaked the bed), and insomnia too. Glad that’s over. I used 2 pregnancy apps OVIA + WHAT TO EXPECT, I searched google when I had questions, and talked to my mom (who has had 6 natural births) + talked with lots of friends with kids. But nothing could prepare me for delivery. I jokingly said “I bet my water will break when I’m at Target or Ikea or something.” Thank God it didn’t because at that point in my labor, I was ready to push!!
Anyway, I’m the rare and the few that progressed in a few short hours. Cool, Great, but super fast paced and scary. So fast that I was watching a movie at my cousins house, it finished at 11:30, I showered at 12 and literally was moaning at 1 and delivered Zeke at 3am. I was only in the delivery room for an hour. I waddled in at 2am at 8cm (epidural wasn’t an option) and Zeke was born an hour later naturally.
They said, “next baby, just come to the hospital when your contractions start”… oh geez, Lord help me.
One thing I knew I wanted from the beginning of my pregnancy was a birth photographer. Some people think this is strange. Others Gross. A few think its amazing. Most of you are finding out today we documented Zeke’s birthday. Don’t worry, I only included a few pics with blood.
I really really wanted it documented and to be honest, I value sentimental radiant moments and this would be one of them in my life. The birth of my first child. What a radiant moment of our lives.
I have been in a delivery room for 3 births, and I translated for hispanic moms in labor and delivery when I was in college. It’s an incredible experience to watch, even more incredible doing it. The last delivery I was part of in December was much different than all of them. My friend Sarah had doulas and I thought to myself… what the heck is a doula. Maybe it’s a yoga pose for birthing? I didn’t know.
But then when I saw what a doula is, what they do, and what they did during Sarah’s labor I was like… absolutely, I’m getting one! And I would tell anyone who is planning on having a baby, whether naturally or with an epidural or if you’re getting induced to get one. So worth every penny spent. They didn’t just help me, they helped Patrick. They helped us as a couple.
Little did I know that two dear friends of mine from the wedding industry had switched photography focus from weddings to family + baby + birth. This was the beginning of an amazing journey with Sarah and Brittany. You can check them out here:
Thank you again Sarah and Brittany for everything. Honestly, when I think of Zeke’s birth, forever in my head and heart are you girls. My husband’s strength, sweetness, and encouragement got me through. Your non-judgmental, kind, loving, and direct attention during my 4 hour active labor was invaluable.
Happy 5 months Zeke. We will never forget the morning you made your appearance.
The pictures you are about to see are raw, unposed, real, and really special to us. If you're gonna judge, do it silently. Thanks in advance.
(Scroll all the way down to see the pictures Patrick and I took on his 2nd day of life!)
JUST FOR FUN… here’s the schedule of my delivery BIRTH STORY - April 1st + 2nd 2017
9:30am Woke up at and planned outting with father-in-law
12:30pm Went to Bed Bath & Beyond + Panera
5pm Went to Heather and John Mikes
8:45 -9:30pm Dinner and catching up
10:00pm Started watching the movie "Unstoppable" at John Mike and Heathers
10:30pm Contractions started getting intense so I started timing them
11:30pm Left their house, I couldn't drive because of contractions
12 am Showered and called doulas and hospital, Doulas started driving to us, Hospital said to call back in about 45-50 min because I could still talk through a contraction
12:30 Brittany arrived and helped me with breathing through my contractions and said "we gotta go"
12:45/1:15 Patrick called doctor again and they said to come on in… fast
2pm Water broke in parking lot upon arriving at Hospital, Waddled into hospital as fast as I could, Check in. Mid contraction. Cervix was 100% open and I was 8 cm upon sitting on the delivery bed
3:07am Ezekiel Patrick born with hands up in face; labial tears and internal tears took longer than delivery (2 hours of stitching… yikes!)
6am Moved to MCU (maternity care unit)
Discharged on the 4th of April around 4pm which was Zeke's due date. He came 2 days early.
We took his newborn pictures while in the hospital when we were by ourselves. How precious is this little boy?! We love you Ezekiel.