phoenix baby photographer

Phoenix Newborn Photographer - The Miracle of Maia

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It is families like Maia’s that make me realize how incredibly blessed I am to have this job. Maia’s mom Guadalupe bravely shares her story as a guest blogger. What this family has endured I can not even begin to fathom. Thank you for trusting me with sharing your story. What a wonderful reminder that miracles still happen!

My husband and I were very excited the day we found out I was pregnant with our first child, Maia. The pregnancy was uneventful until the last trimester came rolling around. I remember feeling exhausted, swollen, and breathless. At the time, I thought my symptoms were normal and related to the pregnancy.

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On Wednesday, June 27, 2018 my husband drove me to Mercy Gilbert Medical Center because I was experiencing chest pain and heart palpitations. I was 34 weeks pregnant with my daughter. During the intake evaluation, the nurse and doctors noticed my heart was racing at 208 beats per minute. The hospital staff immediately paged my OBGYN, he rushed to the hospital and performed an emergency c-section. My daughter was delivered safely and was transported to the NICU since she was born prematurely.

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I survived three cardiac arrests that night: one during delivery and two more in the ICU. My dear husband observed as the doctors performed CPR determined to keep me alive. I was diagnosed with a heart condition called Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. My heart was severely damaged and the echocardiogram revealed a reduced ejection fraction of 10%. The odds were stacked against us.

The morning after my daughter’s delivery, the doctors decided to try ECMO life support in hopes of keeping me alive long enough to find a donor heart. I was transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center for further treatment while my daughter stayed behind in the NICU of Mercy Gilbert.

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On July 7, 2018 I was transported to Mayo Clinic for further observation and evaluation. During my time there, the doctors performed various tests and determined that my ejection fraction had improved significantly. ECMO treatment was working! On July 11, 2018 I was weaned off ECMO life support and my heart was holding strong.

My daughter and I were both discharged from our respective hospitals on July 16, 2018. I remember crying and feeling nervous on the drive home, I was finally going to get to meet my baby. I felt a sense of relief and joy the minute I held her in my arms. I thank God every day for giving me a second chance at life. I am thankful for having the opportunity to raise my daughter. Miracles do exist and we are living proof of it.

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Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Patiently Waiting for Baby Scott

Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Patiently Waiting for Baby Scott

Leah and Bobby had prayed for a baby for a long time. After disappointment, loss and heartache they didn't know that God was going to bless them in a miracoulous way.

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Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Replacing the Title Business with Ministry

Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Replacing the Title Business with Ministry

I realized that I no longer had the desire to photograph for profit.

 Over the last year, after much prayer and faith; God laid it on my heart a couple years ago to create a ministry that provides complimentary portrait sessions to families in need.

This decision did not come easy to me. (I mean it took me 2 years to finally take the leap)

I worried about what would happen to my current clients.
I worried about how to be fair to my fellow photographers.
And I worried about how to distinguish families that are truly in need.

The reoccurring theme that can be noticed in the above statement is: worry.

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Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Meet Lillian

Phoenix Newborn Photographer  

Meet Lillian

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Lillian has to be one of the sweetest babies I have ever met. She’s always full of smiles! Almost a year later, I haven’t seen this little girl without a smile on her face. She is always so happy! I can definitely say that is something she got from both of her parents, especially her mom. Regina is never negative, the glass is always half full and she always as a joke or two up her sleeve. Her laughter like Lillian’s is contagious. I met Lillian’s mom when we worked together at a local furniture company designing living rooms! This was before I finally decided to take the plunge and go full time with my business. I remember her looking at me saying “When I finally have a baby you are going to take their pictures”, and it totally happened.

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But life wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine’s for Regina, when she was 20 weeks pregnant with Lillian she had the scare of a lifetime. She suffered from a spontaneous epiderma hematoma in her spine from C4-C7. Surgery was her only option, and with this surgery came risks, not only to Regina but baby Lillian who was still growing inside. Before surgery she was already starting to have trouble with losing feeling and it was starting to spread throughout her body. Regina had a partial laminectomy where a small bone sliver was removed and the hematoma was sucked out. Without this life saving surgery, she would have been paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors think that it was a combination of  her excessive morning sickness causing the blood vessels to weaken with an explosive burst in blood pressure, and then moving the wrong way that caused the blood vessel to pop. There are less than 20 cases of this condition during pregnancy since 1865.

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Today Regina and Lillian are doing amazingly well, they just pulled off some of the best Halloween costumes I have ever seen. The surgery left Regina with a three inch scar from the base of her head to the top of her shoulders. In Lillian’s newborn session she asked if there would be some way to incorporate it into a photo, as a reminder to both of them how strong they were through this process. When we saw the final product both of us had tears! All I have to say is thank goodness for modern day medicine! It saved two lives that day. And I am so grateful to have both of these beautiful girls in my life. 

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Newborn Photographer Phoenix - Baby Norah

Newborn Photographer Phoenix

Baby Norah

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I met the Rivera family two years ago when I photographed their oldest son Peter when he was a newborn. I had just a taken a workshop and did a model call to try out my new techniques and several people referred this family to me. 

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Momma is a teacher and Dad is a local church pastor. These people have hearts of Gold. They have become some of my favorite people to see.

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Fast forward two years, and not only has my skills grown in ability (Thank the Lord!) but Momma is pregnant with baby Norah. Ya'll I think all women are gorgeous but Hannah is stunning when she is pregnant. She literally glows. We got together for their family mini session right before the holidays and I still swoon over this session.

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Finally Norah arrived! I saw her when she was only fourteen days new. She rocked her newborn session like a champ, and her big brother Peter was so excited to have a younger sister. Norah's parents asked for my simple neutral style with a hint of florals....... And the turn out was beautiful.

This makes me want to start using florals at more sessions!

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Little Norah is precious, Congrats again Rivera Family!

Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Happy Birthday Tavish

Phoenix Newborn Photographer  

Happy Birthday Tavish

To say that babies have their own agenda would be an understatement. To say that birth almost never goes as planned would also be completely true. 

This mama was one of my last birth mama's before I took a break to go back and finish my nursing degree. And I was so blessed to be a part of her birth team. All women work incredibly hard to bring their babies into the world. But Bethany was one of the hardest working mamas that I have ever seen. It was an adventure but it certainly did not follow anything that she had hoped for. Bethany had dreamed of a beautiful home birth. But a series of unfortunate events changed her birth plans.  

phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer

A couple days before Tavish was born, mom Bethany was driving to an ultrasound appointment when she was in a small fender bender. Small as in less than eight miles per hour and no vehicle damage. She called her midwife and followed all of her instructions. An ultrasound and non-stress test showed that Tavish and Mom were both fine and she was able to go about her day. Until that evening when mom started having terrible abdominal paid. She called the midwife who advised her to head on into the hospital for an evaluation. While in triage, Tavish's heart rate had a quiet few concerning drops.  She almost had to have a c-section but Tavish decided to stay put. Labs, ultrasounds, and a few more tests determined something was wrong and it was time for an induction. The next two and half days were filled with persistence, frustration, encouragement, exhaustion and pain. Foley Bulbs and THREE IUPCs (A very painful intrauterine contraction monitor) as well as abdominal pain from the car accident that flared up with each contraction, pitocin, drug reactions, nausea, dry heaving, repositioning, slow dilation progression, oxygen. I'd like to say that  was it, but there was so much more. But Bethany kept trekking on. She was persistent and refused to give up, she was going to have this baby damn it!

phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer

After 36+ hours of slow dilation progression, Bethany was finally at 10cm and allowed to push. She pushed for over three hours. After no progression a tough call was made, Bethany had started to get a fever and the risk of infection was too great. Tavish was showing she was done and the decision for a cesarean was made.  Bethany had never been more disappointed, sad, angry, or ashamed in her life.  But as Bethany said, "it was my pride or my baby, and my baby will always come first." It always amazes me what we as moms will do for our children. 

phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer

Tavish Georgianne was born 1:10 am on 5/22/17, 7lbs 3oz, 20 3/4 long.  She was sunny side up and turned the wrong way, as well as being wrapped in her cord twice. All was well. When she cried, we call cried. But Bethany's journey didn't end there. After Dad, Tavish and I went to the recovery room Bethany hemorrhaged and lost a lot of blood. Thankfully she had a very talented surgical team who had the skills and worked extremely hard to prevent a hysterectomy. 

phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer

Because of Bethany's complication she had a five day hospital stay. During that extra five day stay Tavish was re admitted into the hospital because she seemed to be having seizure activity. She was taken immediately to the NICU for tests and monitoring but is doing ok. A shout out to the wonderful staff who kept Mom & Dad informed and allowed them to continue breastfeeding and caring for Tavish as much as possible. Finally Tavish and her momma get to go home! 

phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer
phoenix newborn photographer

While Bethany had plans of having a natural home birth and she ended up with three different induction methods, three sets of internal monitors, an epidural, and finally a cesarean. She still got the greatest gift of all time. Bethany shared an amazing piece of advice that a wise woman told her, You can grieve the loss of what you had planned, but You will never regret or forget the hard work and reward of the path that followed. Isn't that amazing and wise?! Each time I attend a birth I come away with more knowledge than when I went in. And this birth wasn't any different. Congrats Mainville Family! Sweet little Tavish is so lucky to have you!

 

 

Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Mommy & Me Mini Sessions 2017

Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Mommy & Me Mini Sessions 2017

Phoenix Newborn Photographer - Mommy and Me Mini Sessions 2017 - What started out as a styled shoot with my idea of a mom and her sweet baby, quickly turned into meeting requests of women who wanted a magical session with their children in that field. Which then made me think, why not do mini sessions here?? And that's what happened....I plan to offer family sessions here in the fall! Keep your eyes open for session details and rates!

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Phoenix Birth Photographer - Welcome Riley Ellis

Phoenix Birth Photographer - Welcome Riley Ellis

This year, I wanted to focus more on sharing the stories of the amazing families I photograph. I asked Vanessa to share her beautiful birth story with us. Her story touched me deeply, to say that I am blessed to have her in my life not only as a client but now as a friend is a bit of an understatement. This woman was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, the way she loves and lives is truly inspiring. I hope you enjoy her precious story. 

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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 Baby Photographer - Baby Gia Six Months

Phoenix Baby Photographer

Baby Gia SixMonths

I had the sweetest six-month session with this beautiful little girl. It went much different than her newborn session. When I saw Gia for her newborn session she was already six weeks old. Even though the recommended newborn age is six to fourteen days old.

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I love a challenge and took on Baby Gia. To this day, she is still my longest newborn session at a whopping five whole hours. And she was not crying folks! We just had to have lots of snuggles to get her calm and content.  Phoenix baby photographer

Gia's six-month session was a whole different story. Not only was it only an hour long but she was full of smiles. Her dad was also relieved to see that studio did actually have A/C! Because the room is kept warm for newborns, he was expecting a warmer and longer session! I think I made his day when I announced that the session was over at the hour mark.

Phoenix baby photographer

Because Gia was so easy spirited we were able to do several outfit changes. Is this cream tutu not the cutest thing you have ever seen?!

Phoenix baby photographer

Something I learned about Gia is not only is she a beautiful baby but she is a beautiful rainbow baby. Her mama had saw Brinlee's rainbow baby photo from her newborn session and asked if we could somehow incorporate the beautiful pastel rainbow wrap. Obviously Gia is too big to swaddle so I used it as a textured layer instead. This is one of my favorite set of pictures! Phoenix baby photographer

I am often asked where I found this gorgeous pastel wrap set. It took some hunting but I found this beautiful set from Katie's Props

Phoenix baby photographer

 Something I love to do at milestone sessions is to put the baby in a prop we used at their newborn session.  At six weeks old I laid Gia in this beautiful white washed basket. At six months Gia sat up in this basket!

Phoenix baby photographer

Gia is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen. I can't wait to see her for her cake smash!

Phoenix baby photographer