Birth

Phoenix Baby Photographer - A Year with Baby Lincoln

 Phoenix Baby Photographer

A year with Baby Lincoln

My first milestone session of 2017 was to celebrate Lincoln's first birthday. I can not believe how much this baby boy has grown! One year ago I was blessed to be there to witness this baby boy come into the world. His parent's waited anxiously for his arrival, the day Lincoln was adopted their dreams came true. They finally had a sweet baby to call their own. Lincoln's aunt gifted Lincoln's mom and dad with a hospital and newborn session. I remember the first time I saw this new family together, they were so incredibly happy. I had never seen two people so excited to change a poopy diaper!

A week after Lincoln was born I was able to snuggle him in the studio. Lincoln's nursery is a woodland theme.

I found a fox stuffy just for the occasion. Lincoln was a dream to photograph, he slept, he ate, he smiled and took photos like a champ.

At three months Lincoln came back into the studio. What a change to see! Those smiles melted my heart. His eyes were wide with wonder and he was so curious! We used the same fox from his newborn session to show how much Lincoln had grown.

One of my favorite images from last year was from his three-month milestone session. His eyes get me every time.

At Lincoln's six months session this chubby little boy was even more, smiley and sitting up completely by himself. He loved finding his toes and everything went into his mouth.

This drooling chubster had me smitten. I always looked forward to seeing him every three months. I loved watching him grow.

At his nine month session, his mom brought her baby doll cradle for him to sit in. We went from sitting to standing in what seemed to be a blink of an eye. We did lots of singing at this session, Lincoln loves the song "Bicycle Built for Two" and finds it hilarious when you sing it off-key.

The fox looked so small in his hands. Of course, it went into his mouth. He was cutting teeth and teething on everything he could grab his hands on.

For Lincoln's first birthday his mom and I had chatted about doing a woodland themed session.

A set up simple and neutral but also highlighting the cozy outdoors. And of course, we had to use "The Fox", which now looked incredibly small next to this toddler! What a better time for a camping set up?! Lincoln's mom brought in her grandpa's fly fishing basket and her grandma's little red chair.

I love how she always thought to incorporate family heirlooms into sessions.It always added that special personal touch. For this session, we did a cake smash and a bubble bath afterward.

These are some of my favorite photos of Lincoln to date. I haven't seen a baby this happy about water in my life. My studio looked a tsunami came and went. Messy but it was so worth it.

Happy Birthday sweet boy! It was an honor and privilege to witness you grow.

phoenix baby photographer

phoenix baby photographer

 

Phoenix Birth Photographer - Happy Birthday Maddy

“Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear.”

-Jane Wiedman

phoenix birth photographer

The first time I met the G family it was in a crowded coffee shop. I usually meet with just mom, but this meeting was different. Dad and two big sisters were there along with mom. It was wonderful to meet the whole family! One of the first things Mom said to me was, “Just so you  know, when my water breaks, my babies come extremely fast.”  KEEP THIS IN MIND. Take note, this is also her third baby….

phoenix birth photographer

Early one night in mid-September I got a text from Jen saying that she was going to the hospital for strong contractions. I loaded up my gear and waited for the go. I was so worried I would miss the whole thing.  I finally got the ok to come down.

phoenix birth photographer

When I got to the hospital she was 80% effaced and 5cm dilated with a bulging bag. In birth world talk, she was halfway to having a baby. We walked the halls, did stretches, breathed through contractions. When I say “we”,  I really mean Jen with the help of her husband.  After all of that, they decided to send Jen home because she was 37 weeks and 3 days and stalled at 5cm.  You are probably thinking WHY? WHY? WHY? Mercy Gilbert was in near-completion of their Baby Friendly Certification. Basically what that means is birth professionals can not help patients progress with labor until they are at least 39 weeks.  To say we were all frustrated would be a bit of an understatement.

phoenix birth photographer

 

Jen and I became fast friends over the course of her pregnancy and would quite often stay up until 2 am chatting with each other on Facebook.

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

Two nights later while on my way home I received a phone call at 8:30 pm from her.

Jen: “Are you asleep?”

Me: “Jen, it’s 8:30. You of all people should know I’m not asleep.”

Jen: “Good, because either I have lost all control of my bladder or my water just broke.”

phoenix birth photographer

 

I still to this day do not know how I shaved 15 minutes off of a normal 45-minute drive, but it happened.

Jen and I walked the halls for a while, and even took a selfie!  After much walking, we all took a nap for a bit.

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

Then Jen got in the tub for a short minute. (Literally) When she got out of the tub you could tell the baby had made it’s way to the birth canal. At this point, Jen wanted an epidural. But she wouldn't be able to get one!

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

The nurse comes in to check and there is Maddy’s head. The nurse runs to the hall and screams for a doctor. A random doctor comes in, barely able to get gloves on.  They didn’t have time to get the bed apart or the “stage” lights on. That is how FAST she came.

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

 In less than 15 minutes, Maddy was here! From the time Jen got in the tub to the time she delivered was just under 15 minutes. Jen didn’t even push!

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

Ten minutes after Maddy was born, Jen’s  OB/GYN, Dr. Guzman, arrived.  I can’t say enough nice things about this man. He truly cares about his patients and it shows! He stayed and visited with the newest arrival, crying tears of joy with them. He hugged them. He laughed with them. He cared and it showed.

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

Next, the new big sisters came to meet their little sister. To say they were in love would be an understatement. Middle sister wouldn’t stop gently stroking Maddy’s head and kissing it.  Adorable, right?

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

People often ask me why I love birth photography. THIS story is a prime example as to why I do what I do.  I am the fly on the wall.  I am the artist who captures those moments that are often forgotten, the parts of the story that we overlook in the heat of the moment, the tender moments of encouragement showed by husband while his wife is in labor, the sweet gentle kisses of a new big sister, the embrace of a proud doctor. THAT is the reason why I do birth photography.

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

Congratulations Gunty Family! I love you!!

Phoenix Birth Photographer - Happy BIRTHday Baby Carlin

I remember sitting in my car and having a feeling that I needed to text the mom I was on call for and see how she was doing. I had been on call for her birth now for two weeks. Her due date was approaching. I literally could not get her out of my mind. I sent her a text only to find out that,  mom was in labor! Talk about a God thing, right?

phoenix birth photographer

I was excited for this photoshoot because I knew it would be more than taking pictures of a beautiful newborn: I would be documenting mom and dad’s journey to becoming parents. Not only would I be documenting their journey into parenthood. But I would also be documenting the moment that they found out the gender of their baby! I love photographing newborns. But birth stories tug at my heart strings. To be able to capture this memory for parents, is always an honor.

Phoenix birth photographer

Mom and Dad booked me before mom was even out of her first trimester! She had found me on Instagram and had been following me since. I was over the moon excited for them. I truly felt that not only had I gained another set of amazing clients but I had also gained new friends. It was such an honor to capture these intimate photos and videos. They will forever be reminders of the day their precious baby had blessed the world with their presence.Phoenix birth photographer

I met the parents-to-be at Babymoon Inn, a birth center in Phoenix. At this birth center mom could have a natural water birth. She was tended to by the Babymoon Inn Midwives, who did a fabulous job keeping her calm and focused on the end goal of baby.

Dad was extremely supportive throughout the birthing process. He doted on momma and was so attentive to her needs. Grandma and Grandpa drove all the way from New Mexico to witness the birth. I love how supportive grandma was to Mom! It was amazing to witness this family come together to bring this sweet babe into the world.

phoenix birth photographer

Mom was so inspiring. She breathed through each contraction like a pro. Even though I was there to observe, she was so focused that at times I felt like I was simply a fly on the wall. The moments of pain and then relaxation came and went and I managed to snap pictures of it all.

Phoenix birth photographer

When it was finally time to push, I realized I had forgotten my tripod. But our amazing nurse offered to shoot a video to help document the baby's surprise gender reveal. I would not have been able to capture that on video without her help! They say ‘a picture’s worth a thousand words’, I felt that capturing the miracle of life at the moment it’s happening definitely warranted video. Especially when Mom and Dad were going to be the one's announcing what gender their precious baby was. What an amazing moment to capture!

Phoenix birth photographer phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

In what felt like a flash, the baby had emerged from the water. Mom and Dad were elated. Actually all of us in the room were pretty overcome with emotion. A moment after soaking in their fresh new baby they decided to find out baby's gender.

phoenix birth photographer

It's a girl!! Savannah Grace was born in the wee hours of the morning.

phoenix birth photographer phoenix birth photographer

It was such a special day for the Carlin family and I feel honored to have been able to observe it all.

Phoenix birth photographer phoenix birth photographer phoenix birth photogrpaher

Congratulations once again Carlin Family! Welcome to Parenthood!

Xoxo,

 Chyanne

Scottsdale Birth Photographer - Happy Birthday Brinlee

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Happy Birthday Brinlee

July 14th was a perfect day to have a baby.  Michelle had been waiting for this little one’s arrival for a lifetime. The staff at Honor Health Scottsdale Shea was amazing. They were warm and encouraging to not only Michelle but her support team.

Scottsdale Birth Photographer Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Scottsdale Birth Photographer Baby Brinlee was born via c-section and I was right there with my camera documenting the whole amazing birth. Brinlee Makenna made her appearance at 9:48am. I marveled at how the sweet little baby was only a minute old when she reached her left hand into the air as if she was waving to the world, announcing her arrival.

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Letterly Birth-8

I took a moment to focus on Michelle's face as she gazed upon her rainbow baby for the first time. I watched as a smile grew from ear to ear and a look of calm washed over her. A rainbow baby, in case you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, is one born to a mother who’s had a prior loss. You can think of the baby as the rainbow after the storm.

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

In case you missed it, here is Michelle's Journey and Rainbow Baby Announcement.  Michelle's sister was there for every wonderful, miraculous moment. From sharing the joy and excitement of Brinlee's arrival  to making sure her new niece’s adorable little hat was perched perfectly on her little head. She held all 7 pounds and 14 ounces of baby Brinlee as mama was being sewn up.

Letterly Birth-17

Even though Michelle was unable to sit truly pose for the camera, the candid moment in the operating room between her sister and her with Brinlee was so moving. And still is one of my favorite set of photos.

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Very soon, Brinlee was wheeled into the recovery room. And finally had an official meeting with her mama. Michelle held her baby so tightly. She had been waiting for that moment forever.  She just stared at her baby daughter’s facewith such love in her eyes.

Letterly Birth-23 After just over an hour in the recovery room we all headed towards postpartum.

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

Scottsdale Birth Photographer

moment that tugged on my heart strings: When Michelle held her baby she got to ring the lullabye. This is the lullabye lets everyone in the hospital know that a baby was born. I will never forget the look on Michelle's face when she got to ring that bell. I will say it was hard photographing when your eyes are blurred with tears!

Letterly Birth-27

Congrats again Michelle! Brinlee is so beautiful and I am over the moon happy for you!

 

Phoenix Surrogate Birth Photographer - Two Men and a Little Baby

Phoenix Surrogate Birth Photographer

Two Men and a Little Baby

Have you ever wondered what a surrogate birth is like? Trista, a local wife and momma decided to give a couple the best gift anyone could ask for. A baby. I asked her to be a guest blogger today to tell the story of the last birth and newborn session that I had in 2015. All I can say is there is not a better way to end the year than with a birth, better yet, a surrogate birth. The time I spent with these people was truly amazing. And I am beyond blessed to have met them all.  Thank you Trista for being a guest blogger! I’m so happy that you are open to sharing this story with others.

phoenix birth photographer

Trista-  “Not everyone is so blessed to have children. And I feel like I should help those who are not blessed to be able to carry a baby. I feel like every person that desires becoming a parent should feel the joys of having children.

phoenix birth photographer

I first learned about surrogacy like many people, celebrities. When I told my husband he thought I was crazy. Although he had his reservations, I knew he’d support me in this journey. So I went online, and I googled surrogacy agencies. The first one I came across had a questionnaire to see if you can be pre qualified for surrogacy. Out of curiosity I filled it out and got pre-approved. Little did I know that was the first step that would lead me on a 2 year journey!

phoenix birth photographer

The agency reached out to me and said that they were interested in me becoming a surrogate.

However, I needed to do to get a final approval to be a surrogate: I needed to turn in my medical records, needed psychological clearance, I needed clearance from my OBGYN,  needed approval from the fertility doctor in Los Angeles, and finally I needed to be matched with potential parents.

phoenix birth photographer

It seemed like so much. But it was worth it.

Carrying a baby for someone else is an emotional endeavor! And it is important to make sure you are mentally prepared for such a task. I passed my psychological evaluation. I submitted all my clearances, had a medical screening in LA, and I was ready to be matched.

phoenix birth photographer

When I first got the intended parents (IPs for short) profile I was nervous because how was I to know if the IPs were my potential match? What things do I look for? What do I ask them? I got their profiles and every piece of identifying detailed is blacked out. Without details I was nervous that I would see just a fake profile to make them look appealing, but I didn’t get that at all. I got the most heartfelt story of their lives, their work, their families, why they want to be parents, and my favorite part: a letter to their surrogate. After reading the letter I knew they were my match.

phoenix birth photographer

We planned a video chat to talk. They were a gay couple from Europe. I got ready for the video chat like I was getting ready for my first date. I changed my clothes a million times. I curled my hair. Did my make-up. To tell you the truth- I was a nervous wreck! Needless to say the video chat went great. The guys (as I’ve come to know them) were amazing. Everything that we talked about, it’s all a blur now. I do  remember them saying that they wanted me to carry their baby. How exciting is that? Wouldn’t it be great if dating was that easy?

phoenix birth photographer

After we established a contract we were able to move to the next step in the process. They found an egg donor and they were going to use one of their sperm. Now we get to start the cycling process. First the IVF Dr. (in vitro fertilization doctor) needed to synch my period cycle with the egg donor’s. This is standard in fresh embryo transfers.

phoenix birth photographer

Transfer day: We head to the fertility clinic in LA. My stomach is in knots. The doctor brings me back and I get on the bed and it feels like I’m going for my yearly exam. My mom is with me. Like most girls, it’s nice to have your mom with you for nerve wracking appointments. The doctor comes in, puts my legs in stirrups and opens me up with that horrific clamp. He flushes my vaginal canal with saline solution. (Just a slight disclaimer, this is not for the faint of heart. There are gross things to be said about the surrogacy journey.) then the nurse brings in a very long tube. It’s a very thin, long catheter. The embryo is inside it. The doctor pushes the catheter through a small opening in my cervix and suddenly I’m pregnant. How easy was that? Now it’s the hard part. The dreaded 2 week wait.

phoenix birth photographerHow will I possibly hold out 2 weeks before knowing if I’m pregnant? Well I couldn’t and after 5 days I took a pregnancy test at home! It was positive!!! How amazing is that! I had to tell the dads so they could relax. We schedule a video chat and on it  “I’m pregnant!” they were so excited and had instant tears!

phoenix birth photographer

Now we wait 5 more days for my blood test to check my hcg levels. I got almost cocky about the whole thing. I’ve never miscarried. Why would I now? That arrogance made this next part that much harder. I miscarried. I feel like I let them down. My hcg levels came back at 90. The doctor wants them at 100. We saw the heartbeat in an ultrasound and things didn’t look good. It was weak. After that I was really discouraged. It turns out the embryo quality was very poor and the doctor knew it, but had no choice because out of the 10 embryos that bad one was the best quality.

phoenix birth photographer

Once we were ready to cycle again I got a call 5 days before the transfer. The transfer canceled and it wouldn’t be rescheduled until the dads found a new egg donor. The guys found an egg donor rather quickly. By January we were ready to go. Only problem was my body was not happy with the sudden changes of being on and off the hormones. I had to take other hormones to stimulate my cycle and then they made me wait another month for a regular period before they would allow me to cycle again. While most women are praying their period doesn’t come I was praying for mine to come. It took another 2 months before we could cycle again and we got our new transfer date: April 7th. The new egg donor is experienced and this is her third time donating. The 2 other times resulted in successful pregnancies. I had every reason to be sure this one would stick, but I was hesitant. The transfer came and went, embryo quality was flawless. I should be excited right? Well I wasn’t! What if I miscarry again? Will they think it’s my fault? phoenix birth photographer

By day 7 everyone was begging for me to take a pregnancy test. At day 10 I got results. Please let them be at least 100! Please don’t be any lower than that! 263?! They’re more than double what they needed to be!!!! I shared the news with the dads and at that point we all felt more at ease. I went for my first ultrasound at 6 weeks and we saw a heartbeat. Everything was amazing. But of course, nothing can go smoothly and we hit a major bump when I started bleeding the next day. Why is this happening? Everything was just fine yesterday! I call my OB and they get me in right away for an ultrasound. I lay down on the bed expecting the worse and they put the wand on my belly and there is the baby her heart is fluttering like a butterfly. I didn’t miscarry. In IVF it’s very common to bleed at 6 weeks for some unknown reason. After 24 hours my bleeding stopped and I was back to normal.

phoenix birth photographer

I continue the pregnancy like normal. At 10 weeks we got a blood test done to determine if the baby had any genetic deformities and at that moment we found out the sex of the baby. I got news on the sex of the baby before the dads did so I asked my OB to keep it a secret and I would reveal to them during our video chat. That week we planned on talking and I would meet 1 of their moms. Perfect time to announce the sex of the baby. We started talking and they announced the pregnancy to his mom. She had no idea they were this far along in the process. She was so excited and she cried. It was beautiful.

phoenix birth photographer

Now I get to share my news. I made a shirt and across my belly I wrote GIRL with a pink bow underneath. I told them the baby had no deformities and the blood results were perfect. Then they asked what it was. I stood up and showed off my expanding belly with GIRL written across. They were so happy they cried tears of joy. At 22 weeks the guys visited. They were so funny and fit in so well with our family. I know I made the right decision to be matched with them.

phoenix birth photographer

The rest of the pregnancy went along normally, no issues and before we knew it she was coming. At 36 weeks I got my first exam done and my Dr. tells me “you are 3cm, 75% effaced. Are the dads in town yet? (No!) When do they get here? (Not for 2 more weeks) They need to get here because you most likely won’t make it till then!” I text the dads and let them know and they changed their flight to come here sooner. They came at separate times. Dad #1 got here at 37 weeks, dad #2 got here at 37.5 weeks (he had to finish out the week at work). Once they got here I felt more at ease. We went and walked at the zoo. I took them shopping for baby stuff. My next appointment at 37 weeks I had no change in my dilation. At 38 weeks there was no change either. What the heck? Looks like I’ll make it to my induction after all!

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

At 39 weeks I’m scheduled to be induced. Everyone’s bags are packed. We’re all ready to go. I need to be to the hospital at 3am for my induction. But again, nothing goes according to plan. I get a call the night before saying “Our beds are full of women coming in with spontaneous labor. Call us at 5 am and see if we have openings.” So I set my alarm, babysitter is scheduled to be at our house by 5. I call the hospital and asked if they had beds open for my induction. They laughed and apologized and told me unless I go into spontaneous labor don’t plan on coming in that day. This sucked. I tell my husband. I said “Let’s walk this baby out! We can walk the girls to school!” So I get up, use the restroom and I come out with my underwear around my knees. I tell my husband my water broke. “Okay babe.” He doesn’t budge from the bed. “No seriously my water broke.”

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

I change, call my mom, text the dads, and we are out the door! I get to the hospital, we get a room, get hooked up to machines and get my IV started. I tell everyone to come to the hospital around 7. This way I have a chance to get everything going. Everyone arrives and a second later the anesthesiologist comes in to administer my epidural. He gets it in and my legs and hips go numb. I still feel every contraction. So I continue to press the button to administer more numbing and my feet are so numb I can’t feel a single thing, yet it’s not touching the pains in my stomach. We call the anesthesiologist back in and he does something and I finally get relief, only problem is my legs are so numb I have zero control over them. phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

The nurse comes in my room to check on us and I ask her to check me.  I wasn’t having any pressure, I just wonder where I’m at. The baby’s head is coming down and I’m ready to push. I’m so numb I couldn’t tell you what was going on down there. Suddenly the doctor is there. The nurses are all there. The dads are anxiously waiting for their daughter to be born. No one expected it to be so sudden. The doctor tells me to push. Did I push? The baby is out! It took 2 pushes. Seriously, I have pictures to prove it. The dads come over to my bed and together they cut the cord.

phoenix birth photographer Everything after that was so quick. We had a lot of papers to fill out. And in the days that followed the dads needed to get her birth certificate, passport and needed to relinquish my rights as birth mother. After all that, the baby was ready to go home to Europe.

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

During the pregnancy I never became attached to the baby. To be honest my youngest is going through so many medical problems right now, I couldn’t Imagine having a newborn to care for. In the last 2 years things were hard, stressful, emotional, but everything we went through was worth it. If it weren’t for the failed transfer, canceled cycle, baby Louise wouldn’t be here. Sometimes to get the rainbow you have to brave the storm.”

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

phoenix birth photographer

Congratulations guys! Baby Louise is Beautiful!!  Each and every one of these people in this story have touched my heart. I am so blessed to have photographed this special day for them!

phoenix birth photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer - Happy Birthday Zachary

Get your tissues ready! I’ve been saving Zachary’s birth story because it is a real tear jerker.

Phoenix Birth Photographer

When I first met Baby Zachary’s parents I told them that I had a strong feeling that Zachary was going to make a fashionably late appearance into this world. however, I didn’t actually think I would be right.

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Baby Zachary came into the world five days past his due date. After 15 hours of labor and 1 hour of pushing, this bright-eyed little Irish boy was born on the perfect day. St. Patty’s Day has never been so perfect for this family!

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer

When he came earth-side he didn’t cry. He merely opened his eyes and looked around. He was instantly placed upon his momma’s chest where he stayed nuzzling her cheek and with his hand over her lips. This little boy wanted to be with his momma from the start.

 

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer

If that doesn’t overwhelm you with joy, Zachary’s grandmother was there. This woman made my heart so incredibly happy. The pride and the excitement that she showed was amazing. After ten…yes, you read that right TEN grandchildren. She still cries when one is born. In her words, “Each one is a special miracle”.  Truer words have never been spoken. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Yes, I cry when babies are born!

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer Phoenix Birth Photographer

If you are on the fence about birth photography, make an amazing decision that you won’t regret. Hire a birth photographer to capture these moments. Capture the moments that you won’t remember but will want to remember. Hire a birth photographer so your partner can focus on you and your baby. Hire a birth photographer to capture the firsts. I promise you will not regret it.

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Phoenix Birth Photographer

Thank you so much M. Family for giving me the privilege of capturing this special moment in your lives. See you for your newborn session soon!