Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Thompson's Newborn Shoot

I'll just go ahead and warn you that this post is very picture-heavy. There are just so many photos from our newborn session that I like that I couldn't stand to take any out.  During this pregnancy, I went the extreme economical route with maternity photos, having my sister April take several for me, and having T snap a few bare belly shots, too.  But I knew once Thompson was here, I would want some professional quality photos to capture our new family of three.

I hadn't used a photographer for anything since our wedding photos, so once my third trimester came around I began scouring Instagram feeds of other local mamas that had used professional photographers. After seeing several local women that had used her, I immediately fell in love with Wonderlight Photography.  Emilie of Wonderlight is super talented.  I loved all of the bright the colors that she uses in her shots, every picture is clean, crisp and colorful.  Exactly what I was wanting.

After stalking her Instagram account for several weeks, I finally reached out to her to see if she had availability around my due date.  We devised a plan to stay in contact around the time I was due, and she'd come over to the house a few days after we got home from the hospital.  The first days after getting home from the hospital are prime baby photography days, but I soon realized they're also some of the hardest days for new parents.  We were exhausted, I was sore and a little loopy from pain meds, and Thompson was still getting the hang of life on the outside.  Emilie was awesome through the entire process.  She was so patient with all three of us, baby Thompson just didn't want to fall asleep.  We had to take several breaks during the shoot so that I could feed him, and T and I tried to pull out all the stops to get him to sleep.  She even brought us dinner whenever she came over.  I mean, c'mon, how great is that?

We were never successful in getting Thompson to fall asleep, so we shot the majority of his photos that day with him being awake, and then Emilie so graciously offered to come back a few days later to photograph him asleep.  Once I got the photos back I was so incredibly thankful that she let us do that.  I love the photos where he looks awake and alert, but the photos of him sleeping are just so sweet.  I couldn't imagine not having captured those moments.

A week later we received our photos for our first review.  Not only is Emilie an incredibly talented photographer, but her Photoshop skills are on point.  In my postpartum daze there were several details that I forgot to address before our shoot, like removing cell phone chargers from the bedside tables and taking a lint roller to my black dress that was covered in pet hair.  Emilie was able to fix all of those things in our photos, plus smooth out some baby acne on Thompson's face.

I was so impressed with all of the photos that we received, and with our entire experience with Emilie.  We definitely plan on using her again soon.  In addition to her traditional shoots, she also offers mini sessions that are really reasonably priced, and is hosting a few classes this summer instructing moms how to best use their cameras to photograph their kids.  (You can visit her site here) I think I'm going to have to take the class, because I'd love to learn her ways!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekend Recap

This weekend our little family of three packed up the car and headed to North Carolina for a weekend with our extended family.  I was a little apprehensive about traveling with a three week old, but Thompson handled it like a champ.  He loves to ride in the car, so he snoozed the entire ride there and back.  This was the first time my extended family got to meet him, so he was passed around by aunts, uncles, and cousins for the entire weekend.   I loved that he got to meet so many family members, and T and I were so thankful to get a teeny break from baby duty.  

Before we left, we got the go-ahead from our pediatrician for Thompson to take his first dip in the pool.  He loves a bath, so I was hoping he'd feel the same about the pool.  And he sure did, I think we've got ourselves a water baby.  My niece, Charlotte, who's six weeks older than Thompson took her first pool dip, too.   I just love that Charlotte and Thompson are so close in age,  and that that they'll get to experience many firsts together.

Hope y'all had a great weekend, too! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thompson's Birth Story

It’s only taken me 3 weeks to get my act together, but I finally set aside some time to write Thompson’s birth story.  These first three weeks with him have been nothing short of amazing, but we have been busy busy busy.

In the days leading up to Thompson’s birthday I was growing more and more impatient.  At about 37 weeks, I was ready to have this baby, so every day past my due date was excruciating.   I had a really good pregnancy, and really enjoyed being pregnant for the first 8 months, but at the end I just got so impatient to meet our little guy.  For the last three weeks I was doing anything and everything to induce labor.   And still, nada. 

The evening of May 30th, at 40 weeks and 3 days, I started feeling some contractions that felt different than the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d been having.  Each contraction lasted about a minute and they were spaced five minutes apart.   They were intense, but not necessarily painful.  I sent T to bed around 8 PM that night just in case this was the real deal, and waited up for a few hours to see how they progressed.  Very little progress happened within the next couple of hours, so I went to bed knowing that if I truly did start active labor in the middle of the night, I’d wake up. 

Around 3 AM I woke up with much more painful contractions.   Well, at that point what I though was painful.  They were hard to talk through and hard to breathe through.  I waited until 5 AM to wake T, wished him a happy 30th birthday, and told him that I was in labor.  We showered, got dressed, and left the house at 6 AM stopping at Bojangles on the way to get some food in my belly.  I had been warned that once I was admitted I wouldn’t be able to eat, so I made it a priority to get some food before we got there.

Once we were at the hospital we went to triage where they checked my dilation progress.  I was convinced I must have been at least 4 cm by the discomfort I was in, but I turned out being a whopping .5 cm.   Are you kidding me?!? I was so disappointed, but we then talked about options with the doctor.  Typically, at a .5, they’d send you home, but since I was already 4 days past my due date they gave me the option of admitting me and inducing labor.  I was a little apprehensive about being induced, I really wanted to go into labor naturally, but something seemed so serendipitous about having our baby on T’s birthday.  That would mean they would share a name and a birthday. 

To help speed things along, they gave me my first dose of Cytotec in hopes to induce labor.  Apparently the pill can be taken up 6 times to bring on labor, but after one pill my water had broken, and I was writhing in pain begging for relief.  They gave me a dose of morphine, which ended up doing nothing.  The doctor checked me again and I had only progressed to 1 cm within the last couple of hours.  I remember screaming out “one?!?” to him in the most exasperated voice.   By this point my contractions had escalated to probably a 9 on the pain scale.  Either I’m a huge wimp, or that Cytotec sent my body into complete labor overdrive.   With each contraction I was screaming, burying my head in the pillow, and grabbing the sides of the hospital bed with all of my strength.  I'm sure it was quite a dramatic sight to see. The next time the doctor came in to check on me I heard him utter the most beautiful word I’d heard that day, “epidural”.  Even though I was only 1 cm, I would be able go to ahead and get an epidural, so one was ordered.  An hour later I was spinal tapped and singing sweet relief as the pain just suddenly went away.  I really don’t know how women have natural births, they are truly superhuman.

After that the rest of my labor went so smoothly.  Several hours later, at around 8 PM I had progressed to 7-8 cm just on that one dose of Cytotec, but wasn’t making any more progress.  I had also developed a low grade fever, and they noticed some dips in the baby’s heartbeat.  Because of these two factors, they figured I had developed chorioamnionitis, an infection in the amniotic sac.  Because of this, they wanted the baby to be born sooner than later, so we discussed our options.  I was given Pitocin to help progress to the full 10 cm, but also advised that there was a strong possibility that I’d need a C-Section. 

Thankfully an hour or so later after three doses of Pitocin and sitting with my legs wedged on a yoga ball shaped like a peanut, I was 10 cm and ready to push.  I was really nervous about the whole pushing part, I was scared the process would take hours and hours and terrified that my epidural wouldn’t block out all of my pain.  We started playing Sam Cooke radio on Pandora in hopes that it would calm my nerves.  It was amazing how having background music totally lightened the mood.  In between contractions we were singing along to the songs.  After 30 minutes of pushing, baby Thompson entered this world at 10:51 PM on his Daddy’s birthday, as  “This Magic Moment” by the Drifters was playing.  That song will now forever be so special to me.  He was immediately placed on my chest,  and T and I just couldn’t take our eyes off of him.  He was perfect in every way, and from that moment our hearts were stolen by this little guy.   

We are so in love with our son, I just stare at him in awe that I gave birth to him and that he lived inside of me for 10 months.  It’s just the craziest thing to think about.   He’s been a great newborn, too.  The first two nights were definitely tough, as Thompson was adjusting to life on the outside, and T I were trying to figure out what the heck we were doing.  But, it seems that it gets easier for all of us as each week goes by. 
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