Dorothy and Levi have graciously allowed me to share their birth story. This sweet couple welcomed their first child, a few months ago. I love the joy and emotion that swirled around the room as this little boy was birthed and welcomed into the arms of his parents.
Sweet Jude, a rainbow baby for his loving parents made his arrival into the world after a long labor and eventual c-section.
When Judah's parents recount his birth to him in the future, I think they will tell him about the many people who supported them in their journey. Family, friends, Midwives, Doctors, Nurses and their Doula and Doula-in training.
They might laugh and tell how they only found out that the C-section was moved earlier when they woke in the wee hours to the surprise of their doctor standing over them in the darkened room letting them know of the time change.
They may even say how their birth photographer ended up with her first photo radar ticket on her way to a birth. After finding out about the OR time change and knowing how important it was to Jude's momma to have his birth captured. (Disclaimer: My foot was only a wee bit heavy, and the streets were empty).
I know they will tell of the love surrounding this wee boy as he was welcomed by the many excited visitors in his first hours and days. Over everything else, I know they will share their love and excitement with him as they view the photos and slideshow of his birth-day.
Over and over again my families tell me the same thing, with the heightened emotions and adrenaline surrounding a birth the memories of a birth-day may fade. Birth itself has a natural amnesia effect on many women. So when I reveal their slideshows and galleries after they have had time to process their story personally first. They often remark on how they almost forgot some details or they didn't notice a moment that they are so happy to now see. Moms and Dads both tell me how glad they are to have their story captured so they can remember all of the little moments no matter how much time has passed.
The happy tears, the joy, the sense of accomplishment and the sweet relief when a baby comes earthside should be remembered. I am truly blessed to be able to capture births for my families. Dom & Micah have given me permission to share their sons c-section birth story slideshow below. (no photos below the drape, this time.)
Despite the disapproval of others before she was born I was determined to breastfeed my daughter.
After she was born, she could not latch properly. She screamed literally the entire first night. The Nurses tried to help but offered me conflicting advice. I was so confused and frustrated. The nurses told me she didn't have a lip tie, I was doing everything right. They had no other suggestions. I was ready to quit.
By the time we left the hospital in the morning my nipples were cracked, bleeding and my daughter had a blister on her lip.
The home care nurses came the next day. They also informed me that my daughter had jaundice, she lost a significant amount of weight and it was likely my daughter would need surgery on her skull, we needed to see a specialist. While we waited for the specialist appointment I continued to try. When my milk came in I got so engorged, I got a high fever. It hurt so bad to let my daughter nurse I was bawling and my daughter didn't want to latch due to how engorged I was. I again felt defeated and thought again about giving up.
I preserved, still with sore, cracked, bleeding nipples. I had to yoga breathe every time my daughter latched. I continued seeking help from four different lactation consultants. Each lactation consultant seemed to give me conflicting advice.
I felt so defeated, confused. Then we were told by the specialist my daughter did in fact need surgery on her skull. They booked the surgery for three months later. Due to failure to thrive and upcoming surgery I decided to start supplementing my daughter. I reached out to local moms for milk donations. I was blessed with so much response. I drove around Edmonton for hours picking up milk donations. I was thrilled to be able to keep her on breast milk.
I was breastfeeding my daughter for an hour, bottle feeding her & then pumping for 15 minutes every two hours around the clock. It was beyond stressful trying to work around her feeding schedule and make it to all her appointments. We were going to weekly craniosacral and chiropractic therapy sessions.
We saw a dentist to get her lip revised, they advised she was missing a bone where her front teeth would be and sent us to a specialist who said in fact the bone was fine, but her frenulum is not normal and she will need surgery to correct it when she is a bit older. The doctors and lactation consultants were at a loss. No one could offer us anymore help. We all just hoped the skull surgery would help her latch. After her skull surgery there was thankfully an improvement.
She had to wear a helmet for 5 months after her surgery it was hard to adjust to, it was quite awkward at first to nurse her with it on and again we learned together to work around the bulk. Then she was diagnosed as intolerant to multiple foods, I needed to adjust my diet, but persevered in my goal to nurse my daughter.
In march 2017 I was beyond thrilled to start exclusively breastfeeding my daughter. I’m so thankful for the breastmilk donors the allowed my daughter to stay on human milk the entire time. I was ecstatic to put my pump away, I haven't looked at it since.
She is almost 12 months old now and still exclusively breastfed. It only takes 15 mins to feed her. It's amazing, my life has gotten back to normal. I am so thankful I persevered through it all. In all the stressful moment leading up and after her surgery it was so special to have our nursing time together. My daughter found so much comfort in nursing after her surgery and was in so much pain. I’m also quite proud that I have donated my milk to 8 different babies whose moms needed the same help supplementing that I did. My son and my partner have been my biggest support. I couldn't have succeeded without them.
Blessed Grove Keepsakes -
Monique is a Doula and custom jewelry artist located in Edmonton AB She has (in her words) been creating tangible memories for people for 20 years with one medium or another. See a little Q & A below:
Q. Why did you get into this business?
A. The idea of capturing a moment, experience or journey in a concrete way has always appealed to me. When I became a oula I found so many moms and dads want something more than just a memory of a birth, surrogacy or breastfeeding journey, a lost child, first hair cut, a parent or pet who has passed on...this is how Blessed Grove Keepsakes was born. I offer beautiful wearable keepsakes preserving your most intimate moments.
Q. What is a meaningful moment you have had in your business?
A.I had a mom contact me for a memorial piece. They had just lost their daughter at 20 weeks gestation. We worked together and created custom pieces that fit her and her families needs.
Q. Could you tell us a list of different ideas of what can be included in your custom products?
A. There are some many options available for keepsake pieces. We can use DNA inclusions like Breastmilk, Umbilical cord, placenta, hair, baby teeth etc.
You can choose to include non DNA items like wrap scraps, dried flowers, and other botanical, sand, shells, fabric, lace, soil and there are so much more.
Monique has generously offered a code for all blog readers quote: Appletreeblog10 to get 10% off your order between Nov. 10th and 30th 2017
If you have a company that you would like to see featured on the blog, please reach out, I am now taking submissions for future feature Friday blogs.
For awhile I have wanted to start featuring companies in and around Edmonton that would interest and be a benefit to the birth and parenting community I live and work in. I chose Blessed Grove keepsakes because I know a few Mothers who have ordered from Monique and are so grateful to have a handmade treasure she has handmade for them.
we asked around and Together chose a deserving mom and gifted her with her a custom piece of breast milk jewelry and a mini breastfeeding photo shoot including 10 images of her choice.
When the blog post goes live on Friday come back to see more images and read the words of these two strong women, one who has overcome a great struggle while breast-feeding her youngest child and one who captures the memories and treasures for others in a very special custom keepsake.
If you have a company that you would like to see featured on the blog reach out, I am now taking submissions for future featured Friday blogs.
A Fresh Baby Session is an intimate session for families that want to capture their new little one in the first hours of their newborn's life. Typically held within the first 24-48 hours after a baby's birth, this lifestyle session will take place at the location of the babys birth.
Logan a very special delivery for his excited parents, was born via C-section. I was so pleased to be invited to their hospital room to capture little logan when he was only one day old.
Click the play button for a peek into little logan's fresh baby session.
Click below to view some images from one of Little Judah's first days home. So much love and excitement had this home bursting at the seams!