This Saturday started like all others, kids up at the crack of dawn. After getting them settled with a snack and a show, I nestled back into bed for a few more moments of precious sleep. Soon enough we were startled awake with excited cries from Presley "Mom!!!!! Dad!!!!!!!!" That tooth he had been wiggling for days on end, finally came out. My boy lost his first tooth. My first born, my tiny 6 lb 11oz little bundle lost a tooth. Where did the time go?
Often, when we think of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care, our minds immediately think of doctors and nurses. While we are very blessed to have such an amazing and caring team of doctors and nurses at our local Boundry Trails Health Centre, many families don’t realize that there are many other professionals who can compliment these services and work alongside families during the perinatal period. The perinatal period is the special time around birth, including during pregnancy and after a baby is born.
The Pembina Valley is swimming with unique and caring individuals who are passionate about perinatal health and providing the best care possible to women and families. If you're looking for extra care during your pregnancy, additional resources about your options for birth and personalized labour support, or extra postpartum help, this post has you covered!
In a style true to myself, I left this months day in the life project to the very end. Last month I had no time to think about it, and had no idea how difficult it would be. This month I knew better. My husband had just returned home from a week away and I knew this day would be a great opportunity. We planned a family day to head into Winnipeg and attend the Festival De Voyager. Since having children, my husband and I have always split the weekend days for sleeping in. He takes Saturday and I take Sunday. This Saturday was no different.
When photographing births, I don't often get the opportunity to cuddle babies. When A mother finally has her sweet bundle in her arms, it is my job to document that, capturing the emotion. I do this very quietly and without disturbing the family during this very important postpartum period. The first few hours after your baby arrives are some of the most important. The way your baby is cared for and nurtured during this time can significantly impact their transition from the womb to life outside. This first hour should be focused on baby's first breastfeeding, mother-baby and family bonding. Having an undisturbed first hour has many benefits, such as:
I am so full of joy over all of the Nourishment Sessions that have been booked recently. How great is it that families are making documenting this special time a priority! Not only do these sessions leave one with great memories of a time that goes by so very quickly, but when shared, they help the good fight to normalize breastfeeding.
When I saw this amazing Mommas pregnancy announcement on Instagram, I could not have been more excited! I first met Jayme back when I was just starting out in the world of photography, and organizing my Beautiful Momma Project. Let me tell you, this woman is the definition of strength and perseverance. She exudes joy and love, despite the heartache she has endured. She so openly and honestly shared her story with all of you, with the hopes of reaching others who may have walked the same path as her and her family, I'm so proud of her
This lovely family was the recipient of my Christmas giveaway. Momma's name was drawn for a nursing mini session. She was excited as they hadn't even had a newborn session done with their precious twin boys, who were now 11 weeks old. This family worked hard and waited a long time to be graced with these boys, so I was excited to be able to provide them with some memories of this very fleeting time.
As you all likely know, my favorite things to capture are everyday moments. Moments that make up a larger story. Many of you have trusted me to do exactly this with your family's moments. I've captured your birth, your family gatherings and your day to day moments. I attempted to do so with my own moments daily, my 366 project, and I failed. Life is busy, I find it so difficult to pick up my camera, it never feels like there is enough time.
Life can be so unpredictable, this is especially so in the nature of birth. We can make a plan, read a book, think it all through, but we don't really decide any of it. We can choose our caregiver, where we hope to birth, all of the little details. But that doesn't mean it will happen just that way. This is not a bad thing, or a scary thing......it is just a true thing. Luckily, it's not left up to us to decide for a reason, nature knows, it knows exactly how it shall happen. It will happen the way it's supposed to.
Every birth I attend as a birth photographer is special and I hold those moments and memories dear to me. This particular couple has a very special place in my heart.
Back when I was very first starting out as a newbie photographer, they were my first paying clients when I shot their engagement session. I then went on to photograph their wedding, family Christmas, maternity and eventually I photographed the birth of their first baby. It's so special that we have been able to experience so many firsts together, and walk this journey alongside one another. So often in my career as a massage therapist, my clients become my close friends. I'm finding this to be equally true in my artistic work, especially with birth photography.
When S & K contacted me about their upcoming birth, and they wanted me to document it, I was elated! We met for coffee and poured over there pregnancy and birthing details. There was one detail that really grabbed my attention, their due date, December 25. Now I've been working as a birth worker for long enough to know that babies are oblivious to their due dates and they come when THEY decide. I felt confident that I would be home with my family for Christmas and excitedly took their family on.
I've had the pleasure of knowing these two lovebirds for a while now. I grew close to Miss I. over our mutual love for photography, we were fast friends. She introduced me to Miss R. when they let me crash at their place when I needed a bed. They're so easy to be with. Honest, joyful, REAL. Our very first night together was full of so much laughter my face hurt when I left.
Just as I am amazed by how quickly my own babies have grown, I always feel shocked to see how quickly my birth babies have grown. Once a family invites me into their birthing space and allows me to document those moments, our relationship is forever changed. I have an attachment to them and their babes that will last a lifetime.
I recently had a stay at our local hospital, this Momma was SICK! While I was there I missed a lot. I missed gatherings with friends, trick or treating and many more moments with my family. While I was there it felt like the world just stopped, but life doesn't stop. The moments kept happening, even if I was not there to bear witness to them. I'm so happy that I have deep friendships and my family was surrounded by amazing, caring people. They helped to keep the fun going, keep the moments joyful and the smiles on my babies faces.
Autumn came so quickly and has passed just the same. The air is crisp and the days are shorter. The entrance is starting to pile with big boots, poofy coats and mittens galore. While part of me is not looking forward to the many months of cold that we will endure, I love the feeling of life slowing down, settling in and getting cozy. This past weekend brought Dad home after much too long of a time away and Nana and Papa after too many months of not hugging them. This weekend also brought sunshine and warmth. It brought impromptu dinners with friends, hockey games with the neighbours and couch acrobatics.
You may have noticed a bit of a shift in my work recently. My heart has always been with birth photography, I've enjoyed it more than any other genre. This really got me to thinking about why is it that I love birth so, so much? Besides the obvious emotion and extreme beauty of the moments available for me to capture, theres more. I love capturing moments as they happen, I'm not telling anyone what to do, my subjects are simply doing what they do. Real moments.
As a mother, I know so well the urge to "just do it yourself". Sometimes those tiny hands seem less then helpful. It can be so easy to rush from one task to another in an attempt to finish the never ending to do list. But sometimes, we remember to slow down, we remember to include, we remember that these are the memories that will be written in their childhood forever. These are the moments that your babies will pass down to their babies.
Sometimes, when you meet someone, you feel the connection immediately, sometimes that requires time and similar interest and common struggles. When I became pregnant with my second, I joined an online group filled with other women who were also expecting babies in July of 2013. As the weeks of our pregnancies passed and our babies came earth side, our connections grew. Through sharing stories of morning sickness, our labours and sleepless nights we found strength in our group. We carried, birthed and raised our babies together, as a village.